Frequently Asked Questions

Alarm System Basics and General Operation

Does the security system work if the power goes out?
Yes. During a power outage, the system is powered by a backup battery for a limited time. Once power has been restored to your home, the battery is recharged automatically to prepare for the next time it is needed.  After an extended, or multiple power failure/s,  your battery may need to be replaced. We recommend all batteries be replace after 5 years for residential alarm systems. NFPA requires batteries to be replaced every 4 years for commercial fire alarms systems.

What is my password used for?
Your password is used by the Central Monitoring Station to identify you as the authorized owner or user of your alarm system . You will also be required to provide your password to Pope Security Systems to make changes to your account or system.

What’s the difference between a system password and pass-code?
The password is used to identify your authority as the alarm system owner or authorized user to persons over the phone. You’ll need to provide this word to the Monitoring Company when they call immediately after an alarm activation or to our office to make changes to your account or system.  The pass-code is a 3-6 digit numerical code used to control your alarm system via your keypad/s. Keypads are usually located near entry doors and other areas of your residence or business.  Most alarm systems can hold from 32-96 different user codes so owners can track users entering or leaving. Both the password and the pass-code are designated by you and can be changed as needed by calling Pope Security Stystems.

Is a telephone line required to run my system?
Not always.  Many alarm systems still use traditional “Land” lines. However, with advancing technologies Ethernet and cellular communications are now available via the iBridge or StarLink option modules.  Please call our office for more information.

Can I control and monitor my alarm system remotely?
Yes. You can now control and monitor your alarm, video, temperature, lighting and locking devices remotely from any smart device, laptop, or computer via the iBridge network module or the StarLink Connect cellular communicator. Please call us for more information.

What temperature is my low temperature alarm set for?
Generally 40-45 degrees Fahrenheit. This setting is can be adjusted by one of our on site technicians.

Is the fire alarm always on even if I don’t turn on the burglar alarm?
Yes, your fire alarm features monitor and protect your home/business and family/occupants from fire, carbon monoxide, combustible gas and other critical threats such as low temperature, high water and more 24 hours a day, 7 days a week regardless of the arm status of your system.

Will changing phone companies affect my alarm?
In most cases yes. Phone service is changing rapidly, both in companies offering the service and in the reliability of that service. A change in providers will likely require physical configuration changes.  Internet provides phone service is not recommended.  Please call our office for updated information for this area.

Why can’t I arm my system?
The most common reason for arming difficulty is an open door or window. Read the display on the keypad and it will identify which zone is faulted. Secure that zone, then try again. If you are still having trouble, you can hit reset and proceed to arm. The system will arm even with a fault detected. There are also several potential system trouble conditions that will prevent system arming, such as Phone fail, comm fail, low battery, etc.  As with a zone fault, simply press the reset button to acknowledge the trouble and continue to arm your system.
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Alarm Activations

What happens when an alarm is activated?
When an alarm is activated a signal is sent to the Central Station. They then  dispatch authorities (fire, police, medical, etc. as applicable), call the premises, and notify people designated by you on your call list. This is done in the specific order outlined in your contract, by zone. This information is maintained by Pope Security Systems, and can be changed as needed by calling our office with your password. You can also opt to receive text messages and email notifications of all alarm and trouble signals to add speed and redundancy to your communications from the Central Station.

What should I do when an alarm goes off?
First, stay calm. Go immediately to your keypad and read the display area. Many times people mistake a sound for their alarm and then inadvertently, set the alarm while they are inside. If your alarm system is activated, your keypad will read “ALARM” and the activated zone. Enter your 4-digit pass-code and press on/off to silence the alarm. The Monitoring Company will call you, ask for your password and provide further direction.

If the fire alarm goes off because of “burned toast”, will the monitoring company send the Fire Department?
Yes, unless they reach you immediately and you give them the password, and inform them it’s a false alarm. Some customers keep the number near their phone and call them before they call your premises.

Who do I call to cancel an alarm activation?
Centra-Larm Monitoring Co. at (800) 639-2066.

What if I can’t remember my pass-code or password?
The monitoring company will dispatch authorities if you do not have the password. If you call our office during normal business hours, we will use other means to verify your identity.

Why is my keypad beeping?
The keypad might be beeping from a power loss, phone line loss, communication failure or other system trouble conditions.  Read the keypad display, and press the reset button to silence the keypad.
Call us for further direction.
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24 Hr Monitoring

Who exactly is monitoring my system?
In most cases, your system will be monitored by the U.L. Listed station, “Centra-Larm Monitoring Company” in Manchester, NH. Visit them at www.centra-larm.com.

How do I contact the monitoring facility?
Centra-Larm Monitoring Company (800) 639-2066.

What happens if the Central Station Monitoring Co. can’t reach anyone on my call list?
If an alarm is activated, they will dispatch authorities according to your contract and also contact us.

Are there other options for monitoring my system besides using a land line phone?
Yes, there are other options including cellular lines, long range radio (providing you have good coverage at the alarm location) and internet options. Please call us for more information.

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Video Systems

What’s new in video?
The quality of video technology is improving quickly and equipment is becoming more affordable. You can now view live video of your property easily from any computer or mobile device. Please call us for more information.

Can I review recent video data?
With a local recorder you can easily review recent data using your phone, web, mobile device or computer.

Can I back up video data?
Yes, it can be backed up to a USB drive, to a DVD or stored on the video recording equipment hard drive.

How can I view my system through the internet explorer web browser in Windows 10?
When using the Windows 10 Microsoft edge browser, you can switch back to internet explorer by clicking on the more tab (…) and selecting “open with internet explorer”. This will reload your page and you can continue your login as you normally would.

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Administration of the Alarm and Billing Questions

How do I change my call list / emergency contacts?
You can call us to verify who is currently on the list and request changes. You can also submit requests in writing to us. Use the form “Customer Information Update Form” on this website under Resources / Links, Customer Forms. Changes generally take effect on the same day the request is made.

Can I pay for my annual monitoring in quarterly installments?
Yes, just ask us!

Can I pay for services or monitoring with automatic charges to my credit card?
Yes, it’s simple – give us a call.

What is your hourly rate for labor?
As of 2015, we charge $95/Hr during standard business hours.

Who do I notify of address changes?
Pope Security Systems (603) 447-6704 or via email here.

How do I cancel my monitoring service?
Notify Pope Security Systems in writing with your request to cancel monitoring. You can also use the form on this website under Resources / Links, Customer Forms.

How do I receive a discount on my homeowner’s insurance policy?
Just ask us and we’ll provide you and/or your insurance company with a letter detailing your alarm system. Insurance company discounts continue to climb with monitored alarm systems.

How do I reach Pope Security Systems by phone rather than your answering service?
(603) 447-6704. Our office is generally staffed each morning from 7:30 am to 5:00 p.m. If all lines re busy, your call will be answered by our 24 hour answering service and we will be notified. W provide emergency service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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Maintenance of your Alarm System

How often should I have my battery replaced?
We recommend all batteries be replace after 5 years for residential alarm systems. NFPA requires batteries to be replaced every 4 years for commercial fire alarms systems.

How is my alarm system tested?
Most systems are programmed to automatically test communication with the central station each week for residential systems, daily for commercial systems and some systems test hourly. You can test many of the features of your system, ie smoke, intrusion, temperature etc., yourself or we can complete a routine test for you at our standard hourly rates.

What routine maintenance does my alarm system need?
Carbon monoxide detectors have between 5-10 years of service life. Residential smoke detectors should be cleaned and tested every two years. Depending on the environment, some systems need cleaning more often. NFPA requires all commercial systems to have a “Clean and Test” conducted each year. All systems should be tested for general operation, communication conditions and back up battery life every 2-3 years.

Can I test my system myself and how do I put my system “on test”?
Yes. You can call us or the monitoring company and request that any signals be ignored for a specified period of time.

If I “shut down” my second home for the winter or summer, do I need to keep phone and power services active?
Yes, because alarm control panels need power to operate and most systems rely on phone service for communication. However, other means of communication, via internet and cell service are now available in many areas. Please call for more information.
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