How Often Should Your Home Security System Be Checked?

Safety Team
Updated Jan 28, 2021
4 min read
Home security systems do need occasional testing and maintenance. Here's what you need to do, and how often.

Don’t let your security system go unchecked

Installing a security system can indeed reduce the risk of a home burglary. But without conducting routine inspections and maintenance, you might be living with a false sense of security. From the batteries to the wiring, testing the various components within your system will ensure that your system has your safety covered when you need it the most.

How often should you check/test your system?

Some of the components in your home security system, such as the fire alarm, operate on batteries. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, homeowners should conduct fire alarm tests on a monthly basis, and replace the batteries as needed. You can also apply the same frequency to the rest of your comprehensive security system. 

When to test your security system

You might need to check your system more frequently if you had recent work done to your home or property. For instance:

  • After servicing: If you hired a technician to repair or service your home security system, it’s still good practice to conduct tests after they leave. Repairs to wiring could cause other components like sensors to malfunction. 
  • After modifications are made: If you recently had a home remodeling or renovation project completed, be sure to test your home security system. During construction, it’s possible that the placement of your video cameras changed.
  • After any major changes with internet/phone service: If you own a wireless security system, any changes made to your internet or phone could impact connectivity. Password changes made to the Wifi network must be applied to the security system.
  • After power outage to make sure your items are back online: Security systems are equipped with back-up batteries to ensure your home is protected even during a power outage. However, if the outage lasts longer than 24 hours, there’s a chance it might drain the battery. Always check your system when the power comes back on so you know that all components are functioning.

Which parts of a security system should you test?

To ensure your system is operating at peak performance, below is a list of the components that must be tested on a routine basis.
  • Sensors

    Glass break sensors trigger an alarm if a burglar attempts to break in by smashing the glass windows or doors. Of course, you don’t have to actually break any glass to test the sensor. Turn the setting to ‘test’ mode and stream a sound clip of glass breaking.

  • Control Panel

    The control panel is the brain of your home security system. It’s connected to every component, including the sensors, cameras, and detectors, and is ready 24/7 to alert an alarm or monitoring service when triggered. This panel is also where you arm and disarm your system or press an emergency button for two-way communication.

  • Motion Detectors

    Get help from a family member or friend to test your motion detector. As they walk by all of the sensors around your home; check to see that the red LED lights turn on. If not, this might indicate an issue with the wiring.

  • Video Cameras

    Ensure that the video cameras in your system are position towards the proper zones and are capturing the information you need, such as video and/or audio. Clean the lens of the cameras every so often to ensure the clearest image.

  • Alarms

    The smoke and fire alarms in your home contain batteries that will lose juice over time. In addition to checking these batteries, don’t forget to test the burglar and camera alarms.

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