Convert your Home Security System to a Self Monitoring System

Everything you need to know about self monitoring your own system

You can easily convert a home security system to a self monitored one by stopping payments to your alarm company. The alarm will still sound if triggered even if you are not paying monthly for the service. The only difference is that the monitoring department won’t call the police.

When you self monitor an alarm you can save quite a bit of money. The alarm by itself can be a great deterrent because most of them reach 100 decibels from a couple feet away! If a burglar were to walk in and trigger the alarm, they are not going to be sticking around to find out if it actually is monitored or not.

Can I use my home security system without monitoring?

Any home security system will work without monitoring. This means that if you stop paying your bill, the alarm will still sound if it is ever triggered. This includes all the big brands, such as ADT, Vivint, Brinks, SimpliSafe, and even Ring alarm.

using a vivint system

Think of it kind of like a smartphone. If you stopped paying your phone bill, the device can still download apps, surf the internet, and take pictures. What the phone won’t do is call out. The same goes for an alarm system.

You will still be able to use your codes to arm and disarm just like you did when you were paying your bill. So even if you stop the service you can arm the system, and if someone were to open the front door the siren will still go off. This makes the alarm still effective because the siren is so loud that it will scare most people away.

How to convert my home security system to a self monitored system

The only thing you need to do is simply stop paying your bill because the alarm equipment will still work even if you don’t pay for the service. You don’t need to reprogram any of the equipment or tinker with any of the sensors.

man trying to break in

You can simply arm and disarm the alarm with your pin codes and if someone were to open the front door while the alarm is armed. It will sound the siren.

Features you lose without paying

When you stop paying your bill, you will not have the police called for you. This is mainly what you are paying for every month. You will also loose…

  • Access to the app
  • Cloud storage for video (if you have cameras)
  • Anytype of software updates for your panel

Everything else will still work. Some companies, such as Vivint, allow you to watch your cameras, and use your smart home equipment from the panel. All of this will still work as normal.

Can I monitor my own alarm system?

Yes, you can self monitor your own system by leaving the equipment in place and using your codes to arm and disarm the system. The siren will go off if you arm the system even without paying your bill.

I just moved in, How do I get the pin code for the alarm?

If you just moved into a house that has an existing alarm, there are a few things you can do to get the pin code if you don’t have it.

The best thing to do would be to get a hold of the previous owners and ask them for the code. Sometimes this isn’t possible because they either forgot it or they never respond back.

You could always try the pin code 1234 or 2468 because those are some of the most common pin codes that people use. Yes, I know that is not the most secure, but it sometimes works.

The last option is to call the security company. This should be the last resort because they will not give out the pin code for obvious reasons. Instead, they might be able to activate the service for just one month which would allow you to reset the pin code. After this you can just cancel it. If you have Vivint, you can check out my article here about this.

I should note that if you do this, be sure to ask them if you are signing a contract or not. Some companies don’t offer a month to month service to simply reactivate the system. They will want you to sign a 3 year contract instead. This is great if you want monitoring, but I assume that if you are reading this article you don’t want to pay for it.

How do I know if my alarm is going off?

There is no way to know if the alarm is going off unless you are in the house to hear the siren going off. Since you stop paying for the service, the monitoring department will not call anyone on the emergency contacts list. If the service came with an app, you will lose access to that as well.

What you can do is purchase a camera because most cameras will alert you on your phone if someone walks in front of it. This feature is free with most cameras nowadays so you won’t have to pay anything extra. Built inside of the camera lens is a motion sensor that will send a push notification to your phone if there is activity going on around the home. From there you can open the app and see if it is a burglar or not.

These alerts sent to your phone will allow you to be notified if someone is in or around the property depending where you place them. You can check out my top outside cameras that have this function.

Final Thoughts

The self monitoring for a system is appropriate if you don’t live in that dangerous of a neighborhood. Any system can become self monitored because they will still work locally even without monitoring. If you ever change your mind, you can read my thoughts on the best home security systems here.