FAQ

General Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the difference between having an alarm system and having a monitored alarm system?

A local or non-monitored alarm system only audibly alerts you or optionally your neighbors by the installation of a siren. A local alarm does not send a signal to a Central Station. Having a monitored system adds an extra level of security by communicating specific alarm conditions to a Central Station. Depending on the condition, the appropriate authorities will be dispatched. On low priority signals, such as low battery, only you or your call list will be notified about the condition.

What are the benefits of having a monitored security/fire system?

Life safety:

  • Home Invasion Protection
  • Fire Detection
  • Medical Emergency Notification
  • Property Protection
  • Pet Safety

Burglary Deterrent :

“According to a recent study conducted by researchers at Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice, there is a direct correlation between a reduction in crime and the use of residential burglar alarms. The study found that there was a decrease in burglaries in areas that had an increase in the number of alarm systems installed.” SecurityInfoWatch.com

Savings on your homeowners insurance:

One large insurance provider is currently offering a 20% discount for a monitored security system with monitored smoke detectors. Please contact your insurance provider for more information.

Why should I have fire protection/monitored smoke alarms?

Fire safety should be a priority in every home. Smoke and heat detectors linked to your monitored security system can offer you true peace of mind, by notifying our central station of a possible fire condition. In addition to notifying the proper authorities, a monitored fire system may qualify you for a discount on your home owners insurance.

Hardwired electric smoke detectors and battery operated detectors are not designed to be linked to your security system. These detectors are for life safety only, and are too sensitive to be used as monitored devices. Security and fire system smoke detectors are more discriminating and are designed to eliminate many false fire alarms, while still providing reliable fire detection.

GCSI Security Group can professionally install and monitor these smoke detectors in your home, to provide you an extra level of fire protection for your family, pets, and possessions.

What are the benefits of having a Digital Surveillance Camera System?

Home surveillance camera systems can serve as "nanny cam’s" as well as monitor your children’s behavior and safety. These systems may also provide video information on trespassers and acts of vandalism on your property. Whatever your need, GCSI can customize a system that works for you.

Systems can include interior and exterior cameras located in a variety of locations to capture images that will then be recorded onto a digital video recorder. These images can be viewed locally on a monitor, a PC, or remotely through a high-speed Internet connection. Images can also be stored for future reviewing.

How long will it take for me to have a system installed?

New Jersey State law requires permits to be approved by your township before your system can be installed. In most cases, GCSI can complete your installation once your permit process is finalized. Please call the office for more information.

Do I have to get a permit?

Yes, permits are required in the State of New Jersey and you and your alarm company may be fined if proper permit procedures are not followed. Please contact your township’s construction office for further information.

Frequently Asked Questions about Your Security System:

What is a “Call to Verify Number?”

The "Call to Verify Number" is the first number that the Central Station will call to verify the status of a signal sent from you alarm system. In most cases, when your central station receives a burglary, fire, or panic signal from your alarm panel, they will attempt to verify the signal before contacting the proper authorities.

Many alarm signals that reach the central station are considered false alarms. These signals may be generated by human error, equipment failure, or external interference. Because these signals would overload a police or fire department, the central station is given the task to verify if a signal is an actual alarm or a false alarm. The central station will dispatch the proper authorities if there is no answer at the "Call to Verify Number," or if an incorrect pass code is given.

What is a Second “Call to Verify Number?”

The Security Industry has implemented a second "Call to Verify Number" to help reduce the unnecessary dispatching of authorities. This optional phone call from the Central Station gives the property owner a second chance to cancel an alarm before authorities are dispatched. This number is called if there is no answer by the first "Call to Verify Number." Please be advised this DOES DELAY dispatch time of the proper authorities in a true emergency.

What is a Responding Party?

A responding party is a trusted family member, friend, or neighbor whom you designate to be contacted after an alarm has been dispatched to the authorities by the Central Station. You can also be on your Responding Party list such as your cell or work number.

How many Responding Party Contacts Can I Have?

Most customers choose between two to five people to be included on their Responding Party call list. If you choose to have six or more Responding Parties there will be an additional fee. Please contact our office for more information.

How do I Change/Update my Contacts?

Please call our office to make any changes to your account. (1-877-589-6111)

Why Should I Test My System?

The testing of your system verifies your systems integrity as well as its communication with the Central Station. Regularly testing your system will give you piece of mind knowing that your alarm is functioning properly.

How Do I Test My Alarm System?

If your system is monitored by a Central Station, place your account on test before continuing. Please call your Central Station and inform them you will be testing your system. You will need your Central Station account number and pass code. (Please call the office for your Central Station information). If you have your user manual follow the testing procedures for your specific system (you can contact the office for a copy of your user manual).

  • Close all windows and doors and go to your alarm system keypad
  • Make sure the keypad displays its READY TO ARM message
  • Go to one of your secured doors or windows and open it
  • Return to your keypad and verify that your system shows the open zone
  • Close that door or window and repeat this process for all secured doors and windows
  • If your system has hardwired motion detectors you will need the assistance of a second person
  • Have that person walk in front of your hardwired motion detector while you watch your keypad to verify that the motion detector is working
  • If your system has wireless motion detectors, please contact our office for assistance at 1-877-589-6111.
  • Many security devices need to be professionally tested. If you have any questions or concerns in reference to testing your system our office is open Monday – Friday to assist you.

How Do I Test My System to the Central Station?

In order to test your system you need to call your Central Station and inform them you will be testing your system. You will need your Central Station account number and pass code. (Please call the office for your Central Station information.) After your Central Station is notified:

  • Arm your system like you are leaving the premise
  • Your keypad will beep during your exit delay
  • Wait at your keypad until your system stops beeping
  • To send a signal to the Central Station, walk to an entry door and open it. If your system has motion detectors, your alarm may go off before you reach a door because the motion detector sensed movement. Open your entry door and your keypad should start beeping with your entry delay. At the end of your entry delay, your siren will begin to sound.
  • Let your siren sound for 30 seconds and then disarm your system by following your normal disarm procedure
  • Call the Central Station and ask for your test results to confirm that the signal was received
  • If all signals were received at the Central Station ask to have your system taken off of test

How Often Should I Test My System?

Your system should be tested by you monthly, and professionally tested by your alarm company on an annual basis.

How Do I Change My Master Codes?

Since GCSI installs various different types of systems, please refer to your owner’s manual or call our customer services department for assistance at 1-877-589-6111.

How Do I Program Additional Users?

It depends on the type of system. Please refer to your owner’s manual or call our customer services department for assistance at 1-877-589-6111.

What happens if My Smoke Alarm is triggered?

Follow your family or businesses predetermined fire safety plan.

If no signs of smoke or fire are present, verify that the smoke detector in alarm is part of your security/fire system. To do this, check your keypad to see if it is displaying a fire condition. If your keypad is clear of any fire conditions, there is a good chance that the smoke detector in alarm is an AC smoke detector that was installed when the home or building was built. These detectors are installed and serviced by a licensed electrician.

If your keypad is displaying a fire alarm, contact your alarm company for further assistance. At GCSI, an on-call technician is available after normal business hours for emergencies. During normal business hours please contact the office. For emergency assistance call 1-877-589-6111 day or night.

How Can I Help Avoid False Alarms?

False alarms are a nuisance for all involved, especially for the responding authorities. These alarms distract the authorities from real emergencies and tie up their resources. Some municipalities can even fine you for excessive false alarms.

Here are some tips for helping you prevent false alarms:

  • When allowing visitors and house guest to operate your alarm system, make sure they know how to properly use your system. Wireless keyfobs may help reduce the human error by simplifying the arm and disarm process.
  • Make sure all doors and windows close and secured properly. Unlocked doors and windows, in some circumstances, may move or shift which may cause a false alarm.
  • Pets can often create many false alarms. Make sure your system has been designed for your specific pets. Please contact GCSI for more information.
  • Due to the design of most motion detectors, there are household items that can cause these detectors to false alarm. Some of these items include large plants, balloons, and decorations. To reduce potential false alarms, attempt to place these items out of range of your motion detectors. For more specific information about your motion detectors please contact our office.
  • False alarms can also be generated by pests, spider webs, or even dust near your smoke and motion detectors. Be sure to have them cleaned regularly. For more information on professional smoke detector cleanings, please visit GCSI’s Smoke Safe Program.
  • Remodeling and construction can also trigger false alarms. Be sure to contact your alarm company before starting any remodeling or construction projects.

What happens when I Press the Panic Button?

The purpose of a panic button is to send an immediate signal to the Central Station requesting the dispatch of the appropriate authorities. Panic buttons come in many forms, including hardwired and wireless. Many keypads can also have panic buttons built-in. Panic buttons can be programmed to be silent or audible, and can be used to dispatch police, fire, or medical personnel.

Please note that depending on how your panic button is configured, you may or may not receive a “Call to Verify” from the Central Station. In most situations, police panic buttons will send a signal for immediate dispatch of the authorities. For further information, please contact GCSI for specific information about your account.

What Should I do if My Monitored Alarm is Sounding?

If you are unsure why your alarm system is sounding, we would recommend having the proper authorities dispatched, in case of an unknown emergency situation.

If you are certain there is no emergency, disarm your system and wait for the Central Station to call. The Central Station will be calling you on your "Call to Verify Number" and requesting your Central Station passcode. If the correct passcode is not given, authorities will be dispatched. For further information please contact the office.

Who Should I Contact if I am having Issues with My System?

Please contact GCSI for all service related matters:

Normal Business Hours (Monday-Friday 8:30 – 4:30):

  • For emergency and non-emergency related questions, our customer service team is available to assist you at 1-877-589-6111.

After Normal Business Hours:

  • For emergencies, call 1-877-589-6111, and ask to have a technician paged.
  • For non-emergencies, call 1-877-589-6111, and please leave us a voicemail. Our customer support staff will contact you on the next business day.

What Should I do if My System is Reading Low Battery?

Please follow your systems user manual to determine which battery is low. GCSI’s customer service team can schedule an appointment to have your battery replaced. In most situations, batteries can be replaced by the customer. If you determine that your panel’s main system battery is low, GCSI can either ship you a replacement battery or you may pick one up at our office in Williamstown, NJ. Wireless transmitter batteries can be purchased through GCSI at a discount or at most retail outlets. For further information on battery replacement please contact our office.

How do I Replace My Battery?

IMPORTANT:

If there is evidence of corrosion on the battery leads and/or terminals, do not touch the acidic, corroded areas. This corrosion may also cause improper electrical performance and may require a service call to replace the battery leads.

Observe Polarity while making connections:
The RED WIRE to the RED BATTERY TERMINAL
The BLACK WIRE to the BLACK TERMINAL

  • Remove the leads from the old battery one at a time
  • Put the old battery aside
  • Connect the new battery one lead at a time

The old battery should be disposed of properly. Contact your local township recycle center, call our office for more information, or click here for a list of local, privately owned recycling centers.

Please call our office during normal business hours if you need assistance.

How Can I Pay My Bill?

Payment Options:

1. Mail in payment
2. Pay over the phone by debit or credit card
3. Sign up for automatic Central Station Monitoring monthly debit from your checking account or credit card
4. Send PayPal Payments to paypalpayments@gcsi-nj.com

Payments Accepted:
Visa, MasterCard, American Express, PayPal, ACH Debit, Automatic Credit Card Payments, and Personal / Business Checks, and cash payments are accepted at our office in Williamstown, NJ.

What Do I need to do if I Plan on Moving and I have Central Station Monitoring?

Before you move, you must contact our office and speak to an account manager 30 days prior to having your services cancelled. GCSI will mail, fax, or email you our required deletion form. Upon return of this completed form, along with any monetary balances, your Central Station services will be cancelled.

Please provide, if available, the name and number of the new residents, so GCSI can continue providing services to this address. GCSI will provide the new homeowner with a free system test and demo, along with completing the required paperwork to become a GCSI customer.

If you plan to continue your services with GCSI at your new residents, referring us to the buyer of your home will count as a referral in our Refer A Friend Program.

Please note if you are moving and currently are in contract with GCSI, your contract can be transferred to your new residence.

What Do I need to do if My Account Was Acquired by GCSI from my Previous Provider?

If you have a security system that has been installed by a company that has joined the GCSI Security Group, you may qualify for a discounted System Evaluation. For just $49.95 a GCSI technician will run a full test and evaluation of your current security system. Please contact our office for more information at 1-877-589-6111.

Click Here to View the List of Companies/Customers that has joined the GCSI Security Group

Disclaimer:
GCSI Security Group assumes no liability for damages incurred directly or indirectly as a result of errors, omissions or discrepancies in the information provided on any GCSI Security Group websites. Moreover, GCSI Security Group is not responsible for the content nor endorses any site, which has a link from this site.

This site was developed to provide general security related information for our customers. Information obtained through these web pages may not be current or sufficient for your application. GCSI Security Group shall not be liable for any losses caused by reliance on information you obtain on the Internet.

September 2009