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How to Work Your ADT 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

How to Work Your ADT Alarm System – This guide will show you how to arm and disarm your ADT security system for both home and away protection, as well as how to use some of the system’s other features.

Understanding Your Alarm System

Whether you’re looking to boost the security of your home or business, an ADT alarm system Understanding your ADT alarm system is the first step to ensuring it is working correctly and protecting your property. To get the most out of it, it’s important to know all the features and components. Before making any changes, make sure to Disconnect the power to the system. This is a great option for ensuring safety.

Familiarize yourself with your system

Learning how your alarm system works will not only help you to monitor the security of your home, but also make it easier for you to control your system and customize its settings. Every system is different, but most alarm systems have a few basic components:

Control Panel: This is the brains of your alarm system. It’s located inside your home and requires a master code set by you when it’s first installed. It should be located in a secure area in your home.

Keypad(s): These are usually located on walls throughout the house, which allow you to control the functions on the control panel. For example, when arming/disarming the system, setting codes and chimes etc.

Sensors & Motion Detectors: These are used to detect any movement within certain areas of your home. Depending on your system, they can have different levels of sensitivity and will alert if they detect any unauthorized movement or activity while armed.

Video Surveillance Camera: A camera placed in discreet areas throughout a space can provide facial recognition or serve as evidence when an intruder is detected in order to provide an even higher level of security and protection for homeowners.

Monitoring Service: Depending on which monitoring service provider you choose (ADT, CPI Security etc.), you’ll receive 24/7 professional monitoring with rapid response times from trained technicians who know how to respond as soon as an intrusion or life safety event has been detected at your property.

Understanding how these pieces fit together can give you an all-encompassing sense of security for monitoring, providing peace-of-mind that uninvited guests won’t be staying long in any area under the watchful eye of monitored professionals.

Understand the different components

A home alarm system typically consists of several different components. These components work together to provide overall security for your home and property. Below are common components that are found in many ADT systems.

Sensor: Sensors detect movement, heat or sound, triggering the alarm to sound or the monitoring center to be notified. Types of sensors include motion detectors, shock sensors and window and door sensors. They can also be used to trigger lights or cameras for additional security measures.

Keypad: The keypad is used to arm and disarm the system, as well as enable certain features such as panic buttons, silent alarms, temperature controls or other special features that may have been installed with your system. The keypad also serves as a two-way radio connecting you with your monitoring center if an alarm has been triggered or if you need assistance during a crisis situation.

Monitoring Center: ADT’s 24/7 monitoring centers are staffed by expertly trained personnel who will contact local emergency services when necessary and answer any questions you may have about your system’s operation while they also keep track of its status at all times.

Control Panel: Centralized control panel housing all the components of your ADT home security system such as motion detectors, window and door sensors and cameras, enabling technologies like app access so you can arm/disarm it from anywhere using most smart devices like smartphones tablets or laptops with internet connection.

Learn how to use the keypad

The keypad is a control center for your ADT home alarm system. Knowing how to correctly use the keypad is essential in operating the alarm system correctly and in an efficient manner.

When first powering on your ADT home alarm system, you should press the “Off” or “Reset” button located on its keypad. This activates the screen and prepares it for input. Depending on your model, there may be indicator lights around the keypad which come on as well.

There are several commonly used keys that interact with the system:
-Asterisk/Star ( * ): Used as a universal reset when needed.
-Number 0: Use this to confirm or exit programming functions when prompted by voice or beeping from the unit.
-Code ( # ) Key: Mainly used to enter access codes; also used to display output text more than once when necessary.
-OK/Select Button: Used to make selections while programming options
-Up / Down Arrows: Allows you to move through menus, change settings and select options while programming
-Volume Keys: Allows you to customize sound levels; press again for Silent Mode for no sound output from the unit.

These instructions apply primarily to most ADT Home Alarm Systems – please refer to your user manual if these instructions do not work for your particular model of alarm system from ADT Security Services.

Setting Up Your System

Setting up your ADT home alarm system is an important step in ensuring your safety and security. With the right setup, you can be sure that you will receive the best detection possible, and that your home will be secure from all possible invaders. This article will focus on how to get started setting up your ADT system and the steps you need to take to ensure that it’s working at its best.

Activate your system

Activating your new ADT alarm system is an essential step in ensuring maximum protection of your property. It is a straightforward process, although it can vary slightly depending on whether you’re using the control panel or control app.

Using the Control Panel: Once you have unboxed and set up the components of your ADT alarm system, turn on the power to the main unit. Enter your four-digit programming code by pressing 1-2-3-4 and then pressing “Off” on the keypad. Hold down “Power” for three seconds until you hear three beeps. Your system is now activated and ready to use.

Using the Control App: First, install and open the ADT home security mobile app. Create an account using your email address or phone number and set up a password for additional security. A verification code will be sent to your designated email address or phone number based on what you entered during registration. Once completed, select “Arm Now” from the main page of the app to activate your system immediately.
Your newly activated ADT alarm system is ready for full operation!

Set up your alarm code

Your ADT system comes with an easy to use keypad for programming your alarm code. Your keypad has a numbered pad that you can use to enter your four-digit personal alarm code. You can also change the code if you ever think it has been compromised. To set up your alarm code, follow these steps:

1. Enter your master code (default 0000) on the keypad, then press the # button
2. Enter a four-digit personal alarm code
3. Press # button again
4. Re-enter the same code to confirm it
5. Press # once more
6. A beep will indicate that it is successfully set up and ready for use

Your new alarm code will now be active and can be used to arm or disarm your system as necessary. Be sure to keep this number confidential – do not share it with anyone who is not authorized access to the system and do not store it in any digital form that might be exposed through security breach or cyber attack. It’s also important to remember that you may have to re-program certain areas if there are any changes, such as a new guest in your house/apartment who needs access during their stay – just make sure they are informed of what they need in order to use it properly, so as not to compromise security measures put in place for safety reasons!

Choose which sensors to use

Once you’ve decided on an ADT alarm system and installation service, the next step is to choose which sensors and other devices to use with the system. There are many types of sensors available that work with ADT, so it’s important to make sure you have all the necessary components to ensure maximum security. Depending on your needs, budget, and home layout, different sensors may be right for your property.

A few of the most common sensors used with an ADT system include motion detectors that detect any movement or presence in a room; door/window contact sensors that trigger when a door or window is opened or closed; glass-break detectors that sound an alarm if there is an attempted break in; and medical alert pendants or button devices worn by elderly people living in the home as a type of emergency contact. Additionally, there are smoke detectors which sound alarms at high temperatures and carbon monoxide detectors which can act as early warning signs of potential health risks from exposure to gas leaks.

When choosing which type of sensor best suits your needs for home security and comfort, always remember to consider your lifestyle, budget restrictions, and any potential threats when deciding how many devices should be set up with your ADT system.

Testing Your System

To make sure that your ADT alarm system is working properly, it is important to carry out regular testing. This is the only way to ensure that it is functioning as it should and that all sensors are working correctly. Testing your system is relatively easy and involves a few simple steps. In this section, we will guide you through the process of testing your ADT alarm system.

Test the sensors

It is important to test the sensors on your ADT system on a regular basis in order to ensure that it is working properly and will be there for you when you need it. Testing the sensors is easy, and there are two main tests that you can run:

1. Motion Detector Test: Sweep a hand across the motion detector to simulate footsteps in a hallway or movement within a room. The control panel should register the motion, both visually with an indicator light, and audibly with a beeping sound.

2. Door & Window Sensor Test: Open doors or windows into which the ADT sensors are installed, then close them again. This will prompt either audible or visual feedback from the control panel – a beeping or flashing light respectively – that informs you whether or not the corresponding contact has been made between sensor and contact mount.


Troubleshooting is a key part of knowing how to work your ADT alarm system. If your alarm system is not responding properly to commands, it’s important to diagnose the source of the problem. Fortunately, there are some easy tips and tricks you can use to identify and rectify any issues you may have. Let’s look at the troubleshooting process for your ADT alarm system.

Check the batteries

One of the first steps to troubleshooting your ADT security system is to check the power supply and battery. You should start by confirming electricity is flowing through the power adapter. Locate either a DC wire or battery connector plugged into the backup power source, depending on the type of system you have. If a battery backup is present, make sure it is properly connected and then open up your alarm panel and inspect the connection carefully. Your alarm panel should have an indicator light which will tell you if there is any sign of trouble with either your electricity or your battery back up power source.

If everything appears normal on your alarm panel, try checking each individual component including motion sensors, glass breaks, door contacts and smoke detectors for dust build-up or bent terminals. Cleaning them lightly with a cloth can help improve their functionality as well as straightening any bent terminal connections that may have occurred during installation or relocation of components over time.
If everything appears in order after this initial inspection, replace any 9V batteries that may need to be updated for wireless components such as wireless key fobs or remote control units if equipped in your system. Lastly, check by running a test on all devices to ensure they are working correctly before pushing them back into place within their mounting locations taking care not to pinch any wires in doing so.

Check the connections

Checking the connections to your ADT alarm system is an important part of troubleshooting and can help eliminate possible causes of issues. Begin by checking all physical connection between your keypad, sirens and other interconnecting wires.

If you are using a wireless system, ensure that all sensors are in their correct positions, and that the batteries are properly placed into their respective slots. Additionally confirm there is no radio interference or other types of electro-magnetic interference in the vicinity as this can disrupt the communication between devices.

If you have an internet or cellular enabled device, make sure that your router is plugged in and turned on and confirm that your phone line is working properly. If they seem to be out of order, it can prevent your device from receiving messages or updates from ADT’s servers. Make sure to also check any additional power supplies currently connected to your device to ensure they are functional as well. Once you have gone through all potential connections,reset them if deemed necessary, before attempting any other technical adjustments or procedures.

Check the wiring

Checking the wiring of the alarm system is an important first step when troubleshooting your ADT alarm. Make sure the wires are securely connected and all connections are tight. Check your power source and backup power supply if applicable to ensure they are both installed and functioning properly. Review any additional connections needed for sensors, keypads, etc., to ensure they are connected according to installation instructions. If any of these connections have been loosened or damaged, you may experience false alarms or none at all. Always refer to the original installation instructions for guidance on how to properly wire your system before attempting any repairs or replacing components.


Maintaining your ADT alarm system is an important part of prolonging the life of your system and keeping it operating optimally. Regular maintenance will ensure that the system is always working properly and that your home is secure. This section will discuss some of the maintenance tasks that you can do on your ADT alarm system to keep it running smoothly.

Replace batteries regularly

It’s important to replace the batteries in your ADT alarm system regularly to ensure your system is always powered. The amount of time between battery replacements varies depending on the type of system you have, but generally it should be done at least once a year. Proper maintenance will help keep your home safe and secure.

Before replacing the batteries, complete a full test of all components to get an idea of how much energy is being used. This will help you assess the remaining battery life and know when it’s time for replacement. Some systems have visual or audible alarms that indicate when low battery levels are detected and require attention.

When replacing batteries, ensure that all connections are properly tightened before testing the system again. You should also check for corrosion and other signs of damage. Should any problems arise, contact your local ADT representative right away to seek assistance with repairs or replacements as needed. Keeping a record of maintenance tasks helps you stay up-to-date on all aspects of operation concerning your home security system

Test your system regularly

It’s important to test your ADT alarm system regularly to ensure it is functioning properly. Regular tests should be conducted weekly or bi-weekly, as well as whenever new equipment is installed or changes made to the system.

A successful test should include testing all components of the alarm system, such as the control panel, sensors, keypads, remote access devices and more. When complete, each component should be displaying normally.

When testing your ADT alarm system you should activate each type of protection it provides (e.g., theft protection and emergency response). If any part of your system does not respond properly, contact service personnel immediately for assistance and further instruction on corrective measures that may need to be taken.

Testing your system includes ensuring batteries are up-to-date and replacement batteries are regularly tested: monthly for systems that use non-rechargeable batteries and quarterly for systems that use rechargeable batteries. Lastly, if testing reveals a failure in any aspect of the system’s operation it is important to immediately contact service personnel – either from ADT or from a licensed installer – for assistance in facilitating repairs or replacements as needed.

Contact ADT for help if needed

ADT offers extensive technical and customer support for its customers. If you are having difficulties with your ADT Alarm system, do not attempt to fix it yourself as this may lead to further damage or leave you vulnerable. Instead, contact an authorized ADT representative by sending an email to [email protected] or call the ADT technical support line at 1-888-238-2727 from 9am to 8pm EST Monday through Saturday (closed Sunday).

An ADT representative will provide you with guidance and the best possible solution for any malfunctioning of your alarm system. They can also assist you in setting up a home visit with a technician providing personalized service if needed. If more severe damage is found, they may refer you to a trusted contractor or specialist who can fix it quickly and protect your property from further additions of damage or loss.

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