Customer FAQs

Discover answers to the most frequently asked questions from ADT customers.

1. How can I avoid setting false alarms?

Sometimes people avoid using their security system because they’re afraid of setting it off accidentally. But if you use your system regularly, it becomes part of your daily routine, which can help prevent mistakes and avoid false alarms. 

There are two ways to arm your system: 

AWAY - When leaving your house, you should always arm your system for Away to activate the interior zones such as your motion detectors. 

STAY - If you have larger, active pets or pets who climb on the furniture, you should arm your system for Stay so your motion detector does not pick up their activity and cause false alarms. 

When coming home, the first thing you should do is enter your 4 digit code to Disarm the system. Then make sure to arm the system again, but this time in Stay mode. This provides an added layer of protection for you and your family while you’re at home. Stay mode activates exterior doors but let’s you move around the home freely without triggering the alarm. 

Another way to avoid setting off your alarm accidentally is to make sure everyone in your household knows how to use the alarm.

Watch this video to learn more about avoiding false alarms.

2. What are some common causes of false alarms?

False alarms can result in costly fines and stress for your family. Most false alarms can be prevented, saving you money and helping to ensure that emergency services are available for real emergencies within your community.  False alarms occur for many reasons, below are some common triggers. 

General Causes 
• Incorrect keypad codes entered 
• Re-entering the house without disarming the alarm system 
• Faulty equipment or low batteries 

Doors and Windows 
Door and Window sensors alarm when the two contacts, one on the door or window and one on the frame, become too far apart, such as when the door or window is opened. False alarms can occur when: 

• Doors or windows are not shut securely once the alarm is turned on, and then come open 
• Due to remodeling or other changes in the house, the contacts become too far apart or out of alignment 
• One of the contacts falls off or becomes detached

For help in resolving a problem with a door or window sensor, please refer to the Door and Window Sensor Troubleshooting page

Motion Detectors
Motion detectors alarm when motion is detected within their range of vision. Some motion detectors also require heat to be present, such as when detecting a person. False alarms can occur when: 

• Party decorations such as balloons and streamers cause motion in the room 
• Wandering pets 
• Drapes moving when air conditioning and/or heating turns on 
• A ceiling fan is turned on within range of the detector 
• Bugs crawl across the motion detector 

For help in resolving a problem with a motion detector, please refer to the Motion Detector Troubleshooting page

Glass Break Detectors 

Glass break detectors alarm when two frequencies of sound are detected – the low frequency “thud” when the glass is initially hit, and the high frequency sound when the glass actually breaks. Some glass break detectors also detect air pressure changes. False alarms can occur when:

• Sounds occur which are in the range of the detectors, such as thunder, fireworks and certain loud music or TV programs 
• A dog barks close to the detector 
• Acts of nature such as strong winds, electrical storms, etc. 

For help in resolving a problem with a glass break detector, please refer to the Glass break Detector Troubleshooting page

Smoke and Heat Detectors 
Smoke detectors alarm when smoke particles enter the unit. Heat detectors alarm when either the temperature rises by a set number of degrees over one minute, or when a set temperature has been reached, depending on the type of detector. False alarms can occur when: 

• Household smoke from tobacco products, fireplaces or kitchen equipment occurs within the range of the smoke detector 
• The smoke detector becomes dirty with normal household dust 
• Bugs enter the smoke detector 
• The heat detector is located in an area that experiences a high temperature over an extended period, such as an attic or near furnace equipment 

For help in resolving a problem with a smoke or heat detector, please refer to the Smoke and Heat Detector Troubleshooting page

False Alarm Prevention 
Following these tips will help prevent false alarms and keep your home secure: 

1. Educate individuals who may be alone in your home such as babysitters, relatives, adult children and visitors on how to avoid triggering an alarm and what to do if they accidently do trigger one. 
2. Ensure that your verbal security passwords and emergency contacts lists are up to date. Please visit our Emergency Contacts page for more information. 
3. Learn to recognize the signs of a low battery and be prepared ahead of time. Please visit our General Battery Help page for more information. 
4. Be sure you are conducting regular system tests to help ensure that your system is communicating with our 24/7 monitoring centers. More information can be found on our System Test page. 
5. Inspect door and window contacts periodically to ensure they remain secure and properly aligned. 
6. Restrain pets from areas where motion and glass break detectors might be accidentally set off, or have the sensors re-positioned. 
7. Do not install equipment or other hazards in a location that might set off the detector. For example, do not install a ceiling fan within range of a motion detector or a sound speaker next to a glass break detector. 
8. Periodically clean smoke detectors to remove dust and other particles. 

Be sure to test your system regularly to make sure it communicates properly with the 24-hour ADT Customer Monitoring Center. This can be done by logging into MyADT.com and selecting My Alarm, then click System Management and then select Place System on Test. 
You can also call 800-ADT-ASAP to put your system into Test Mode.


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