Brinks Home Security systems has its roots in Chicago, many years ago. In 1859, Perry Brink founded the Chicago City Express Company. The Brinks firm delivered packages by horse drawn wagon, and soon developed a reputation for dependability and security. Brinks made its first delivery for a bank in 1891, and in time the Brinks company name came to be known for secure transportation and trustworthiness.
Brinks Home Security was formed in 1983, and gained a reputation for high quality home security services at reasonable prices. After dominating the home security systems market for over two decades, Brinks took on the name “Broadview Security” in 2009.
On May 12, 2010, Broadview security was acquired by Tyco International and rolled into their main home security brand, ADT.
This article is intended to help those who already have Brinks home security systems in their homes, and who may need to program or repair the system.
If you’re looking for a home security company to install a new alarm system, you may want to consider ADT security systems. If you’re a do-it-yourself type of person looking for an inexpensive alarm system, check out the options with DIY home security systems.
Brinks security systems use one of several different models of panels and keypads listed below. These systems are still available through various on-line outlets like eBay and Amazon, but you may have to search around to find what you need.
Common Brinks Alarm Equipment
DTI - 670
BHS-1200 (DCU 500 Keypad)
If you have one of these Brinks home security systems and are still using it, good for you! As long as you keep up with alarm system battery changes, these alarms can continue operating for many years.
However, if your Brinks system is several years old, you’ll eventually find some problems cropping up as the equipment ages.
Alarm system keypads are often the first things to go, as they see the most use on a daily basis. If your arm/disarm code occasionally doesn’t seem to “take”, then a worn out button is the most likely cause. If one or more keypad buttons has stopped registering keystrokes, there are a couple of band-aid fixes you can try.
The first solution is to simply change your code to include previously unused digits. This is very low-tech, but it works!
The second option is to swap the troublesome keypad with another less-used keypad, if you have more than one. The most-used keypad in most homes is near the garage entry door. If you have another keypad in the master bedroom or near the front door, you can swap it over to the garage location.
Both of these fixes will buy you more time for your Brinks system, possibly several years.
Be aware that a previous owner of the home may have already tried one or both of these clever little tricks. If so, you may still have problems entering codes successfully. If this is the case, you’ll either need to find a Brinks brand direct replacement keypad, or look at replacing the system entirely. (More on this below).
Re-programming arm/disarm codes for most Brinks security systems is quick and simple, provided you have a copy of the manual. Most Brinks panels use a “Program” command button, along with a Master Code to authorize the programming sequence. Then, a digit or two are needed to specify which user code you want to change, followed by the actual code digits themselves.
As an example, the Brinks DCU-550 requires the following sequence to change secondary code 1:
“Program” + (Master Code) + 1-2 + (Desired 4-digit code).
Most Brinks systems will use a master code and several secondary codes. The master is used to change the secondary codes, as well as itself.
You can download a copy of the manual for your Brinks alarm system at the link below. These are in PDF form, so they’re easily viewable on almost any computer.
If you find that your Brinks alarm system is just plain worn out, you’ll need to look at replacing it. The good news? You can most likely re-use the door and window switches, motion detectors, and sirens from the old Brinks system with a new panel and keypads.
Brinks security systems use hardwired devices almost exclusively, and hardwired items tend to be interchangeable between most makes of alarm panel. For example, the hardwired door and window contacts from the old Brinks alarm will work with even the lowest price alarms that use wired zone inputs. Motion detectors are very generic 4-wire devices, using two wires for 12-volt DC power and two more for the loop connection.
Sirens are either simple speakers, or the self-driven type using a speaker with a built-in audio generating circuit. Many newer security panels have outputs for both types, so you may be covered there.
Keypads are proprietary, and will work only with the main alarm panel they were designed for.
If you’d like to have your new system monitored, you should get estimates from a few alarm companies. Broadview home security would be a good place to start, since they’ve owned Brinks for several years. Since Broadview itself is now part of ADT security systems, it can’t hurt to get an estimate there. They can give you a price to repair or change-out the old Brinks system, as well as the monthly monitoring cost.