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What is an Alarm Duress Code?

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Ever consider the idea that a home intruder may force you to turn off your home alarm? Ever think that there’s a way you could secretly signal this to the authorities when you turn off the alarm while your captor is watching?

There is: the alarm duress code. This code is entered on the keypad, sending a silent signal to the monitoring station of the system provider. This does not disable the system. But to your captor, you’re simply obeying his command to disable the system. He may not even know there’s even a such thing as an alarm duress code, and thus won’t have a clue what you’re really doing.

Most ADT systems’ default duress code is 2580. Call your provider if you don’t have ADT to see if it has a duress code. If you don’t yet have a security system installed, inquire about this with the technician as well as the company.

Duress codes are effective. However, they also provide peace of mind for any homeowner.

The problem with default duress codes is that if a burglar/home invader knows it, he’ll know you are signaling distress. So find out if your system has a default duress code. The user’s manual usually won’t tell you; the technician’s manual usually has this information. If there’s a default code, immediately change it. Of course, if there’s none, take measures to get one.

Other Kinds of Duress Codes

A duress code need not be electronic. It can be by voice if you’re on the phone. Your captor actually may permit you to make a call (such as to get a PIN). Of course, you’ll already have your secret word or phrase confirmed with those you trust.

The code must not be obvious to the captor, but so well-confirmed that there’s no doubt you’re in trouble. For example, everyone knows you hate sushi: “I’m about to order sushi and I forgot my cash.”

Any duress code should be simple enough to always remember, but not “discoverable.” Make sure everyone has it memorized; it should never be written down anywhere.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to BestHomeSecurityCompanys.com discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

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