AMCO Alarm maintenance service overview

Alarm systems are required to work 24/7 / 365 days a year in the case of an emergency scenario.  Because of this it’s important to maintain and test your alarm system on a regular basis, to make sure it’s in full working order when you need it.

Key elements of an alarm system  that need to be checked and tested are:

- Core alarm functionality i.e. the system arms and activates correctly

- Alarm sensors i.e. all sensors work correctly (inc testing batteries for wireless sensors)

- Battery back-up i.e. in case of a power cut your alarm works properly (and doesn’t activate / false alarm)

- Remote monitoring i.e. AMCO’s monitoring service works correctly when your alarm is activated

N.B. unlike most alarm companies, we do not mandate alarm maintenance, but make recommendations and provide the option for you to either do various tasks yourself or instruct us to do them for you.

Different alarm test types, responsibility & frequency

Aligned with the different elements of an alarm system there are a number of different tests and maintenance procedures that need to be carried out.  Each of these need to be done at different times / frequencies, and some of these can be carried out by the system owner (i.e. you) and others need to be carried out by your alarm company (i.e. us).

The following is a breakdown of the different tests and recommended frequencies:

Test type Frequency Responsibility
Monitoring system test (automated)
Every 7 or 30 days AMCO
Alarm system test Every 30 days Owner
System maintenance Every 12 months Owner / AMCO
Line cut test (GSM back-up only) Every 30 days Owner

How AMCO’s remote monitoring tests work

Automated remote tests are run on your system to check your alarm system is connecting to our monitoring station correctly.  If we fail to receive a remote test, we will contact you to inform you and recommend a solution to fix the likely problem.

These tests are run every 7 or 30 days, depending on the security status of your property (i.e. commercial properties are tested every 7 days, and most domestic properties are tested every 30 days).

How to test your alarm system

To test your alarm you need to set your alarm as normal (as if you’re going out) and then go into a room and  activate one of the sensors.  This should trigger the alarm - with the monitoring system activating within about 60 seconds.

We recommend doing an alarm system test every 30 days.

What’s involved in a system maintenance check

We recommend your alarm is checked every 12 months.  You can either choose to do a basic maintenance check yourself, or get an AMCO engineer to do a full / comprehensive maintenance check for you.  As a general rule, we'd always recommend an engineer visits you at least every 24 months to do a full maintenance check - to ensure everything is in working order, and you haven't missed anything with your checks.

N.B. there are certain checks that can only be done by a trained engineer.  Below is a breakdown of the different tests required . . .

Check type Detail Basic Full
Sensor check
Clean outside, check for any obstructions and check battery (if wireless sensors are installed)
 Sensor walk test
Check to see each sensor works, including panic buttons.  Get instructions via our user guide hub here >>
Activation Check monitoring responds once alarm is activated. X X
Speaker / mic test
Test quality and volume of speaker mic (inc testing all speaker mics if more than one)
Check entry / exit timing, check part and full set (to make sure set-up correctly)
Check system re-arms after activation
Smoke sensor check Test smoke detector heads work using 'smoke can' (testing using real smoke) X
Panel battery check
Check integrity of your panel battery by testing voltage drop page & charging.
Check wiring inside of panel and sensors (check for loose / cut wires)
Verifying the zoning and records are updated and correct (according to our databases)
Security audit
Review of security of property, to make sure all potential access points are covered, and you have a suitable level of security (including use of cameras / access control etc.)

How to do a line-cut test on an alarm with GSM back-up

Locate 'test button' (usually located either at the side of the panel box, or near to the keypad).  Press and hold button for a minimum of 60 seconds.  After this point, call the AMCO Technical Support team on 01347 822111 and ask if we've received a 'line cut and restore' from your property.  The AMCO team will then check the status of your GSM system.

Alarm battery change recommendations

Battery back-up

Your alarm system has a ‘back up battery’ located in the main control panel, designed to provide emergency power back-up in case of a power cut.

We recommend that you change this battery every 4 years (as a minimum).

Sensor batteries

If you have a ‘wireless alarm’ then each of your sensors are powered by a battery.  These batteries will on average each last between 1 to 2 years - depending on the amount of activity in the room where the sensor is located (as each time the sensor detects something it will use power).  When a battery requires changing, a message will appear on your panel to warn you.

You can change the sensor batteries yourself, by following these instructions (which are different depending on your specific type of alarm):

- Texecom Premier battery change instructions here >>

- Infinite Prime battery change instructions here >>

Book your alarm maintenance

If you don’t want to do your own alarm maintenance checks, please contact our team to book in a maintenance check with one of our engineers.  Email:  Call:  01347 822111