My wife and I just bought our first house and it came with an alarm system already installed. It looks like it's active but we didn't get any information on it when buying the house.

What do I need to do to make this alarm system usable?

Is it just a generic systems and I can call up any alarm company and have them activate it?

Also, we currently do not have a landline phone, we just use our cell phones. Will we need to get a landline to use the alarm system?

Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks!


Here's the panel

front bottom

  • 1
    a photo of the control panel is required
    – DoxyLover
    Mar 27, 2015 at 16:45
  • 1
    If you locate the main panel, there should be some stickers and/or labels on it with the company name and phone number of the company that installed it. A call to them might be the first step.
    – Tester101
    Mar 27, 2015 at 16:56
  • Good idea tester101, thanks for the suggestion. Mar 27, 2015 at 17:23

1 Answer 1


Speaking in general terms, the wired sensors are standard across manufacturers. If you call an alarm company to come out and hook you up for monitoring, they will either reuse the panel or just replace it. Often this cost is waived as part of signing a monitoring contract. Wireless sensors are not as compatible, but not out of the realm of possibility.

Monitoring does not require a land line. Cellular monitoring is available.

If you can find the model number of the main control board, often the programmer or installer manual is easily locatable on the internet. These manuals can have instructions on resetting passwords.

If you can't find the manual or you can't reset it, and you're feeling a bit more DIY, you can buy a new control board and install it yourself.

  • IP-based monitoring is also available, at least in Europe. These days, IP primary with cellular backup is often a sensible choice.
    – user
    Oct 24, 2016 at 14:56

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