How Long Does the ADT Alarm Sound?

Person on a smartphone on a security alarm app.Person on a smartphone on a security alarm app.

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With home security, monitoring the state of your home every day is typical, but what happens when there is a greater issue, such as a fire or home invasion, and the alarm is sounded? Events like these will prompt your ADT system to run a check, sound the alarm, and then alert a representative to talk with you about getting aid. But how long will the alarm sound for until it turns off?

ADT alarms will sound indefinitely in the event of an emergency until it is manually shut off or power is disconnected. Different emergencies have corresponding alarm types and ways to deactivate the alarms as well.

ADT alarms have a specific protocol when there is an emergency. Though the alarm sounding time is one thing, it is even more crucial to understand the 30 seconds to 3 minutes before the alarm sounds. To summarize, when a threat emerges, the system will first run a check to ensure that the danger is real. Whichever device is experiencing the problem then sends a message to your ADT central station, followed by sounding the alarm and alerting you of the threat.

ADT Alarm Types and Notifications

Various instances could trigger your ADT alarm to sound, but how they sound can be vital to know as an owner. Additionally, if your alarm system is triggered by accident, it’s good to know how to deactivate each alarm type. Here are the most common reasons for an alarm to be triggered and how to deactivate them:

  • Fires: A pulsing siren will stay on indefinitely. You will be notified through ADT as to which smoke detector has been triggered.
  • Home Invasion/Burglary: This consistent, steady alarm will stay on indefinitely. If ADT programmed your system, you might be notified of the window/door or region that the intruder has broken in from.
  • Away from Home: This kind of alarm can be related to any problem your ADT security system can detect while you’re away from home. ADT representatives will contact you via your mobile app should an alarm go off while you’re out.
  • Other Types: ADT doesn’t usually have built-in features for things like carbon monoxide detectors or gas leaks. Check with your ADT service provider to see if these things are covered in your security system

What Happens When the ADT Alarm Sounds?

A common question asked when people realize there is a time gap between the likely problem and the alarm sounding is, “But why aren’t authorities contacted right away?”

Though it seems intuitive to alert the authorities as soon as the alarm sounds, ADT must contact you first. As stated in an FAQ by Safewise, “This is mandated by law in an attempt to reduce the occurrence of authorities responding to false alarms.” Therefore, to avoid penalties (which vary depending on your area), it is wise to be sure there is a threat before calling for aid.

When you have been notified of the threat, you will be contacted by an ADT representative to figure out what and where the threat is. From there, it can be determined whether or not aid is needed to ensure your safety.

Silencing Your ADT Alarms

Any type of alarm you will encounter will eventually need to be shut down. Because not everything may go to plan with your home security system, perhaps the system will pick up on a non-existent threat and trigger the alarm. Once your safety has been established and the danger is confirmed not to exist or be gone, shutting down the alarms takes a few steps.

  • For fire alarms, instructions can be found on page 15 of this ADT guide.  
  • For home intrusions and other emergencies, instructions can be found on page 16 of this ADT guide.  

If neither of these seems to be working or you need more assistance, this article from Hunker provides a slightly more in-depth method to turn off your ADT alarms.

Final Thoughts

Beyond knowing that your ADT alarm will do everything it can to alert you even past the time of danger, it is vital to know the timing of everything. Understanding which alarm type is which can help you take personal safety measures or evacuate if need be. Knowing how to turn them off in case of a false alarm is helpful as well.

The real threat can be present thirty seconds to three minutes before any alarm is sounded, enabling the system to ensure the threat is real and its location. Therefore, understanding that you need to speak with ADT about the danger before any police can arrive helps to ensure the threat is real and the alarm is necessary.

Hopefully, this article was beneficial in understanding ADT alarms, what they mean, and how to interpret and react to them.

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