Welcome to Video Surveillance Corporation’s (VSC) frequently asked questions page. Here you will find answers to questions you may have concerning the operation of your alarm, video, access control or intercom systems. Categories start with Alarm, then Video, then Intercom, and so on down the page. If you don’t find what you are looking for, give us a call and we’ll be happy to assist you. We’ll also put the answer to your question on the list, so it can benefit someone else.
GENERAL ALARM INFORMATION
WHAT IS MY PASSWORD (Pass-code)
Your password (pass-code) is the name or word you submitted to us when we first installed your alarm system. It’s on record with the central station that monitors your system. Your password will be required whenever you speak to the central station during an alarm condition, or if you want to put your alarm system on “Test” because of construction or some other reason. It identifies you as the rightful owner and authorized to discuss your system with them. Do not give your password to anyone except the monitoring company when you asked.
WHAT IS MY USER CODE?
Each authorized user of your alarm should have their own unique four-digit code that they will use to arm/disarm and reset your system. Every system we install is capable of storing multiple user codes which allows us to identify who entered and exited your premises, and when they did it. Sharing your code with others removes this tracking feature. If you have a friend or relative check your home whenever you are away, they should have their own user code. (DO NOT CONFUSE YOUR USER CODE WITH YOUR PASSWORD, THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING)
RESETTING YOUR ALARM PANEL
Whenever an alarm or trouble condition occurs, the event will be retained in your system’s memory, and in some cases, displayed on your keypad as a notice to you that an event has occurred. After the cause of the alarm or trouble has been determined and resolved, you will need to reset your system in order to remove the event from memory. To do this, enter you four-digit code, and then press the number 1 key (OFF), the same as if you were disarming the system. Repeat this procedure one more time to clear the event from the system.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW WHEN I GO ON VACATION
If you have a relative or trusted neighbor check your home while you are on vacation, you need to make sure they know how your alarm system works, and what procedures to use before they arm/disarm your system. There’s nothing more embarrassing then to be found walking around someone else’s home, with a siren screaming as the police come through the front door. The following are just a few things for you to confirm before you leave for your vacation:
- Confirm that the people checking your home know their four-digit USER code.
- Confirm that they have a system PASSWORD.
- Confirm that they know how to arm & disarm your alarm, and the amount of entry/exit time available before they set off the system.
- Confirm they know to answer the your phone and give the monitoring company operator the PASSWORD should they set off the alarm.
MONITORING COMPANY PROCEDURES
The purpose of monitoring an alarm is to summon the authorities in the event of an emergency, not to have emergency service run calls on false alarms. During an alarm condition, the monitoring company will call the location of the alarm system in order to determine if the alarm signal is real or false. If you or a friend has accidentally set off the system, you should anticipate the phone call from the monitoring company. Answer the phone and give the operator the PASSWORD when asked. Failure to answer the phone, or failure to give the operator the correct PASSWORD, will result in the police being dispatched to your location. Also, DO NOT have your phone answered by a machine. The monitoring company can’t ask a machine for a PASSWORD. Finally, confirm that you have not changed your location telephone number since your alarm was installed. The central station can’t verify an alarm if they call the wrong number…
SMOKE AND CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS
If your alarm system has smoke or carbon monoxide detectors connected to it, the manufacturers of these devices recommend that they be replaced every 5 or 6 years, and they should be inspected and tested yearly.
VSC Specialized In The Vista and Lyric Security Systems
The Vista Series
Controlling Your Vista System
Before You Arm Your Vista System
Before your system can be armed, you must first confirm that all protected zones such as doors and windows are closed, and that all fans, air conditioners, balloons or loose papers have been turned off, taken down or secured. Once you have secured everything, you should get a display on your keypad indicating that the system is “Ready to Arm”. If for any reason a zone cannot be secured, it must be “Bypassed” before you are able to arm the system. (See Bypassing Zones below)
Arming And Disarming Your Vista System(leaving the building when it is unoccupied)
Once your system indicates that it is ready to arm, enter your four-digit user code into the keypad, immediately followed by the number 2 key (AWAY). Exit the building before the per-programmed exit time expires; otherwise YOU will trigger an alarm! (Upon entering the building) An entry time countdown begins the instant you open your door. Enter your four-digit user code into the keypad, followed by the number 1 key (OFF). The system will disarm. Do not exceed the entry time programmed into your alarm; otherwise YOU will trigger an alarm. Remember, during an alarm condition, the monitoring company will call your location. answer your phone and be sure to give the operator the correct password in order to cancel the alarm and prevent the police from being dispatched needlessly.
Arming In The “Stay” Mode(arming the system with the building occupied)
To arm your system while you are still at home, you must arm the system in the “STAY” mode. The Stay mode allows you free movement throughout your home while mainlining all your perimeter detection. To use the Stay mode, first enter your four-digit USER code into your keypad, followed by the #3 (STAY) button. Once completed, all perimeter detection is activated, while all interior detectors are deactivated, allowing you to move around freely.
There may be times when you need to bypass a zone so that you can arm the rest of your system. Bypassing may be necessary because of construction in a particular area of your premises, or for some other reason. However, conditions do apply before bypassing can take place:
- Your alarm system must be disarmed before you can bypass any zones.
- Bypassed zones are unprotected and will not cause an alarm if violated.
- Bypassed zones will be automatically reset each time your system is disarmed, requiring you to re-apply the bypass for that zone each time you arm your system.
- The system will not allow smoke detector zones to be bypassed.
- To begin the bypass process, first enter your four-digit USER CODE into the keypad followed by the #6 (BYPASS) key.
- Immediately enter a 2-digit zone number for the zone you wish to bypass. (Example: Zones 1 through 9, must be preceded by a zero first) (e.g.., 06, 01, 09, etc.)
- While processing, the keypad will momentarily display a “Bypass” message for each zone selected.
- When processing is completed, (depending upon which keypad you have) you should get an indication on the keypad that your system is ready to arm, with zones bypassed. You can then arm your system if you’re leaving the building, or you can just leave the system disarmed with the zone bypassed.
Being able to remotely view your camera system is always a helpful tool to have. But the ability to remotely view is a capability made available through your Internet Service, not Video Surveillance Corp. We can connect your system to your Internet service, but we are not your Internet Service Provider and we do not guarantee your Internet service, the operation of your router, your modem, your cabling, your computers, your smartphone or other web-enabled devices that you use to remotely view your surveillance system. Be aware that updates to your Internet service by your service provider or software updates made to your smartphones by your phone company, may adversely affect your ability to remotely connect to your system.
DIGITAL VIDEO RECORDER (DVR)
Your video surveillance system may use a digital video recorder to save and document images from your cameras. The DVR is a computerized device that utilizes specialized software to record and playback images. It should be given the same care and considerations as your computers are given. Avoid blocking the air vents and fan of the unit to ensure proper ventilation. Avoid using it as a shelf to store things on. Try to avoid shaking or vibrating the machine as this is bad for the hard drive, as is powering down the machine improperly. Most importantly, test the unit every couple of weeks to ensure that it is operating properly. There’s nothing worse than the sinking feeling you get when you realize that an important event you thought you had recorded on your machine, is not there after all.
UNINTERRUPTIBLE POWER SUPPLY (UPS)
If you’re concerned about losing data stored on your DVR because of power failures, then you should be using a UPS unit. These devices provide temporary 110 volt AC line voltage to keep equipment powered through momentary power interruptions. With the use of an onboard standby battery, a UPS will give you sufficient time to properly shut down your DVR, until the power problem is resolved.