Frequently Asked Questions

  • I’ve been thinking about buying a security system for a while, but I don’t know much about them. Can you tell me more? A57BBA2E-698F-48F0-B33B-2065EDD2448B

    A security system starts with a control panel. Usually located in a closet or a basement, the control panel contains the “brains” of the security system, and essentially operates as a central computer. Various sensors connect to the control panel from locations throughout your home. If your security system is armed and the sensors detect a problem, they send signals to the control panel. The control panel automatically dials the central monitoring station, where the proper authorities are notified.

  • What does the keypad do? A57BBA2E-698F-48F0-B33B-2065EDD2448B

    You operate your security system by entering your security code at the keypad. Generally located at entry doors, keypads can arm and disarm with push-button ease, and literally put security at your family’s fingertips! Good features to look for include illuminated keys to provide you with greater visibility at nighttime, easy-to-read English displays that spell out your system’s status at a glance, and one-touch function keys that provide single-button operation for arming, disarming or emergencies. Most keypads even offer convenient additional user codes to give friends, neighbors or service people access to your home.

  • What are magnetic contacts? A57BBA2E-698F-48F0-B33B-2065EDD2448B

    Magnetic contacts are two-part devices used to safeguard windows and doors. One part of the contact is a switch installed in the window or door jam; the other contains a magnet and is placed in the window or door itself. Any noticeable shift in contact with the switch results in an alarm.

  • What is a PIR? A57BBA2E-698F-48F0-B33B-2065EDD2448B

    A passive infrared motion detector (PIR) is an electronic security device that detects intruders by “sensing” motion or body heat in the area being protected. Most PIRs are designed to be used when your family is away from home or when no one will be passing through the area “covered” by the PIR.

  • I have a dog. Does that mean I can’t install a PIR? A57BBA2E-698F-48F0-B33B-2065EDD2448B

    Absolutely not. Recent innovations in security technology have resulted in the creation of “pet immune” motion detectors-allowing dog and cat lovers to enjoy the same level of protection they would receive with a standard PIR. These state-of-the-art sensors provide “pet immunity” for animals weighing up to 100 lbs. Pet immune PIRs allow your pet to move about freely but can still detect an intruder’s movement.

  • Speaking of sensors, how are the “glassbreak” kind operated? A57BBA2E-698F-48F0-B33B-2065EDD2448B

    “Acoustic” glassbreak sensors, usually mounted on ceilings or walls, work by “listening” for the sound of breaking glass in a window. “Shock” glassbreak detectors are mounted on the window and “feel” the shock of breaking glass. This kind of advanced wireless technology can provide shatter and shock protection for your windows, for often intruders are “sensed” and an alarm sounded while they are still outdoors. This is often enough to send a burglar running!

  • Do “wireless” security devices really work and how long do the batteries last? A57BBA2E-698F-48F0-B33B-2065EDD2448B

    Yes on both counts! Technological breakthroughs have led to the development of wireless electronic security products, and their effectiveness has been proven time and again over the years in millions of installations. Their rock-solid stability and long battery life make them a popular choice among homeowners and dealers alike. They give installers the flexibility they need to overcome obstacles like brick walls, cement floors and cathedral ceilings; and no drilling holes preserves the beauty of your home and results in cleaner, faster installations. Folks today enjoy the convenience of remote control devices, and the security industry has responded! User-friendly wireless products provide the dual benefits of superior performance and ease of operation. Wireless keypads allow you to activate and de-activate your security system with the touch of a button, and can even be programmed so that a young child can operate it with ease. Homeowners especially love wireless keys! Similar in size to a remote car alarm key, they fit right on your keychain, and the press of a single button lets you control your system, lights and appliances-eliminating the need for codes. This is especially great if you and your family enjoy spending time outdoors. Relax by the pool, garden, barbecue and entertain, or play with your kids in the backyard-enjoy extra mobility without compromising your safety! Another hot item gaining popularity is the interactive phone module. By adding the phone module to your home security system, you’ll have remote control access from any touch-tone or cellular phone-from your office, on the road, or anywhere in the world! Conveniently arm, disarm or check the status of your system, turn your lights on or off-you can even control your thermostat and air conditioner!

  • Does my home alarm have to be registered with HPD? A57BBA2E-698F-48F0-B33B-2065EDD2448B

    Yes, home and business burglary-type alarms must be registered. Currently, the alarm registration and tracking is handled by the Public Safety Corporation – or PSC. It’s a private vendor contracted by the City and County of Honolulu. PSC is the developer of CryWolf, an alarm tracking and billing system that is also used by many mainland cities. The initial alarm registration fee is $15, and the annual renewal fee is $5. For more information, visit You can also call the Honolulu False Alarm Reduction Program (toll free) at 1 (855) 725-7109.

Alarm Ordinance Highlights


  • All alarms must be registered before use.
  • If you fail to register your alarm you will be fined $100.
  • The initial registration fee will be $15 for the first year.
  • The renewal fee will be $5 each year after that.
  • Each registered alarm will have three (3) free false alarm calls each year. Each subsequent false alarm will incur a service charge of $50.




Repeated Malfunction Within 72 hours


If you have a problem with your alarm which causes it to malfunction repeatedly within a seventy-two hour period you may ask that these be put together as one occurrence if you can show:


  • The problem was corrected and you do not have any other false alarms within 30 days for the same problem. This is called the common cause provision.




Tips to reduce false alarms


  • If you accidentally set off your alarm, let your alarm company know. Remember your pass code and/or password.
  • Make sure that all alarm users and key holders to the building or home are trained to use the system and know the codes to arm and disarm the system including how to cancel a false alarm.
  • Do not call 911 to cancel a false alarm. You should call your alarm company.
  • You may arrange to have your alarm company call you or another designated person first, instead of the police, when your alarm is activated. This is known as verification.
  • If you expect workers, real estate agents, delivery persons, etc., you should not set your alarm. If you must set your alarm, meet with the people at your site to deactivate the alarm.
  • If your system sends a duress signal when an incorrect code is entered, you might consider having that feature disconnected. Often in a rush to arm or disarm the alarm, an incorrect code is entered and the police are dispatched.
  • Be sure that doors and windows are tight fitting. Adjust hinges and strike plates so the door only moves about ¼ inch when pulled or pushed on. Have an alarming delay of at least 45 seconds on all doors.

Honolulu Crime Map

See an interactive map of crime incidents in Honolulu.

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