FAQ

Select a topic to learn more

Question not answered here? We'd be happy to help you, just contact us.

1Alarm Triggering
I accidentally tripped my alarm, what should I do now ?

First and foremost don't panic and remain calm, enter your security code (and press "OFF" for some systems). If your system still doesn't disarm, try your code again. If the system still doesn't disarm call Buffalo Alarm - give them your password and name and tell them you accidentally tripped your alarm.

Will the system re-arm after a break-in attempt?

During an attempted break-in, the system automatically goes into alarm mode. The system remains armed until a user keys in their code + off. If there is a subsequent detection, the system goes into alarm mode again.

What happens when the alarm gets triggered?

When your system that is being monitored by Buffalo Alarm goes into an alarm mode, it sends a signal to our central monitoring station. This signal tells us the type / location of the alarm. Depending on the type of alarm signal, you will receive a call from us to determine if there is an emergency and, if needed, we will call the proper emergency support officials and call you to update you of the situation.

What happens when the alarm goes off?

Buffalo Alarms Central Station dispatcher will call you to verify and validate the alarm and will ask for your password. If we don't get an answer within 3 rings, or the correct password is not provided, the proper authorities (Police/Medical/Fire) are immediately notified. The alarm will attempt to reset itself after approximately 15 minutes and the siren will stop sounding. If a break-in occurs, the police will often notify the Central Station and also report their findings to you.

What happens if there is a power failure?

All systems we sell usually have a rechargeable backup battery. The backup battery will operate the system for a minimum of four hours (and often longer, depending on usage and number of installed devices). While operating on back up battery, the system retains all the alarm functions.

2Billing Facts
How do I terminate Central Monitoring service?

Due to regulations, we cannot stop your services and will bill you until we have received a letter in writing from you stating you wish to discontinue monitoring.

I'm moving, does Buffalo Alarm provide service in my new area?

Possibly; Buffalo Alarm provides service to customers throughout Western New York. Through our dealer network Buffalo Alarm can assist you with obtaining the same high level of service in your new home or office no matter where you move.

What is the billing policy?

Buffalo Alarm can bill you on a quarterly, semi-annual or annual basis. Buffalo Alarm accepts checks and money orders. We also accept phone payments through credit/debit card.

Is there a late fee if I fail to pay in time?

Yes, Buffalo Alarm will charge your subsequent payment period at an annual percentage rate of 16%.

What is my "account number"?

Buffalo Alarm provides you with a single account number which appears in your billing statement and the contractual agreement signed during installation.

Where and whom should I send the check to?

The check should be payable to Buffalo Alarm Inc and should have your account number. You can mail your check to the following address:
Buffalo Alarm
1325 Millersport Hwy, Suite 109
Buffalo NY 14221

3Monitoring
Why should my security system be monitored by Buffalo Alarm?

We have a professional and trained staff who knows how to respond when an alarm gets triggered. We configure the system according to your choice so that we know how we should respond to an alarm and we will notify the police / fire department, First Aid, your pager, nearby relative/friend if required. The central station also is able to keep track of each individual alarm system's status, battery power and communication functions so that we can take care of any problem if it requires attention.

How is the communication made to the central station?

A basic alarm system communicates over your regular telephone line. Advanced wireless solutions like Cellular and two way radio reporting are also available.

If I am already using the phone, how will the alarm communicate with the Central Station while I am using the phone?

By installing a special jack and running a connection between it and the telephone jack in the room both can operate simultaneously. This means that it does not matter if anyone was talking on the telephone, or if an intruder took the telephone off the hook, the alarm will send a signal and properly communicate with the monitoring station. We also offer Cellular and two way radio reporting as a back-up communication path to insure receipt of the alarm signal in the event of loss of normal telephone service.

What if the telephone is in use when the system goes into alarm?

Each alarm system is equipped with a digital communicator that is designed to "seize" the phone line when it needs to communicate with the central station. This prevents an "off hook" or "in use" phone line from preventing the system from communicating an alarm.

What happens if the alarm goes off and I cannot be reached?

At the time of the installation we ask for a list of two or more emergency contact persons and we use this information to contact the persons in the list when we are unable to reach you.

Will you track if the system is armed or disarmed?

Some of the systems have the ability to call a pager and notify you when a particular user arms or disarms the system. Moreover you can request us to set up during installation so that it shows up on our monitoring system when the system is armed or disarmed.

What if I forgot my password?

For security and safety Buffalo Alarm can only send your current password through U.S.P.S mail.

How do you respond to Fire Alarm Signals?

We first call your premises and, in case there is no answer after three rings, the proper authorities are notified and also the emergency contacts are notified. In case the alarm was triggered falsely you should call Buffalo Alarm and notify us.

How are Commercial Fire Alarm Signals handled at my business?

In case of a commercial Fire Alarm, we first notify the Fire department and then a call is initiated to the premises to alert the customer that the fire department is on its way. If there is no answer after three rings, the emergency contacts are notified.

How are Panic Alarm Signals Handled by the Central Station?

There is no verification done for these signals. Authorities are sent immediately. In case the alarm was triggered falsely you should call Buffalo Alarm and notify us.

How are Commercial Holdup Signals Handled by the Central Station?

There is no verification for these signals. Authorities are sent immediately. In case the alarm was triggered falsely, you should call Buffalo Alarm and notify us.

How are Emergency Alert Signals Handled by the Central Station?

A call is initiated to your premises to verify the nature of the alert and then special instructions may be issued to you if necessary.

How are Late-To-Test Signals handled by the Central Station?

When these types of signals are triggered a call is initiated to your premises to determine the problem and, if there is no answer the emergency contacts are notified.

4General
Why should I choose Buffalo Alarm?

Buffalo Alarm has served Western New York for three generations. We install, service and monitor security systems and fire systems. In addition, Buffalo Alarm designs, installs and services closed circuit television systems (CCTV) and access control systems. We take our business very seriously and have highly trained personnel to take care of your installation, service and consultancy. We take great pride in our work and constantly strive to ensure that our products, workmanship and services exceed the expectations of our customers. We provide services for both residential and commercial needs with a full range of intrusion, fire, access control, and video surveillance solutions.

Where is Buffalo Alarm's Service Territory?

Buffalo Alarm is proud to provide service to customers throughout New York State.

How much does an alarm system cost?

Our alarm packages start as low as $299. But, depending on your needs, the cost can vary considerably according to your choices.

I want a security system but my house is not pre-wired. Can you still install a system without running wires everywhere?

Yes! Installation of the wires are almost invisible. We even have some wonderful wireless solutions to address the situation.

Whom should I call first during an emergency?

If you have an emergency, contact 911 first. If you cannot reach 911 press the panic or fire alarm button using the touchpad and Buffalo Alarm will request emergency services.

5False Alarms
What causes false alarms?

The most common reasons include user errors (i.e. forgetting pin code), faulty equipment, improper installation, programming errors or extreme weather conditions. The most common cause of non-user related false alarms is movement within a motion detector's field or view while the system is armed - triggered by pets or movement of curtains, blinds, faulty doors or windows, water leaks etc.

Why is my motion sensor false alarming?

This can be due to improper installation above or near a heater or furnace, movement of objects such as curtains, blinds. The motion detector may require relocation or adjustment by a Buffalo Alarm technician.

Can animals cause a PIR to go into alarm?

Yes, since pets are warm, moving mass. However, nowadays there are PIR's designed with the technology to differentiate between an animal and a human.

6Alarm Installation
How long will it take to install my security system?

That depends on the choice of the system and the complexity involved in wiring the system. Our typical residential systems take a single day for installation.

Is Installation charge included in your alarm packages?

Yes, installation is included.

7Registration / License
Who registers us with the police department or do I need a license or permit to have an alarm system?

You should check with your local police department or building inspector for the latest information. More and more municipalities are requiring end users of alarm systems to be registered, and have a permit.

Do the Police and Fire Departments charge for responding to false alarms?

In many areas the Police and Fire Departments do charge fines to alarm users for responding to false alarms. Some authorities allow you one or two false alarms for free; after that you will be fined if its determined that it was not an actual alarm. The rules, regulations and fines vary by municipality / county.

8Service
What should I do if my system isn't working properly?

Call Buffalo Alarm immediately and explain the problems. We will send someone to your premises if necessary.

What does display read "No AC" mean?

The system requires AC utility power for normal operation. Once the AC is restored the display should return to normal.

How can I "Bypass" a zone?

On most systems we install you can bypass by typing in your user code followed by pressing the bypass key and then the zone number. The bypass feature is useful to leave a window or door open to exclude it from being monitored.

What does keypad display "not ready" mean?

It means that the alarm system is not ready to turn on, common reasons for this may be a motion detector sensing movement, and un-cleared system memory or the window or door not properly closed. Try to correct the condition; if it still does not work contact us and we will go over with you possible problems.

Can I replace the backup battery myself?

Yes, you can. If your require assistance, we can walk you through the procedure. If you are not comfortable doing it by yourself, we will schedule a service technician to come to your home and change out the battery for a service fee.

How long do the backup batteries last?

The battery on the control panel usually lasts for five years. Wireless transmitter batteries usually last for two to three years. Security systems monitor the status of the batteries and, should the battery become weak, the central monitoring station will notify you.

What if my system doesn't work right?

Buffalo alarm will investigate and fix the problems with your equipment.

If there's a problem, can you turn my system off remotely?

No, for security reasons we do not have this provision. The turn off has to be done at your end.

9Smoke Detector
What is the advantage of having a monitored smoke detector?

Without a monitored smoke detector you have to be alert all the time and see that someone is around the house always. If you are not at home, there is very little chance that someone else hears the alarm and informs the fire department. Hence, with 24 hours monitoring of smoke detector our central station will continuously monitor your home for any alarm and will inform the proper authorities on any alarm condition. Besides this, smoke detectors that run on batteries need timely replacement of batteries; a monitored smoked detector will send a signal to the central station about a weak battery.

Should I use an Ionization or Photoelectric smoke detector?

Either technology can detect a fast flaming or slow smoldering fire, but response times can vary. Ionization detectors respond well to fast flaming fires, such as paper. Photoelectric detectors are well suited to detecting slow smoldering fires, which are often generated in households.

Can my burglar alarm system detect a fire?

A burglar system tries to detect motion using heat signatures; but, for all practical purposes, by the time they would detect a fire, it would be too late. Smoke detector and heat sensors are designed to detect smoke which is the biggest killer. Therefore, you must have smoke detectors in your home or office.

10Telephone/Communications
Does a security system require a separate phone line to communicate with your Monitoring Center?

No, a separate phone line is not required. We do however, seize your phone line for a few seconds when an emergency signal has to be transmitted to our monitoring station.

How does the system connect to the phone lines?

The security system has the ability to separate your home phones from the telephone company's incoming line. This is accomplished by installing a special jack which can be installed by Buffalo Alarm or your phone service provider.

What happens if my phone line is cut or is out of service?

There are alternative methods to transmit the signal to the central station in case of phone line cuts, these are internet, cellular and radio backup systems but the installation and service charges are slightly more for these systems.

What is Alarmnet?

Alarmnet offers backup communications for the alarm signal in the event of loss of the regular telephone line. Alarmnet has options of using the internet or cellular telephone network or Mobitex radio network to communicate alarm signals to our central monitoring system.

11Testing
Do I need to test my system periodically?

Yes, testing is necessary for insuring proper operation of the system. The testing should be performed to insure that all devices are functioning properly and that signals are sent to our central Station. Please consult the product manuals or give us a call to consult us. You must call and notify us before you do a test as the various alarm signals are sent to our central station, also we have schemes for scheduled inspection of your system to ensure proper functioning.

What should be the frequency of the tests?

We encourage you to test your system daily and at least once a month.

How do I test my security system?

Call us first and notify us that you would like to test your system. Provide your password to the operator and the operator will authorize you to test your system.

Can the System Test be automated?

Most of the systems can be programmed for automatic test on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. The automatic test is designed to check the communication between your control panel and the Buffalo Alarm monitoring station and does not test the detection devices. For the individual devices or sirens, you have to manually test each device by arming the system and activating each device.

Am I responsible for testing the system regularly?

Yes, it is your responsibility to make sure that all your devices are working properly. Buffalo Alarm can only initiate tests that check the communications and not the working of individual devices. It is easy to test your system; just refer your user handbook provided.

12System Overview
How does a security system work?

The main central control system is the control panel. All the individual sensors are connected to the master control panel from various protected areas throughout your home or office. The master control system receives signals from all the sensors and on detecting a problem transmits the signal to the central monitoring station. The central Station then dispatches the proper authorities if necessary. To learn about how Buffalo Alarm responds to alarm conditions see section "Monitoring"

What devices can be monitored by an alarm system?

Some of the systems that can be monitored are Smoke & Fire Detectors, Panic buttons, Freezer monitors, Low temperature sensors, High temperature sensors, Window contacts, Wireless key remotes, Glass break detectors, Carbon Monoxide detectors, Water Level detectors. Please call us to enquire about the complete list of services we provide.

What if I have pets?

We have motion sensors that can be specifically set so that a pet under a certain weight and size will not trigger the alarm. The sensors use state of the art dual sensor technology located in the motion detector which is able to distinguish pet's characteristics against those of human beings.

What is PIR?

PIR stands for Passive Infrared which detects the movement of infrared energy. This sensor along with a motion detector is able to pick up rapid change in temperature and motion and notifies the central control panel to transmit the signal to the central monitoring station. The device gets activated when the console is in the "AWAY" mode, in the "STAY" mode the unit is deactivated allowing for freedom of movement when you are home.

What kind of sensors are connected to the master control panel?

Sensors can include magnetic contacts, glass breakage sensors, interior detectors such as passive infrared motion detectors, which detect motion and body heat. Other detectors can sense a drop in temperature (freezer protection), the presence of carbon monoxide, water leaks, fire and smoke or even a change in humidity in the wine cooler. The possibilities are endless.

Is my system fully functional all the time?

Your smoke detectors, panic buttons, flood detectors, temperature alarms and carbon monoxide detectors and tamper switches are functional all the time. You have the ability to arm and disarm the burglar portion of your system.

Can the system be disarmed when at home in the evening?

Yes, arming your system in "STAY MODE" disarms the interior motion detector(s).

I want someone to be able to arm my system without giving them my code?

The Quick-Arm feature can be used to program the system by using the "#" + Function buttons to arm in the Away, Stay or Instant modes.

What are points of protection? What are Zones?

Points of protection are individual devices for detecting and opening or any other condition. Zones are groups of protection points. The more zones the master control has the more complicated the system and the cost increases.

What is a magnetic contact?

This is a device that protects doors and windows. There are two parts to it, one part of the contact is a switch installed in the door jam or window frame, the other part is a magnet installed in the door or window itself. The switch signals an alarm when the magnet moves away from the switch.

Will Central Monitoring Station receive an alarm signal if the system is not armed?

Yes and No. We will from your fire alarm and environmental devices that are always on, but we will not receive a signal from your burglar alarm system unless it is "armed".

How long does it take my alarm system to contact the Central Monitoring Station?

The alarm system is designed to have a delay time for the alarm user. The delay time is set to the user time to disarm the system to prevent false alarm conditions. This time is set at the time of installation and ranges between 30 seconds to 3 minutes.

Can you turn off my system remotely?

No; for security, we cannot do it. The only way it can be turned off is through the keypad(s) located in your home.

How does the motion sensor work?

See "how a PIR works" to know more about it.

How does a glass break sensor work?

There are two types of glass break sensors, "acoustic" sensors and "shock" sensors. The acoustic sensors are mounted on walls or ceilings and detect sounds of breaking glass in a window or door. The shock sensors are mounted on the window and detect the shock generated from the breaking of glass. A glass break sensor can detect an intruder while he is still outside your home.

They’ve already trusted us



We mean business.


Get a FREE quote

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Menu