Most Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Security


What is a cancel code?

A Cancel Code is a signal that is transmitted to the monitoring station when an alarm system is disarmed (turned off) after an intrusion alarm has occurred. Since disarming occurs as a result of the user entering a valid user code, the receipt of the Cancel Code tells the station an authorized user is on the premise. Not all alarm systems are programmed with Cancel Codes.

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How does monitoring station know an alarm has occurred?

An alarm occurs at a premise when one of the various detectors (door/window contacts, smoke detectors, panic buttons, etc) is activated while the respective zone is armed. This causes the digital dialer in the alarm panel to phone the Counterforce receiver and send a message containing the customers account number followed by an alarm signal. The alarm signal code tells the central monitoring station what type of alarm was generated.

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How does the operator know how to respond?

Once an alarm signal is received at our monitoring station, the receiver decodes the alarm signal and sends it to the main computer. The computer looks up the customers account number to determine what instructions must be followed to process the alarm.  The alarm is then sent to an operator terminal with complete instructions on how the operator should respond.

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How does monitoring station determine whether an alarm is real or false?

The standard procedure at our monitoring station is to verify all alarms by calling the premise. The station will allow the phone to ring 3-4 times. If it is between 21:00 - 06:00 and the phone is not answered, the authorities will be dispatched immediately. If the alarm is an intrusion alarm between the hours of 06:00 - 21:00 the operators will call the premise and the first person on the call list before dispatching.

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Why is a password so important?

Passwords are required whenever you are communicating with the central monitoring station. Since it is easy for a thief to find out the name of an occupant or employee of a premise, a secret password is required to properly authorize occupants and guests. Each authorized person who has access to a premise should have his or her own unique password. The password should be a word that is easy for the individual to remember. If you need to add or delete a person and password from your call list, please access our Call List Update page or call the Monitoring Station at
1-800-591-7374.

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What languages do your operators speak?

Our central monitoring station has an AT&T Language line available for use at all times therefore we can communicate with any customer in any language. Please advise the monitoring station in advance of any specific language requirements so we can keep the information on file and be prepared when we contact you.

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Why can’t I use the phone when my alarm system goes off?

When an alarm occurs at your premise, the digital dialer in your alarm system uses your phone line to communicate with the central station. While the system is communicating your phone line will be unavailable. This is a very quick transaction so you will not be inconvenienced for long. If you are on the phone at the time an alarm is triggered, the alarm system has priority over your call, so your connection will be terminated immediately.

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What happens if the power goes off?

In most cases, it is not necessary to advise the central monitoring station the instant there is a loss of A/C power at your premise. Your alarm system will continue to operate under battery power. If the hydro is off for an extended period of time and your battery becomes low, a low battery signal will be sent to the central station and an operator will alert you to the fact that your system may not function if the battery runs out. A/C failures only need to be programmed if a customer has high value perishable goods or inventory and wants to be notified any time, night or day that the power is off.

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What do I do if my alarm goes off in the middle of the night?

If your alarm sounds at night while you are sleeping do not react by turning off your alarm system. By turning off your alarm system you may send a Cancel Code to the monitoring station and Counterforce will automatically assume the alarm is false. Before entering your Cancel Code, cautiously determine what caused the alarm.

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What do I do if I come home and find a broken window or door?

If you come home to this situation, do not enter the premise. The perpetrator may still be inside. Use a neighbours phone or a cellular phone to call the Counterforce Monitoring Station for information. If there has been a break-in and the police have not arrived yet, do not touch anything until the police have inspected for evidence.

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What do I do if my system needs service?

If you require service, please call your installing dealer. If you are unfamiliar with the contact information for your installing dealer, call Counterforce at 1-800-387-4641. We will be happy to assist you.

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