First Security System Network

It all started on April 5, 1874, with a nighttime break-in. American District Telegraph (ADT) Founder Edward Callahan created a telegraph-based "call-box" to signal for assistance to a central office. He quickly connected 50 other homes in the neighborhood, creating the first residential security system network. American District Telegraph was incorporated shortly thereafter on Aug. 14, 1874 in Baltimore.

1890–1920 Roundsmen

ADT introduced the first proactive security monitoring and response service, employing "Roundsmen" to make rounds each night of customers’ homes to help prevent crime before it happened.

Stellar Early Leadership

ADT grew strongly and steadily under the guidance of its high-profile early leadership. Thomas T. Eckert, who led the Telegraph Office during the Civil War and was close to President Lincoln, was one of ADT's early presidents. He was followed soon after by Robert C. Clowry, a colonel in the U.S. military who worked his way up from messenger boy to eventually serve as president of both Western Union and ADT, which he led for eight years.

Central Monitoring Centers

ADT pioneered the concept of the Central Monitoring Center, enabling thousands of customers to link to 24/7/365 monitoring and protection.

The First Burglar System

ADT started its first big expansion in the 1940s after pioneering the first automated burglar system. At the same time, ADT installed the first automated fire alarm system, enabling immediate response to fire.

Secured by ADT

A new ADT security feature gained immediate customer approval: the iconic ADT yard sign, which now dots millions of customers’ yards across the country.

2010 ADT Pulse®

ADT elevated home intelligence when it launched Pulse, the app that lets customers remotely access and control their home security system, as well as lighting, climate control, security cameras and much more – all in real-time.

Creating Customers For Life

Much has changed since our humble beginnings in 1874. One thing that hasn’t is our desire to constantly improve. So we combined forces with Protection 1 to further raise our standards for customer security and service. Together, we serve over 6 million customers with more than 17,000 employees in over 200 locations in the United States.

Command and Control

ADT continues driving innovation with the launch of ADT Command and Control. The ADT Command panel is equipped with smart home capabilities that help customers protect and automate their homes through one easy-to-use interface. With the ADT Control mobile app, customers can remotely access their connected smart devices including lights, locks and thermostats to setup schedules, scenes and geofences for a fully automated connected home experience.

Learn More About ADT

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ADT LifeSavers

ADT customers tell their stories about how ADT helped save their lives and homes.

Volunteer wearing an ADT "Always Cares" shirt
ADT Always Cares

ADT is also committed to serving the communities where we live and work.

Group of people wearing blue shirts and holding ADT signs

Our people are dedicated to your safety, and taking care of the people and property you care about most.