How Often Should My Alarm System Be Tested?

Written by | Updated October 12, 2018

Alarm systems need to be tested on a regular basis to ensure they are working properly. After all, what good is a fancy home security system if it fails when you need it most? Many security authorities recommend monthly testing, but there are also other situations that might merit additional testing.

When to Test Your Home Security System

The US Fire Administration (USFA) recommends testing smoke alarms at least once a month. This might seem like a lot, but it helps ensure that everything is working properly. ADT recommends testing its security systems at least once a month as well, and that’s a good goal to shoot for regardless of the system you have.

There are a few other general guidelines to follow.

  1. Test your security system after any service technicians do work in your home. Anyone that has been working inside your home for any reason could have interfered with your alarm system, either intentionally or unintentionally. After the technician leaves, do a quick system test to make sure everything is functioning correctly.
  2. Test your alarm system after you perform any major modifications or renovations in your home. Even if you know your system well, it’s easier than you might think to accidentally damage a connection or component. You don’t want to find out there’s an issue after an intruder has already entered your home.
  3. Test your system after any major changes to phone or internet service. Anything that might affect the system’s ability to communicate with the monitoring center deserves to be double-checked.

How to Test Alarm Systems

Security testing processes will vary depending on the setup you have, so the best thing you can do is consult the information provided by your home security company or the equipment manufacturer. You’ll then want to test each component, including the following:

  1. Cameras
  2. Motion sensors
  3. Door and window sensors
  4. Glass break detectors
  5. Smoke alarms

It can take a little time to test all components, but the result—a security system that you know you can trust—is worth it. Add security system tests to your monthly home maintenance and safety checklist to ensure you don’t forget.


Compare the Best Home Security Systems

The SafeWise team has researched and reviewed security companies from around the nation. Each year we release our annual rankings. Check out our picks below! To read more, including reviews and packages, you can visit our Top Home Security Systems.

Brand
Lowest Monthly Monitoring Price
Starter Equipment Price
Contract Required
Installation
Smart Home Compatibility
Learn More
$34.99 $29.99 $14.99 $27.99 $29.00 $19.99 $10.00 $30.99 $9.99 $19.00
$99.00 $599.00 $229.00 $0.00* $299.00 $0.00* $199.00 $50.00 $279.00 $399.00
Yes No** No Yes Yes Yes No No** No No
DIY Pro DIY Pro DIY DIY DIY DIY DIY DIY
Amazon Alexa
Google Assistant
Z-Wave
Amazon Alexa
Google Assistant
Z-Wave
Amazon Alexa
Google Assistant
Amazon Alexa
Google Assistant
Z-Wave
Amazon Alexa
Google Assistant
Z-Wave
Amazon Alexa
Google Assistant
Z-Wave
Amazon Alexa
Google Assistant
Z-Wave
Amazon Alexa
Google Assistant
Z-Wave
Amazon Alexa
Google Assistant
Z-Wave
Zigbee
Amazon Alexa
Google Assistant
Z-Wave
View Packages View Packages View Packages View Packages View Packages View Packages View Packages View Packages View Packages View Packages

Data effective 09/03/2019. Offers and availability subject to change.
*$0 due up-front with contract.
**No-contract options available with outright equipment purchase.