Alarm FAQs

RF Low Battery

An RF Low Battery signal occurs when an RF device on your alarm system has a battery that is running low or is completely flat. ‘RF’ stands for Radio Frequency, which means that the device is wireless and runs on batteries to keep it working. 

Devices such as Reed switches, PIR (Passive Infra-Red) sensors or Smoke Detectors can be wireless. It is extremely important that the devices for your system are kept operational at all times. If a device is not working due to the battery running flat, your security and smoke detection system is at risk of being compromised. ADT strongly recommends that you replace the battery at your earliest convenience and that you use an ADT qualified Technician to service your system.

To ensure the optimum performance of your system, we highly recommend a regular maintenance schedule. For more information on our affordable maintenance packages or for alternative options on battery replacement phone 131 005 between 8am-8pm Monday to Friday.

If you choose to change the batteries yourself you may access a user manual for your alarm system by visiting our Alarm Panel User Manuals Listing, however changing the batteries yourself will invalidate any remaining product warranty.

Warning Note: Please ensure you place your system on test before you inspect or change the batteries to prevent triggering a false tamper alarm. You can do this by phoning the ADT VRT Service on 0800 111 238.

The VRT User Manual can be found here and it is a free service. If you have not been set up for this please call 0800 111 238.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I determine which device in my system requires a battery replacement? You may have been sent an SMS text message with the details of which device is running low or completely flat. Otherwise, refer to your User Manual or keypad to determine which device is sending the RF Low Battery signal.

Which battery type do I need? You can find this out by either 1) Refer to your user manual. 2) Open the sensor and check battery type. Warning Note: Please ensure you place your system on test before you inspect or change the batteries to prevent triggering a false tamper alarm. You can do this by phoning the ADT VRT Service on 131005, option 5.

What if my system is still in warranty?  If your system is in warranty and a low battery signal has occurred and you choose to replace the batteries by yourself, it will invalidate any remaining warranty. Therefore, we highly recommend you organise an ADT qualified technician to attend site. Please call 131 005 and we will schedule a technician to attend at a time that best suits you.

If I replace the batteries in the device that has triggered the low battery signal, should I replace the batteries in the other devices? Yes! As your systems devices were installed together it is likely that the batteries in other similar devices are also towards the end of their effective life. We highly recommend you replace the batteries in all your devices to prevent the system being at risk of being compromised by flat batteries. We recommend you take a record of the length of the battery life and set a reminder for future reference.

Panel Low Battery

Your alarm system battery supplies backup power to operate your alarm system during a power outage. All alarm panels operate on mains power and contain a back-up battery, unfortunately different manufacturers use different batteries in the alarm panel.

How to Know If You Need a New Battery? 

The first sign of alarm battery failure is usually a beeping keypad. The beeping or chirping will often occur at the same time. This is because many panels do their automatic battery test every 24 hours. Less commonly, a low battery condition can cause false alarms at random times throughout the day.

Almost all alarm panels will also display a keypad trouble light to indicate a problem. Keypads with LCD displays will print out “low batt”, “LB”, or something similar. Keypads with LED’s may need you to press a button or two for the lights to show the trouble condition.

Frequently asked Questions: 

Should I Replace My Own Battery? 

ADT Security recommends a qualified technician is to attend and replace the battery to ensure the optimum performance of your system, we highly recommend a regular maintenance schedule. For more information on our affordable maintenance packages or for alternative options on battery replacement phone 131 005 between 8am-8pm Monday to Friday.

What if my system is still in warranty? If your system is in warranty and a low battery signal has occurred and you choose to replace the batteries by yourself, it may invalidate any remaining warranty.

Which battery type do I need? You can find this out in a number of ways.

1) Use your system type to find out what batteries you need.

2) Refer to your user manual.

3) Open the panel and check battery type.

Warning Note: Please ensure you place your system on test before you inspect or change the batteries to prevent triggering a false tamper alarm. You can do this by phoning the ADT VRT Service on 0800 111 238

ADT Security Recommendation: 

ADT Security recommends a qualified technician is to attend and replace the panel battery. A battery replacement may sound simple, but the alarm panel normally requires re-programming after a battery change. If something goes wrong do you want to ask yourself question such as: 1.

Did I replace the old battery with the correct battery?

2.       Have I correctly connected the wiring to the new battery?

3.       Why do I still have a low battery light on my keypad?

4.       How do I reset it?

5.       Why is ADT contacting me about Missed Timer Test after the battery was changed.

Therefore, we highly recommend you organise an ADT qualified technician to attend site. Please call 0800 111 238 and we will schedule a technician to attend at a time that best suits you.

Regards,
Security Response Centre

Power Fail

A Power Fail signal is received when your security system registers a loss of mains power to the security system. During a power fail a standby battery takes over supplying power to the security system and should enable the security system to operate. The duration that a standby battery is able to maintain the security system is variable & dependent on many factors, such as condition of the battery and the power usage of the system. If the power to the security system is not restored, the system shall continue to operate on the standby battery until it is fully discharged (runs flat), at which time you will no longer be protected.

A large proportion of power fail situations are related to electrical black outs. These situations generally rectify themselves when grid power is returned. However on occasion a circuit breaker may have tripped or another cause may exist, that requires customer intervention to restore power to the security system. Apart from an area power outage, this signal could also indicate that the security system has been unplugged from a normal power point, just as you would unplug any electrical appliance or that the mains supply to the premises has been turned off.

Should mains power not restore, the cause of the power loss should be investigated & rectified prior to the battery running low. When your standby system battery is running low you should be notified by ADT security, however, the monitoring centre will not receive signals from a security system where mains power is off and the standby battery is fully discharged.

What are some of the other reasons my security system has lost power?

The Power Fail signal may be caused by some of the following:

  • Mains supply failure in your area
  • Blown fuse on the premise
  • Power point has failed
  • Cleaner removed the power pack
  • Power pack has come loose in the socket or has accidentally been removed
  • Power pack has failed.


What can I check?

  • If you are experiencing a black out in your area there is nothing you can do until power has been restored. (If your power is off for several days, your alarm panel may need minor reprogramming after the power has been restored)
  • Check your keypad to see if your power light has restored, if it has then this indicates that the mains power has recovered.
  • Locate your power pack, (this looks like an oversized phone charger), and feel it, it should be warm to the touch if working OK.
  • If the power pack is cold, remove it and plug it back in, then check the keypad power light to confirm if the power has been restored.
  • If nothing has worked, test the power point by plugging in another electrical device. If this device works then try the power pack again, if it has failed use an extension lead to plug the power pack into another power point.

An electrician may be required if you cannot restore mains power to the premises. In the event that you cannot restore mains power to the security system but have mains power available at the security system’s power point, please call ADT Security Monitoring Centre on 0800 111 238 to troubleshoot your system, to discuss the alternatives and to book a technician, fees may apply.

Sensor Trouble

This signal is a non-alarm event that indicates that a sensor circuit is not complete. A Sensor Trouble renders the particular circuit inoperative and no longer able to provide security as designed.

An incomplete circuit maybe caused by a fault with cabling, the sensor or the security system’s main board. Alternatively a device on the circuit may simply not have been secured correctly when the security system was armed. A sensor trouble is often caused in error and does not necessarily require intervention by service technician.

One example would be a Magnetic Reed Switch (MRS) on a door in Sensor Trouble, which maybe the result of a door not being physically secure, such as a door being left ajar. OR, if the door was found to be secure, it would indicate the MRS circuit has a fault and service of the circuit is warranted. A Sensor Trouble should be inspected & the cause of the trouble rectified. The circuit will mainly be incomplete because it’s open – however sometimes it’s broken.

For magnetic reed switch/s, closing the doors/window/shutter where the MRS is installed will generally rectify the Sensor Trouble. If the Sensor Trouble is still present with the doors/window/shutter being correctly secured, the MRS’s should be inspected to confirm the device’s components are present, set for correct proximity and not masked. If all appears in order the circuit is faulted will require a technical inspection.

For motion sensors  – disarming & arming the security system, visual inspection of the device to ensure it is not masked, intact & the sensors LED’s illuminate when movement occurs in the sensor’s field of vision. If LED’s do not illuminate or remain illuminated when motion is not present, the circuit is faulted will require a technical inspection.

In the event that you cannot correct the problem with the sensor, please call ADT Security Monitoring Centre on 0800 111 238 to fault find your system, to discuss the alternatives and to book a technician, fees may apply.

Expander Module Failure & Data Gathering Panel Failure

An expansion module is an auxiliary board that attaches to the security system’s main board. An expansion module increases the security system’s number of input/relays – which allows for more devices to be installed than a standard security system.

A Data Gathering Panel (DGP) is an auxiliary board that attaches to the security system’s main board. A DPG provides for additional inputs/relays much like an expansion board, but it also has the ability to attach and manage numerous expansion modules.

Expansion Module Failure:

The expander module failure signal indicates that an expansion module/s is not correctly communicating to the main alarm panel. A technical inspection generally is required to identify & rectify the cause of the fault. Until returned to normal service, it can be expected that all inputs (sensors)/ relays (controllers) attached to this expander module will no longer be able to operate as designed or communicate with the main panel. Multiple devices are generally rendered inoperative.

Data Gathering Panel Failure: 

The DGP failure signal indicates that a DPG is not correctly communicating to the main alarm panel. A technical inspection generally is required to identify & rectify the cause of the fault. Until returned to normal service, it can be expected that all inputs (sensors)/ relays (controllers) attached to this DPG in addition to all attached expander modules will no longer be able to operate as designed or communicate with the main panel. Multiple devices & multiple expansion modules are generally rendered inoperative.

What action I need to take?

Please call ADT Security Monitoring Centre on 0800 111 238, to discuss the alternatives and to book a technician, fees may apply.

Timer Test Not Received (TTNR)

A Timer Test is a signal that is sent from your security system to ADT to check that it is communicating correctly. A Timer Test Not Received signal is generated when your alarm panel fails to send this signal within the prescribed time interval. (On average the prescribed time interval is once every week for homes and once a day for business premises.)

This regular testing is required to identify any possible communications issues that may exist with your alarm panel, and to notify you that your monitoring centre is not currently able to receive signals from your alarm panel, as this could have a negative impact if you rely on the alarm for summoning help and increases your risk of the system not communicating alarm activations.

Your alarm system must have an active standard phone connection to operate properly.

The most common things that can cause this alarm signal to happen could be:

  • Recent power failure that caused the panel to fully shut down.
  • Change of phone provider.
  • Repairs to your phone lines in the house.
  • Recent installation of ADSL Broadband
  • Changing to VOIP for your phone service.
  • Local floods
  • Wilful or accidental damage to your phone lines off site.
  • Disconnecting your phone line from the exchange.
  • Having the phone off the hook during the time that the panel is trying to communicate.

If none of these suggestions apply to you, please call ADT Security Monitoring Centre on 0800 111 238 to fault find your system. If any of these suggestions do fit, then you may need to get your service provider to reverse the recent change, or call ADT Security Monitoring Centre on 0800 111 238 to discuss the alternatives and to book a technician, fees may apply.

Fail to Close

A Fail to Close signal is received if the monitoring centre has not received the arming signal from your premises by the time prescribed. This normally indicates that staff members are on site working back, and can be rectified by simply ring the site and advising the staff to turn on the alarm when they leave.

On the rare occasion, this signal could mean that the site was armed up but the signal was jammed up in the alarm communication’s process, unfortunately there is no way of knowing if this is the case, it is up to you to decide if you wish to  return to work and check the alarm system.

If you require a guard to be sent to check your premises, please call ADT Security Monitoring Centre on 0800 111 238, fees may apply.

If this signal occurs frequently, please call 0800 111 238 to organise to alter your closing schedule.

Please note that if the site has not been armed, the monitoring centre will not receive signals from the area that the alarm covers.

Fail to Open

A Fail to Open signal is received if the monitoring centre has not received the disarm signal from your premises by the time prescribed. This normally indicates that members of staff who are meant to open the site are running late and have not done so or they have failed to turn off the alarm.

On the rare occasion, this signal could mean that the site was disarmed on time but the signal was jammed up in the alarm communication’s process, unfortunately there is no way of knowing if this is the case, please contact the staff who were scheduled to open the site and request that they check the alarm is turn off.

If this signal occurs frequently, please call 0800 111 238 to organise to change your opening schedule.

Loss of RF Supervision

The Loss of RF Supervision signal indicates that one of your wireless devices is not correctly communicating to the main alarm panel. All wireless devices regularly communicate to the alarm panel to check that the signal is being correctly received. This ensures the devices are not being interfered with. Should a Loss of RF Supervision signal be received, the device in question may no longer be able to reliably send alarm activations in the case of a genuine break and enter event. 
Possible causes:

  • As the batteries in a device get weaker, the signals range is reduced to the point where the device is no longer within the range of the main panel.
  • Some large or dense metal object has been introduced between the device and the main panel.
  • The device has become faulty.

Possible solutions:

  • Change the batteries in the device
  • Remove the metal object or have a technician reposition the device.
  • Have a technician replace the faulty device.

Warning Note: Please ensure you place your system on test before you inspect or change the batteries to prevent triggering a false tamper alarm. You can do this by phoning the ADT VRT Service on 0800 111 238.

The VRT User Manual can be found here and it is a free service. If you have not been set up for this please call 0800 111 238.

Protection Loop Short

A Protection Loop Short indicates that you might have some faulty wiring for a particular zone or a faulty alarm panel. This wiring or alarm panel fault requires a technician to attend and check the system. If the signal persists, please call during business hours to arrange a technician.

If you have wireless sensors then this signal can indicate that the batteries in a particular sensor are getting weak and need replacing. If this is the case it is recommended that whilst you replace the batteries in the faulty sensor it is good practice to replace all your wireless devices batteries.

Sounder Loop Short

A Sounder Loop Short indicates that you might have some faulty wiring from the alarm panel to the external siren or a fault in the alarm panel. This wiring or alarm panel fault requires a technician to attend and check the system. If the signal persists, please call during business hours to arrange a technician.

If you have wireless sounder then this signal can indicate that the batteries in the sounder are getting weak and need replacing.

GSM Fail to Communicate

A GSM Fail to Communicate indicates that the alarm panel has tried to send a signal to the Security Monitoring Centre via the Mobile phone network and was unable to send the signal.

If you have a back-up system then this signal was sent via the back-up system as an advisory alarm event, if the back-up system was to fail then we will not get any further alarm signals.

If the GSM is the only method of communication then this signal is indicating that the system was unable to communicate but has now re-established communications. If this signal becomes repetitive then you might have to look at changing phone service providers.

Fire Loop Trouble

A Fire Loop Trouble is a fault condition. Although this fault may indicate that you have an electrical problem with the security system’s fire circuit, it is often found that a contaminated smoke sensor may be responsible for this condition.

Over time, dust particles may enter & settle in the sensor’s optical or ionization chamber and prevent the sensor from operating as designed.
Regular cleaning internally & externally of a smoke sensor with a vacuum cleaner will not only reduce false alarms but may restore a Fire Loop Trouble caused by dust accumulation. It is not recommended to open a smoke sensor. Cleaning with a vacuum cleaner may be achieved without opening the detector – by placing the inlet nozzle of the vacuum close to the smoke sensor’s wire gauze guard. It is important to always confirm the Fire Loop Trouble has restored with the Security Monitoring Centre after cleaning.

If after vacuuming the sensor and resetting the security system at the code pad, the fault condition persists or the fault condition reoccurs after resetting, please call to arrange a technician to service/replace the equipment.

Siren/Bell & Sounder Relay Trouble

A Siren/Bell (External Siren) or Sounder (Internal Piezoelectric Sounder) Relay Trouble is a fault condition. This fault indicates that you have an electrical problem with the security system’s audio output circuit. It is often found that water damage, condensation, corrosion, wiring damage, may be responsible for this condition. Please call ADT to arrange a technician to service/replace the equipment.

Irregular Open

Irregular Open

An Open signal is received at the monitoring centre when a correct code is used to turn off (disarm) the alarm system at your premises. An IRREGULAR OPEN indicates that your alarm system has been disarmed outside the scheduled hours that have been previously established for your premise. This signal normally indicates that someone is using a valid code to access the site outside of scheduled hours.

If you are not expecting the site to be disarmed out of hours and require a guard to be sent to check your premises, please call ADT Security Monitoring Centre on 0800 111 238, fees may apply.

If this signal occurs frequently, please call 0800 111 238 to update your opening schedule.

Please note that if the alarm system is not turned back on (armed) after this event, the monitoring centre will not receive any further signals from the area that the alarm covers

Sensor Tamper

Sensor Tamper

Security sensors such as motion detectors known as PIR’s, reed switches, glass-break detectors, and infra-red beams. These devices have Sensor Tamper modules fitted inside the equipment. Security system sensors provide an output that changes state based on whether the sensor had been tripped or not, when connected in a circuit they perform like a switch that is activated automatically. A fitted Sensor Tamper allows an alarm panel to verify the integrity of the sensor.

Some possible causes of Sensor tampers may be:

1) If an intruder cuts the wire going to device.

2) One or both wires may have fragmented between the alarm panel and the sensor.

3) Physical interference, are you attempting to change a low battery?

4) Attempting to Reposition/Move or Relocate the Sensor.

If problems do persist, we highly recommend you organise an ADT qualified technician to attend site. Please call 0800 111 238 and we will schedule a technician to attend at a time that best suits you.

Bypass

A Bypass signal indicates that a zone has either been automatically or manually programmed not to send a signal. If you have manually bypassed the zone then all you need to be made aware of is that we can no longer monitor that zone and that the Security Monitoring Centre cannot advise you of any future alarm signals for that zone until it has been made un-bypassed.

If this was not your intention then you should return to site and rectify this zone. Some panels automatically bypass any faulty zones on arming or after they have been activated, these zones will no longer send any signals to the Security Monitoring Centre, please return to site and reset your alarm and rectify the issue with the zone.

Communications Trouble

A Communication Trouble is confined to customers utilising what is referred to as “multi mode monitoring”.  Although the security system may still be monitored by alternative communication pathways, a Communication Trouble signal indicates that one or more of the communication pathways is inoperative.

Multi mode monitoring is utilised by customers who require a higher level of security monitoring. The level of network supervision varies between networks & increases for GPRS & IP solutions. Customers may use equipment that utilises various combinations of the following communication networks:

  • PSTN – Public Switched Telephone Network
  • GSM – Global System for Mobile communications
  • GPRS – General Packet Radio Service
  • IP – Internet Protocol

With multi mode monitoring, the wire line, GPRS/GSM cellular line, and PSTN phone line are monitored independently by the security system and/or the auxiliary communication system. A report will be sent immediately to the ADT monitoring stations should a communication pathway be either be interfered with or rendered inoperative.

Multi mode monitoring provides for two or three completely separate pathways or networks through which signalling can be conveyed between the customer’s alarm system and ADT’s monitoring stations. Multi mode monitoring, because of its separate communication pathways, provides for a high degree of redundancy and network availability – increasing the probability of a security system being successful in conveying alarms to ADT’s monitoring stations. Should one network connection be compromised and rendered inoperative, an alternative network will be used by the security system to transmit the communication failure & subsequent alarm activity to our ADT monitoring stations.

Possible situations that can cause this alarm signal to happen may be:

  • Wilful or accidental damage to your phone lines.
  • Change of telecommunications service provider.
  • Repairs to your phone lines.
  • Recent installation of ADSL Broadband.
  • Changing to VOIP for your phone service.
  • Disconnecting your phone line from the exchange.
  • Wilful or accidental damage to GSM/GPRS antenna.
  • Telecommunications company network problems

If none of these suggestions apply to you please call ADT Security Monitoring Centre on 0800 111 238 to fault find your system. If any of these suggestions do fit then you may need to get your service provider to reverse the recent change, or call ADT Security Monitoring Centre on 0800 111 238, to discuss the alternatives and to book a technician, fees may apply.