Sonitrol Verified Electronic Security  
South Carolina
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Charleston (843) 747-0904
Columbia (803) 794-4357
Grand Strand (843) 294-9911
(888) 747-0904 or (877) 470-1631

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Security System FAQsFrequently Asked Security System Questions

These Frequently Asked Questions may help you better understand residential and commercial alarm systems. If you have further questions, please contact us today.

What is an access control system?
Can I use my existing equipment?
Thinking about getting Internet phone service?
What do I do if I am having problems with my alarm system?
Why should I have an audio monitoring system?
Should I use a motion detector in my system?
How do I arm my system?
How can I find the manual to my alarm system?
What happens when the phone line goes out?


What is an access control system?

Keyless entry, known in the industry as "access control", is one of the most cost-effective ways to increase security. Not only do businesses have to worry about burglars, they need to protect their physical location, intellectual property and employees.

Learn more about the advantages of keyless entry systems

Can I use my existing equipment?

Sonitrol can often times monitor existing equipment in your home or business. Please contact Sonitrol to schedule a free cosultation and inspection of your current system's compatibility.


Thinking about getting Internet phone service?

Many consumers enjoy the use of Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) digital Internet and phone services. But it is vital that consumers complete a series of steps BEFORE VoIP will work with your Sonitrol SC security system. Please review the following information before you choose to install a VoIP or choose NOT to have a land-based phone in your home.

  • Drawbacks: Included in the drawbacks of VoIP as your phone service are issues regarding 911 service. We strongly recommend that you keep a basic land, wired telephone line if you get VoIP for day-to-day phone use. If not, your system will be monitored using the public Internet as a means of communication. But the Internet can, and likely will, fail at certain times, which will leave you unprotected.
  • Responsibility: It is your responsibility to have public Internet service on your premises. If you use VoIP, you will need to provide standby electrical power to your ADSL, cable modem and other devices like hubs, routers or switches that may affect Internet communications. A recommended standby duration is 24 hours, but in all cases, not less than 15 minutes. Please be aware that communications with Sonitrol SC will fail if the power for the modem, router, hub or switch is interrupted.
  • More: To learn more about compatible VoIP providers and how to link your security system to a VoIP service, please contact Sonitrol SC today.

What do I do if I am having problems with my alarm system?

Seventy percent of false alarms are caused by user error. Be sure to thoroughly train anyone who may be using your system (employees, cleaning staff or real estate agents). Sonitrol offers free training as long as we monitor your system. Make sure special arrangements are made for guests or repair technicians. Other causes for false alarms include:

  • Noise sources (i.e., compressors and time clocks)
  • Drafts that move plants and curtains
  • Open, unlocked or loose-fitting doors and windows
  • Banners/signs
  • Pets
  • Helium-filled balloons

Before activating your system:

  • Turn off all noise sources - radios, compressors, televisions, printers, etc.
  • Lock all protected doors and windows.
  • Keep banners/signs, balloons and fan heaters away from motion sensor areas.
  • Know how to cancel the alarm if the system activates.

How can I prevent false alarms?

  • Allow Sonitrol technicians to check and service your system regularly. Routine maintenance can help prevent many false alarms from occurring.
  • Notify Sonitrol immediately if you think your system is not working properly.
  • Make sure everyone who uses your security system understands how it works. Anyone who has a key to your facility should know how to operate your system.

What if my alarm goes off accidentally?

  • Determine if there really is a fire or an actual break-in.
  • Don't panic - remember your code.
  • If the alarm was accidental, disarm your system.
  • Carefully press each number of your code. Practice, be prepared to reset.
  • After you've reset the system, call Sonitrol to report the accidental activation.
  • If your Sonitrol system is tying up your phone line, wait several seconds and try again, or use an alternate phone.
  • Don't leave your facility until you've spoken with Sonitrol personnel.

Be prepared!

  • Rehearse alarm cancellation with anyone who might use your system.
  • Make sure that anyone with a key to your facility knows how to operate your system.
  • Tell all users whom to call when the alarm activates.
  • Keep your Sonitrol system instruction book and phone number handy.
  • Cancel all alarms that don't need emergency response.

For more information, please contact Sonitrol SC.

Why should I have an audio monitoring system?

Sonitrol SC's verified audio intrusion systems give our customers the fastest possible response time because of our unique sound detection technology. Explains company president John Rama:

"When an alarm comes in, we contact the police or fire department. Our equipment is able to detect exactly where a break-in is occurring. Our monitoring technicians have been trained to differentiate between routine noises and sounds that indicate trouble."

Unlike other alarm systems, the Sonitrol SC audio alarm rings soundlessly, lulling intruders into a false sense of security, while the sounds of break-ins are traced to their origin and authorities are alerted by Sonitrol SC's staff.

Should I use a motion detector in my system?

Motion detectors are used in many residences and small businesses to provide an added layer of protection. By using it in conjunction with an audio monitoring system, you'll experience fewer false alarms for police and fire departments.

How do I arm my system?

To arm your system, follow the instructions in the manual you received from your Sonitrol SC service technician when your system was installed.

It's important for you to routinely set your alarm system to ensure you get the security provided by Sonitrol SC.

If you have problems and need extra help, please contact Sonitrol SC.

How can I find the manual to my alarm system?

If you need a copy of a manual, please contact us today.

What happens when the phone line goes out?

If you have traditional land line service and it goes out, your security service also will go down. But you can bypass such a security lapse through our Cell Backup Service.

A cell backup allows you to keep uninterrupted service to your home when standard phone or power lines are down. It allows for an emergency signal to reach Sonitrol SC if phone lines are disconnected or your VoIP Internet phone service is unavailable.

By using Cell Backup, you will always have security coverage with Sonitrol SC. Contact us today to learn more.


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Serving the Charleston, Columbia and Myrtle Beach Grand Strand areas of South Carolina.


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(888) 747-0904 or
(877) 470-1631

4455 Tile Drive
Charleston, SC 29405

1545 Burnette Drive
Columbia, SC 29210

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