Protection One alarm systems began in 1988, and their systems have been installed in millions of homes and businesses. Protection 1 continues to offer equipment packages with the latest in alarm technology, including burglary, fire and CO detection, and video surveillance.
This page is intended to help you if you have an older Protection One
home security system, regardless of the specific brand or model. As
alarm equipment gets older, some common problems will tend to crop up.
I’ll give you some tips on getting the most life out of your existing
Protection One alarm system.
If you aren’t a current Protection One customer, and you own your system “free and clear”, here are some tips you can use to keep it running at its best for years to come.
The backup battery on any alarm system will need to be replaced approximately every 3-5 years. This battery is located in the main alarm panel box, usually found in a closet, storage room, or laundry/utility area.
Changing an alarm panel battery is easily within the abilities of the average homeowner, as long as the panel isn’t up high or otherwise difficult to get to.
After opening the alarm box, remove each battery lead by pulling on the connector. Take the battery to a Batteries Plus store or other supplier, and they will sell you a compatible replacement.
Install the new battery in the panel, making sure to match the red and black leads to the same colored battery terminals. For help doing this, see my page on DIY alarm system battery replacement.
Most older Protection One alarm systems were hardwired, but you may have a wireless model. If so, you’ll eventually need to deal with wireless transmitter batteries.
While the main panel battery is generally an easy do-it-yourself project, replacing the batteries in wireless alarm transmitters can be a real chore.
First, older wireless technology can be somewhat “temperamental”.
transmitter covers to change out the batteries will typically cause any
wireless alarm system to signal a “tamper” condition. Reinstalling the
cover is supposed to clear this tamper, and allow the system to restore
to normal. And it usually does, with newer wireless equipment.
Unfortunately, what was considered “high tech” security years ago can’t compare to today’s very reliable wireless equipment.
Some earlier models of wireless alarm panels don’t always recognize the cover being replaced. These panels can continue to show tampered transmitters, beeping the keypads until they are reset several times.
Secondly, transmitters located near windows often get a lot of sun exposure.
the years, the plastic case covers dry out and become brittle. Removing
these covers to replace the batteries will usually cause some of them
to break, placing that transmitter in a permanently tampered condition.
The bottom line: In general, most homeowners are better off paying a professional alarm company to do wireless transmitter battery changes.
All alarm keypads will eventually wear out, though some brands and types do so faster than others. The flat, membrane-type keypads seem to fail the soonest; units that have separate buttons of the rubberized, soft-touch variety can last for many years.
Keypads that are wearing out will intermittently miss button presses, causing erratic operation and difficulty arming and disarming.
Common fixes, from easiest to hardest, include:
is the only manufacturer I know of that offers replacement kits. These
consist of a replacement keyboard that you can swap out of your existing
keypad’s plastic housing.
For other brands, replacing the whole keypad may be an option. Replacement keypads are available for many brands of alarm panel. You’ll need to know the make and model of your main panel, usually found on a sticker inside the panel box lid.
Getting the model number of the keypad itself would also help to insure you get the right replacement. Keypads often have the model information on the back, so you may need to remove it from the wall.
The suggestions above will help you get the most out of your Protection One alarm system. Even so, you may find that your system is still having problems. Depending on its age and parts availability, you may be better off replacing it.
A new system may end up being far cheaper than repairing parts on the old one, and you’ll very likely gain features that didn’t even exist when your original system was installed.
For more information on specific brands, see these pages:
Ademco Home Security Systems
Brinks Home Security Systems
Honeywell Security Systems
DSC 832 - Tips and Advice for Older Systems
GE Home Security Systems
Napco Security Systems
Radionics Alarm Systems
Need a manual for your system? See this page for tips on finding alarm system manuals.