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How to Use Your DSC Alarm System

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Muhammad Baballe Ahmad, Mehmet Cavas, Sudhir Chitnis, and Zhen-ya Liu.

✓ Verified & Tested Information

If you have a DSC alarm system in your home, you may be wondering how to use it to its full potential. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to use your DSC alarm system to keep your home safe.


A DSC Alarm System is a great way to keep your home secure. It can be used to monitor your home for intruders, detect fires and carbon monoxide, and even control your home lighting and appliances. It can also be used for remote access and automated operation. In this article, we will discuss the basics of how to use your DSC alarm system.

Overview of DSC Alarm System

DSC (Digital Security Controls) is a highly innovative security solutions provider. Their products are easy to use and reliable in terms of performance, making them a popular choice for residential and business security systems. Whatever your security needs, DSC has an alarm system to fit it – from basic home monitoring to advanced commercial-grade protection.

This guide will provide an overview of the features available in a DSC alarm system, how to use them effectively and address any common issues that may come up. We’ll cover the basics such as arming and disarming your system, adding sensors and zones and go over more advanced topics including setting up remote access via web or smartphone app, activating burglar-proof sirens/voice alerts, linking cameras with your system, programming wireless keyfobs, among other controls such as life safety devices like smoke detectors and carbon monoxide sensors.

System Setup

Setting up a DSC alarm system can be an intimidating task, but with the proper knowledge you can achieve success. Before beginning setup, it is important to understand how the system works and how to operate the keypad. This section will provide an overview of the setup process and will discuss how to program the system and prepare it for use.

Install the Control Panel

Installing the Control Panel is a crucial first step to setting up your DSC security system. Proper installation will ensure maximum protection from intruders, as well as a secure connection to the monitoring center. To start, locate an appropriate wall in which to install the panel. It should be away from windows or vents, so the sensors placed around your home are not triggered by normal air flow. It should also not be located directly next to electrical outlets or other sources of power, as this could pose a fire hazard.

Once you have determined an accessible location for mounting the Control Panel, use either nails or screws to securely mount it to the wall; then plug it into a power source and run any necessary cables between the panel and each individual sensor around your home. Make sure all of your connections are tight and free from any damage that could reduce their effectivity over time. Once all connections are established, press “Home” on your control panel keypad to power it up; at this point you can enter programming mode in order for all components of your alarm system (including sensors) to communicate with each other properly.

Connect the Sensors

Once you have installed the control panel and connected it to the phone line, you are ready to connect the sensors that will be used with your DSC Alarm System. Connecting these components is straightforward and requires no technical expertise. For each sensor that is connected, refer to the instructions provided with your particular model of DSC system.

To begin your system setup process, first connect power to the system’s hardwired keyboard display unit (KDU). This may look like a typical telephone wall jack connection with 3 or 4 prongs or a low voltage type wall connection with two round pins and two rectangular pins. Next, connect wires from each of your sensors to its respective terminal on the complete systems main control panel. Connect both red and black cables evenly at the same time respectively down match their colors on both terminals, usually their sides will displays an “R” for Red or “B” for Black letters beneath them as an easy visual reminder for which side should wire in what cable first when connecting everything in place. Depending on your control panel model some systems will also require a ground cable connection when installing motion sensors and other detection components from different manufacturers since most motion detectors needs more than just a couple of cables present across them to be properly operational because of their necessary higher current levels (which requires a ground cable).

Then make sure that auxiliary equipment such as keypads, digital communicators and other modules are set up according to manufacturer specifications; LCD Keypads need a neutral wire connection along with power whereas sirens must have consistent power supply going through its terminals every-time sensorial alarms begin triggering activations across them; normally any type of new hardware addition or change in programming must be done through an auxiliary data port located at either left or right inside controller cabinet visible even with door closed being protected behind lock & key resources. Finally after all necessary cables were properly wired into place push [OFF/ARM] button once at main control panel turning from “standby” mode into “armed status” one where all sensors are now working interdependently towards monitoring any suspicious activity taking place inside premise during majority of times being away from home having system keep them safe until come back again later on getting detected alteration information sent directly onto smart device thus eliminating any possible chances getting robbed mainly due involved incorrect activation (false alarm) occurs causing police dispatchers not respond properly upon it happening unconsciously afterwards preventing better response times depending upon any special circumstances possibly presents itself around those scenarios later on while having device security monitored remotely via internet access established before even leaving home!

Program the Zones

Programming the zones in an ADT Alarm system is an essential step for a proper system setup. Before starting the programming process, make sure you have access to all the materials you need. This includes the Owner’s Manual for your ADT Alarm system, your PC1616 (or similar) control panel, and your ADT Alarm wireless accessories.

Your manual will provide step-by-step instructions on how to program each individual zone on your system. In general, these are the steps involved in programming each zone:

1. Enter programming mode using correct access code
2. Select ‘Zones’ menu
3. Select zone number you would like to program
4. Select type of zone you are programming (HARDWIRE or WIRELESS)
5. For HARDWIRE zones, enter type of sensing device that will be connected to this zone (glass break detector or door/window contact)
6. For WIRELESS zones, enter serial number of ADT Alarm accessory being programmed
7. Set delay time before alarm sounds (if applicable) according to Homeowner’s Manual instructions
8. Repeat these steps for all zones on your security system
9. Exit Programming Mode when finished setting up all programmed devices

Testing the System

Keeping your DSC alarm system in good working order is an important part of home safety. To ensure that your system is functioning correctly, it needs to be tested periodically. Testing the system involves a few simple steps, including arming and disarming the alarm. In this article, we will show you how to easily test your DSC alarm system.

Arm and Disarm the System

When arming and disarming your DSC alarm system, you must be in the security command mode. Before entering a security code to arm or disarm the system, two to four beeps sound indicating that you are in the security command mode. Once these beeps have sounded, key in your user code plus the appropriate arming/disarming keys on your keypad.

Arming the System:
To arm the system (turn it on), press and release the (*) key followed by your user number (any valid four digit user code). The system will respond with one long single beep. This indicates that all zone devices are closed/secure and ready to be armed.The system will now enter an Exit Delay period of 30 seconds(default setting). During this time all exterior doors will remain unlocked for ease of exit from designated areas.Once this period has ended all zones will become secure, if not already so, and then begin their respective alarm entry-delay periods before sounding any alarms due to motion or other sensors being triggered by normal activity within designated areas.’

Disarming the System:
To disarm the system (turn it off) press and release (#) key followed by your user number. The system will respond with a double confirmation tone unlike that of the single-beep when arming making it easy to distinguish between any action commands entering into the keypad or other operating devices of this era’s DSC. Upon receiving this double confirmation tone all lights within line normally become steady soft red tones prompting use with ease of mind that their area is now free from any type of hazard whilst also maintaining automatically secure components while outside away from home or friends premises are also monitored securely potentially preventing any unsolicited access attempts.

Test the Sensors

Testing the sensors of your alarm system is an important step in making sure that your home is secure. To ensure proper function and range of coverage, it is recommended that you test the motion motion detectors, glass break detectors, door contacts and other types of sensors included in your system regularly.

To begin testing your system sensors, go to the control panel and arm the system in away mode (which will set off an alarm if any protected entry points are opened). Carefully walk through all areas covered by the sensors and open any protected entry points such as doors or windows. The control panel should indicate which zone has been triggered and you can use that information to identify which sensor has been tripped during testing. After opening each door or window, wait for a few seconds to see if it triggers an alarm from the control panel. If the results of each test are not marked as ‘verify’ on the control panel display then it means that either your system is malfunctioning or there may be some obstruction blocking the sensor’s view field.

When finished testing all sensors, go back to the control panel and reset/disarm your system before starting another round of tests. Doing so will not only help you verify each sensor but also confirm that all components are wired correctly and functioning properly. Remember that false alarms may not only delay response times but also result in fines levied against homeowners by their local police department – so it’s important to make sure everything is working correctly!

Test the Communication System

To test the communication capability of your home’s digital security system, you should first make sure that your control panel is connected to your individual security devices. Then, set the system to test mode. In this mode, all of the sensors will be tested on either a continuous or intermittent basis. From this point on you can use the keys on the keypad to monitor each device and check for response with both audio and visual accuracy.

Once all of the device specifications have been checked and confirmed operable, you should now test one device at a time in order to make sure that the communication path is unbroken between each property point used for both entry/exit points and room parameters. This will help ensure each connection remains active, ensuring that a false alarm cannot occur by leaving one of these elements offline or unresponsive.

To further confirm accurate communication between monitoring properties, establish a comprehensive network to connect all devices on separate sections or as one comprehensive system if needed. This will allow contact between all devices regardless of their physical location so that any single sensor or device leading into or out from the security unit is able to send accurate signals while systems remain actively monitored and in control by yourself or external monitoring centers.


Keeping your DSC Alarm System up and running requires regular maintenance. It is important to check and update the system on a regular basis to ensure that it is working properly. Regular maintenance will help prevent false alarms, reduce energy consumption, and ensure that your system is always ready to protect your home. Let’s take a look at the maintenance techniques that you should use for your DSC Alarm System.

Check the Batteries

In order to ensure that your DSC alarm system is running properly, it is important to regularly check the batteries. The battery in your system usually lasts up to three years, but if you are having trouble with your system such as low battery beeps or incomplete signals, it’s best to replace the batteries immediately. Make sure you buy the correct size batteries for your system so that they fit properly.

Before replacing the batteries in your control panel, check to see if other devices on the same network are running low on power. If any of the devices need new batteries, replace them at the same time as this will reduce interference from other devices and make sure that all of them are running properly.

When replacing the device batteries, make sure you always reverse their polarity (or negative and positive orientation) before fitting them into place securely. It’s important not to mix old and new batteries together and make sure all connections are secure before powering up again. For maximum performance, aim to change out all device or control panel batteries once every three years or sooner if necessary.

Clean the Sensors

Regularly cleaning the sensors on your DSC alarm system is an important part of ongoing maintenance. Sensors should be wiped clean with a dry cloth or lightly dampened with rubbing alcohol. Wipe off any dirt or dust buildup on all components, taking special care to clean any gaps that may be present. Try to avoid the use of any type of chemical cleaner when cleaning around sensors, as it can damage your system.

It is also important to check periodically for debris build-up around the sensors themselves, such as cobwebs and pet fur that can impede their ability to detect motion correctly. Clean these away, and make sure to wipe away excess moisture before returning the sensor to its position near a window or door. Additionally, test all motion detectors thoroughly to make sure they are working properly after cleaning and repositioning them.

Test the System Regularly

Regular testing is one of the most important steps in maintaining an effective DSC alarm system. You should test each component monthly to ensure the unit is operating correctly. This includes testing all sensors, remotes, keypads and external sirens. To do so, press the *test* button on the control panel of your security system. Then follow the listed instructions on your panel’s screen to complete the test. Your system should be tested at least once a month; however, it’s a good idea to check it more regularly if you have family members or guests who are unfamiliar with how to use it or live in an area with frequent power outages that could disable your device.


If your DSC alarm system is not working properly, it is important that you know how to troubleshoot the issue. It is essential to know the basic steps to take when fixing any problems with your alarm system. This section will provide a step-by-step guide on how to troubleshoot a number of different issues that could arise with your DSC alarm system.

Check the Circuit Breakers

One of the most common causes of a malfunctioning DSC Alarm System is tripped circuit breakers. It is important to check each circuit breaker in the house to make sure that they are in the “on” position. If there is an issue with any particular breaker, it should be reset and then tested again. To reset a circuit breaker, you must turn it off and then turn it back on again. Make sure that the breaker is fully pushed into the “on” position before testing your system again. If your DSC Alarm System continues to malfunction after resetting the breakers, consider contacting a professional for assistance in repairing your system.

Check the Alarm Panel

To begin troubleshooting your DSC alarm system, start by checking the alarm panel to make sure all of the components are properly connected. The keypad should be powered on and the alarms indicator should be flashing green, which indicates that all connected devices (such as door/window sensors, smoke detectors, and panic buttons) are functioning properly. If there is no power, you may need to replace the batteries in your DSC system or ensure that power is being supplied from a wall outlet. Additionally, check if there are any error codes present on your alarm panel display that could help provide a clue as to why the system may not be working properly.

Once you have ensured the panel is powered and functioning correctly, verify that all device connections are still in place by walking through your house and verifying each window & door sensor has been properly installed. You may need to reset some of these devices if they have been moved since installation. During this step also take note of any malfunctioning or broken sensors so you can arrange for repairs or replacements with customer service support.

Finally, verify that all panic buttons are operational by pressing each one individually until they activate correctly – an audible sound will typically come from your control panel when this happens. Once you’ve verified that everything on and around the control panel is working correctly, you can move onto checking more detailed settings of your system such as code programming & remote access capabilities.

Contact Technical Support

If you are still having issues resolving your problem after trying the steps mentioned above, contact a DSC Technical Support representative for additional help. The team of experts is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can assist you with all basic operations.

When contacting DSC technical support, please provide the following information:
– Account Information (Account No., Name & Phone)
– Model No. and Serial No. of the Control Panel
– Type of Service Required
– Location/Site Address (City, State & Zip Code)
– Incident/Exception History
– Bug Details and/or Problem Description

In order to help improve your experience with our products, we may ask for additional information regarding the issue at hand or request that you send photographs in order to help us understand and resolve the issue. When contacting technical support, be sure to provide us with as much detailed information as possible so that we can try our best to assist you quickly in finding a resolution.

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