What to Expect in an Alarm Situation

What to Expect in an Alarm Situation

Written By

The Vivint Smart Home Team

There are five categories of alarm events that your Vivint system can trigger. They are as follows: Burglary, panic, medical, fire, and duress. Read below to find out what the different alarms mean, what will happen when they are triggered, and when you will use them.

Though we hope you will never have to activate any of these alarms, we want to help prepare you for the worst. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Burglary alarm: This is the most common alarm type and the most common to cause false alarms. If you or a family member forget that the system is armed and trigger a sensor such as a door sensor, or if the system is armed and an intruder triggers a sensor, the system will begin a countdown. Please note that there is not a countdown for perimeter sensors such as window sensors and glass break detectors.  If the system is not disarmed before the end of the countdown, an alarm will be triggered. Here is what you can expect to happen next:

  1. A Vivint monitoring representative will first try to contact you through the panel and ask for your verbal passcode that you set up when the system was installed. This is different from your four digit panel pin and may be a word, number, or combination of both
  2. If we cannot reach you through the panel, your first emergency contact number will be called
  3. If we cannot reach you at the first number, we will call the second emergency contact number
  4. If we still have not reached you, we will dispatch the local agency to your home
  5. After the dispatch, all emergency contacts will be called to notify you of the alarm and dispatch. Your verbal passcode will be required to cancel the dispatch

Panic alarm: A panic alarm can be triggered from the panel or a key fob. This alarm type should be used in the case of any type of emergency that does not fit any of the other alarm types. It can also be used for medical emergencies. The order of actions for a panic alarm are similar to that of a burglary alarm:

  1. A Vivint monitoring representative will first try to contact you through the panel and ask for your verbal passcode
  2. If we cannot reach you through the panel, your first emergency contact number will be called
  3. If we cannot reach you at the first emergency phone number, we will dispatch the local agency to your home
  4. After the dispatch, all emergency contacts will be called to notify you of the alarm and dispatch. Your verbal passcode will be required to cancel the dispatch

Medical alarm: A medical alarm is slightly different from a panic alarm and should only be used in the case of a medical emergency. You can trigger this alarm type by pushing the ‘+’ button on your panel and then holding down the emergency button for at least two seconds. You can also use a Vivint Medical Pendant to trigger this alarm type by holding down the button for at least three seconds.

  1. A Vivint monitoring representative will first try to contact you through the panel to confirm the alarm
  2. If we cannot reach you through the panel, we will dispatch the local agency to your home
  3. After the dispatch, all emergency contacts will be called to notify you of the alarm and dispatch

Fire alarm: Fire alarms are triggered by smoke detectors or the panel. If you would like to send a fire alarm from the panel, you can do so by pressing the ‘+’ button on your panel and holding down the fire button for at least two seconds. However, in the case of a fire, we recommend that you exit the home immediately. We will proceed as follows in the case of a fire alarm:

  1. We will first attempt to contact you through the panel, just in case it is a false alarm, and ask for your verbal passcode (Depending on your area and local regulations, this step may be skipped)
  2. If we do not reach you through the panel, we will then call your first emergency contact number
  3. If we are unable to contact you, we will dispatch your local fire department
  4. After the dispatch, all emergency contacts will be called to notify you of the alarm and dispatch. Your verbal passcode will be required to cancel the dispatch

Duress alarm: The duress alarm type is the last type of alarm and is very different from the other four. Your Vivint system will have a default duress code programed to the panel. If you do not remember your duress code, you can check it on your panel by accessing your users and tapping on the duress user. We recommend that you do not change this code so that Vivint can assist you. To activate a duress alarm, your system must be armed and you will disarm it with the duress code. A duress alarm is for situations where you need emergency personnel sent to your home but don’t want to alert an intruder that you are calling for help. For example, if you are being forcibly held in your home and need to disarm your panel, you can use this code to stop the panel alarm while simultaneously alerting Vivint that you are in distress and need immediate assistance. This is what will happen:

  1. A Vivint monitoring agent will connect to the panel and listen silently for 30 seconds for suspicious activity
  2. If suspicious activity is not heard, the monitoring agent will disconnect and dispatch the local agency. If suspicious activity is heard, the monitoring agent will stay on the line and have another agent dispatch the local agency
  3. After the dispatch, our monitoring agents will wait 30 minutes before attempting to contact the emergency contact numbers on your account to notify you of the alarm and dispatch

If you ever press any of the emergency buttons or trigger an alarm by accident, you will be able to enter your user code to silence the alarm. Please be ready with your verbal passcode to let us know of the false alarm when we attempt to contact you at the panel or at your emergency contact number. You can also call at 800.216.5232 with your verbal passcode and notify us of the false alarm.