Burglar Alarms | Fire Alarms | Monitoring | Security Cameras | Safes

Problem using your Security or Camera Apps

Problem using Security and Camera System APP’s

Steps for accessing your apps when on premises (IpFob Secure Smart Alarm and Speco Camera)

If having trouble connecting to your apps on your phone, try the following:

1. Disconnect your smart phone from the wifi at your residence as the wifi can cause a conflict resulting in the

app not work properly via the primary Internet connection.

2. If using IpFob or Secure Smart Alarm app’s and, disconnecting the wifi does not help or speed up

the app, try uninstalling and reinstall the App.

3. * If using an Apple product, try downloading the Secure Smart Alarm app in the place of the IpFob

The need for redundant Alarm Monitoring communication.

Redundant Monitoring

 
In today’s world, having redundant systems has become a norm in both business and personal applications.
 
Security monitoring is a critical service for both commercial and residential alarms.  In the event an alarm panel can not communicate with the monitoring center, alarm activation and events can not be reported to the proper authorities as well as the owners of the system(s).
 
The criminal element has learned to disable phone lines prior to attempting a break in, especially if there are indications of an electronic security system being present.  This is why we recommend redundant communication on every system we monitor.
 
The most reliable redundant communication system we use is cellular.  Cellular communicates alarm events extremely fast and does not require the presence of Internet or Plain Old Telephone System lines or better known as P.O.T.S lines.  Cutting a phone line and cable connection is easy on most buildings/homes unless they are protected by conduit or hidden inside the walls or building structure.
 
In many of our applications today, we use cellular and Internet because more or our customers are not using the P.O.T.S lines anymore.
 
If you do have a phone line coming into the building, explore how it can come into the structure underground and into the structure rather having a the wiring on the outside of the structure exposed.

 

How Do I use my Speco DVR?

Using your Camera system DVR

By default, you should have been left a user guide with your Digital Video Recorder.  If you have misplaced it, click on the link below to access our online version.

Thank you!

DVR Operation Quick Guide

 

I just purchased a Camera System that was working online via an app and now it is not??!!

The Problem
Customers have remote access to view their Camera System and DVR from their smartphone or other device remotely. At some future point, cameras are suddenly no longer remotely viewable on customer devices.
The Cause:
Customers do not own their own modem / router. Their service provider (i.e. Comcast/Xfinity etc.) leases the modem to them often in the form of a modem/router combined into one piece of equipment called a gateway. The service provider will frequently update these devices and in doing so will effect the access of the DVR to the internet.
The Solution:
Customers should purchase their own cable modem and or router and set them up themselves. This will allow them to configure their equipment (easy DIY simple setup) and this will also save at least $10 per month their internet bill.
Linked below are popular and common cable modems available through most retail and online outlets.
Here are some easy to follow DIY videos for setting up your own network.
This is one of many interesting articles on the subject. (I just did a quick simple search)

How do I use my Honeywell Alarm Keypad?

The following video is for the majority of the Honeywell Vista Series KeyPads…

Is Financing Available for Camera systems and other security enhancements?

Yes, we do offer financing through a third (3rd) party Finance company.  They extend an offer of 12 months, deferred interest.   For a typical three (3) camera system, our price might be from $1,299.99 to $1,399.00.  With financing for a year, it becomes more affordable.

In order to qualify for a credit line, call Zeyda at 713-378-7589.  She can get you qualified in a short amount of time and arrange for a sales person to visit you and provide the quote you need.

How long are your monitoring agreements!

OnDuty Systems provides monitoring and related services 24/7/365.  Our minimum contract for this service is 36 months.  Sometimes, with special offers and additional equipment, we do ask for 48 or 60 month agreements.

Where is your alarm monitoring facility?

OnDuty’s ownership owned an alarm central station in Houston for years.

The decision was made to move our accounts to our San Antonio facility to limit the exposure to monitoring in the event a hurricane or large tropical storm hit Houston and flooded the area.   This means during a severe weather threat in the Houston area, our central station and staff will be remote and provide uninterrupted service and full staffing.

What is “Instant”, “Stay” and “Away” on my alarm keypad?

There are three main way to arm your alarm system, AWAY, STAY and INSTANT.
 
Each arming mode and its use, are outlined below:
 
AWAY:
 
The AWAY mode of arming the alarm system allows for the user to leave the premise through an

entry/exit door and while also enabling any installed motion detectors on the system. This is the most

common means of arming the alarm system when leaving the premises unoccupied. On most systems,

after arming in the AWAY mode, the keypad(s) should begin making an audible countdown beep

indicating that the system is arming and the premises should be vacated at this time. The countdown

beep will become more rapid during the last ten seconds before the entry/exit timer has elapsed. Upon

re-entry to the home through an entry/exit door, the keypad will start an audible countdown beep

during which the system should be disarmed. The last ten seconds of this countdown indicated the

alarm is about to active and go into alarm.
 
STAY:
 
The STAY mode of arming the alarm system allows for the user to leave the premise through an entry

exit door and while not enabling any installed motion detectors on the system. This mode of arming the

alarm system is intended when there may still be occupants while the system remains armed. Motions

will not be armed so that any occupants will not cause a false alarm condition. All perimeter devices and

entry/exit doors remain active and armed. Any installed glass break detectors on the system (such as in

bedrooms) will remain active and armed. On most systems, after arming in the STAY mode, the

keypad(s) will make a single audible countdown beep indicating that the system is arming and the

premises should be vacated at this time. After hearing this arming beep, users usually have 45 seconds

to exit through a designated entry/exit door.
 
INSTANT:
 
The INSTANT mode of arming the alarm system removed the entry/exit delay and renders the doors

active upon arming. Any installed motion detectors are not enabled. This mode is best used when no

person is expecting to come or go from the premise while the system is armed. There is no audible

countdown timer and no entry exit is possible without setting the alarm off until the system is disarmed.

If you have any questions, please call us or consult your alarm system owners manual.  Test your system

regularly and get to know your system so you can use it safely.
 
Our phone number is 713-378-7500 if we can be of any assistance. We also have documentation available on this site, including the operation of several common brands/types of keypads.  Click here to see what we offer.

What payment methods do you have for services?

OnDuty strives to be as efficient as we can so that we can have the most competitive prices.
 
Automatic means of payment being ACH (auto-check) or Credit Card are the preferred types. However, some customers prefer an invoice and to send checks. This method is acceptable but there is a $1 per month charge for reimbursement for additional billing costs.
 
All accounts are billed quarterly, semi-annually, or annually.

I hear a ‘chirp’ about once a minute coming from my smoke alarm. What should I do?

Your home is likely equipped with smoke alarms which are powered by 120 volt electricity and a 9 volt battery (as back-up).
 
You will need to replace your 9 volt battery (use alkaline) to restore the smoke alarm. Batteries in smoke alarms usually last 12-18 months.
 
It is a good idea to replace the batteries in all smoke alarms annually, before you have a low battery ‘chirp’ starting at about 4am. Use caution when using a ladder.
 
If your home is equipped with an OnDuty Systems smoke detector, this device is connected and powered by the alarm system control and does not use batteries. The alarm system control is powered by 120 volt electricity and rechargeable stand-by batteries. The smoke detectors do not make a ‘chirp” sound.
 
The control panel is designed to send a signal of ‘low battery’ if the battery is no longer able to be charged. Typical life on control batteries is 4 years.

How do I obtain an alarm permit ?

Alarm permits are required by many cities and counties. You must obtain and maintain your permit,if required.
 
Some expired or un-permitted locations won’t be serviced by the police or sheriff’s department, and some even fine for an un-permitted location. Be sure to designate that you have a ‘burglar’ and ‘hold-up / panic’ alarm, if applicable. In some cases, fees may be higher for both types of alarms.
 
Alarm permit fees are a tax. Alarm permits also provide for a maximum number of false alarm calls to the authorities before additional fees are charged. Most cities and counties provide for three false alarm calls per fiscal year of the permit.
 
If you are unsure if you have a permit, call your police or sheriff’s department and ask for clarification.

I need after hours Emergency Service for my alarm system. Who do I call?

You can call either our local Houston number 713-378-7500 or our toll free number at 877-2-OnDuty (877-266-3889).
 
Listen for the prompts and select the number for after hours emergency service.
 
Emergency service is available for one of three circumstances:
 
(1) customer is unable to arm the system (including bypass);
(2) customer is unable to disarm the system, or
(3) customer has had a break-in or fire and needs immediate assistance.
 
System issues such as low battery, supervisory, trouble, or false alarms are in most cases handled during business hours. All emergency service is subject to an ‘overtime’ hourly rate, regardless of warranty or service plan.

I would like to transfer or discontinue my services. What do I do?

OnDuty will be happy to help you transfer or cancel your services.

Transfer allows you to move your current Agreement to your new home or business if it is in the greater Houston area. You may also transfer your service to the new owner / occupant of your home or business by having them subscribe to OnDuty by new Agreement.

You may also cancel your service all-together. Depending on the term of your Agreement, the remaining balance of the term (if any) is discounted 25%.

Call OnDuty and we will be happy to assist you.  713-378-7500   We are sorry that you are leaving and would love to discuss how we can keep you as a customer!

All transfers and cancellations must be in writing with the person that has the Agreement with OnDuty.

Cancellation of any of our agreements must be done in writing and with a thirty (30) day advanced notice.

I hear a ‘chirp’ about once a minute coming from my Carbon Monoxide Detector. What should I do?

Carbon Monoxide detectors and the Lithium batteries contained within them have a life-span of about 5-6 years. Once the life-span has run, the detector needs to be replaced.

Why is my motion sensor causing false alarms and not allowing me to Arm the system?

A motion detector may activate falsely for several reasons. It could be the result of improper placement/aiming of the device, such as placing it above a heater or furnace. it could also be that the room that the motion is “looking at” has changed since installation and now has something that could be causing the motion to activate inadvertently. A false detection could be also caused by the movement of objects such as balloons, blinds, and curtains within the range of a motion detector.
 
If false alarm activations continue, the motion detector may require relocation or adjustment by our technicians.

Why is it ‘critical’ to test my alarm system. What should I do?

OnDuty recommends that systems be tested at least weekly. This means that you should visually check the system for any damage, check window/door switches to make sure they ‘chime’ when opened, walk motion detectors and look for the test light, test smoke detectors using the manufacturer’s instructions, and transmit alarm signals ONLY after you call OnDuty and put your system on test to avoid any dispatch of authorities.
 
You can also call OnDuty for advice on testing, or we can send a technician to fully test your system.
 
Check out our article on this subject…

I have an “FC” on my alarm keypad and I can not get it to go away! What do I do?

If your alarm keypad is showing “FC” or “COMM FAILURE”then your alarm system is not communicating to our central station as it should. “FC” stands for ‘Failed Communication’ and indicates that the system tried to communicate with the central station and was unable to. This can be for several reasons;
 
If you are using a “land line” or POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) line, it could be a cut in the line or problem with your phone company switch. Check to make sure you have dial tone.
 
If you are using one of our very popular CellBATs , then you likely have two (2) means of communication (redundant) which is very reliable. However, this can be effected by severe weather or network issues with your Internet.
 
If you have a “FC” or “COMM FAILURE” on your keypad, please call us so that we can walk you through a test and reset if everything is ok. Our phone number is 713-378-7500
 
We are here to help you and keep your system operating properly.

My keypad is beeping or has a code displaying. What is it?

The following are common messages displayed on the keypad when there is a problem with the alarm system:
 
“BAT” this means that the system battery is unplugged or you have a low battery (rechargeable). If you have lost power, the battery will keep the system operational for typically 2-4 hours for common residential alarms but may vary depending on the size and type of battery(s). As the battery gets low, the message “BAT” will appear on the keypad. Once power is restored, the battery should recharge fully within 24 hours. The “BAT” message will also display when the battery is no longer able to maintain proper charge and requires replacement.
 
If the battery is 4 years old or more, please call us so that we can have someone come out and test your system as well as replace your battery. Monitored customers are able to have their battery replaced at a substantial discount when we test the system.
 
“NO AC” this means that your alarm system has lost 120VAC power and is operating on battery power. There may be a circuit breaker that has tripped on the electrical system of the home/business. The alarm transformer may have come unplugged or become damaged.
 
“FC” this means that you have a ‘communications failure’ which is the signaling to the monitoring station. You should call OnDuty and test the alarm system and reasons for this communications failure.

My ‘chime’ used to make a noise every time my door opened. Now it doesn’t.

The ‘chime’ feature of your system can be switched on and off. To toggle this feature, most systems simply require that you enter the four digit user code and the “chime” key (often on the number 9 key). Simply open the nearest perimeter door to test.

My keypad says LOW BAT?? What does this mean?

Low Battery

 
LOW BAT is an indicator of your alarm system’s battery not charging correctly or about to go out. The Sealed Lead Acid Battery that powers your alarm system is a 12 VDC battery that continues to power the system even during short term blackouts for about 4 to 6 hours.
 
These batteries do have a useful life of 3 to 5 years. They need to be checked by a technician when you get a “low battery” signal. There are several things related to an alarm system, other than the battery, that needs to be checked.
 
If you have our service agreement, your cost to have our technician come to your home is $39.95.  We do the complete check up and determine if the battery alone is the source of the error code.  If it is, we will sell you a replacement battery for only $39.95.  For a battery with double capacity of a standard unit, it is $49.95.
 
If a zone number is next to the low battery message and you have a wireless component, it may be the battery in the wireless device needs to be changed.

I would like a new yard sign or window stickers. How do I obtain these?

Call OnDuty and we will make arrangements for you to receive a new sign and/or window stickers.
 
These serve as good deterrents to crime, but must only be used on actual alarm sites that OnDuty monitors, as the police and sheriff’s department rely on the signs in case they need to contact someone in case of emergency.

I have a billing question. Who can I speak with?

Call 713-378-7500 Monday thru Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and ask for billing. We will be happy to help.

My friend needs an alarm system. Does OnDuty have a ‘referral program’ ?

YES. Refer a friend, neighbor, or family member and receive a $50 credit on your account.

OnDuty provides both residential and commercial alarm service, alarm monitoring, Camera systems, safes, hold up alarms as well as pest control.

Just fill out our referral form and send us your referral. If your referral becomes an OnDuty customer, we will contact you and issue your $50 Visa gift card!