(Sorry if this is the wrong site for this question.)

I just bought a house which has a Brinks home security system. The service is not active.

I believe the main system is an Ademco Vista 20p, or something similar. I want to get it open to take a look, but the ends of two screws are protruding out from holes in one side, making it impossible to pull off the front panel. There's a small amount of give when I push on them with a screwdriver, but not enough.

right side front

How can I get this open?

  • 1
    Odd. But I think someone got creative based on the proximity to that right wall. Is there enough play to just lift over? – Tyson Aug 23 '16 at 1:42
  • Are both screws on the same side? - Your pictures are very small and only show one screw point. – Ecnerwal Aug 23 '16 at 1:42
  • @Ecnerwal Yes, both on the right side. You can see the same holes on the left side, the screws are directly opposite on the right – Sam Aug 23 '16 at 1:44
  • May the force be with you =] – Tyson Aug 23 '16 at 1:49
  • Raises the odds on long-screwdriver working, then. Straight shot. – Ecnerwal Aug 23 '16 at 1:53

I can see a couple potential ways around this.

Pry up the side away from the wall, shove the whole cover towards the wall, possibly pry up the underside/backside of the cover lip, pop off. That's assuming both are on the same side.

Long screwdriver though one of the holes on the opposite side of the box from the screws - have fun finding the head. A flashlight in another hole and your eye at a third might help. Philips might be a good guess unless they were really being nasty, in which case security Torx might be more likely. Try to look first.

Don't overlook pure misdirection. Could be the panel appears to open, but actually you slide it up off keyhole slots in the back. Would be kinda hokey, but I have run into some hokey stuff in consumer products that the maker wanted to become damaged if someone opened them the way that appeared to be the obvious way of opening them. Could be you push something to unlatch and it opens on a hinge rather like a rear access wall-mount rack.

or wait until a disgruntled ex-Brinks home security installer comes along and says....

  • I ended up accidentally ripping a screw part way out of the drywall trying to pry it off. I don't have a a long screwdriver but that seems like my best bet. That must be how they put the screws in in the first place. Will update when I have a chance to try it out - thanks for the answer – Sam Aug 23 '16 at 2:17

Small ratchet right-angle screwdriver might be able to squeeze n.

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