Ooma and alarm systems

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Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:52 pm

Ooma and alarm systems

Post by KiterTodd » Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:58 pm


I have a standard run of the mill alarm system. Was originally installed by Ameritech probably 10 years ago. Works fine. Just moved into the house. I had an alarm service come by to look at the system and evaluate for the transfer of monitoring to them. They told me that alarm systems will not work with VOIP phones. They said I will have to get a new alarm system that has wireless service or keep my land line w/ Verizon (which at $40 a month is not an option).

The new alarm systems looks great and has nice features, but it is very expensive and I'd rather put off the purchase right now. I did a search on this forum and it sounds like some folks are getting their alarm system to work fine with Ooma.

So, what is the real deal? Do most land line dependent appliances work fine with ooma or will I need something new? I think he may have said something about requiring the voltage on the phone line for the alarm system to know it has a connection.

Anyway, looking for tips here because I know the alarm company has good incentive to sell me a new system! I trust them for service, but know they have no incentive to know which IP services will work with an alarm and which will not.

Thanks and I appreciate any feedback,


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Re: Ooma and alarm systems

Post by DTMF » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:12 pm

My alarm company tried, but couldn't get my system to connect to its monitoring center via Ooma. They sold me an adapter for $99 that simulates a phone connection on the system side, but actually connects to the monitoring center over the Internet. I pay $3/month more for this type of monitoring. $3/month is far less than I was paying AT&T for a landline before I switched to Ooma. :cool:

Another option my alarm provider suggested was keeping my landline for the alarm, but putting the landline account on measured-rate service. AT&T would have charged me less than $20/month for that service if I had gone that route. I don't regret my choice.
Ooma customer since November 2009.
Formerly employed at another VoIP company.
My opinions are my own.

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Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 11:10 am

Re: Ooma and alarm systems

Post by Lilly's_Closet » Wed May 19, 2010 1:03 pm

I had to change 3 settings in my ADT GE Concord 4 alarm to have to dial out successfully to the ADT monitoring center. All the setting are under programming and you will need to have the installer code to make the changes. In addition you have to have the alarm wired correctly to have line interrupt to work.
1. Changed setting in the alarm from (wait for dial tone) to (dial out after waiting a few seconds)
2. Changed the setting in the alarm under (disable call waiting) to use the fax prefix of *99. So basically you have to call OOMA to have them disable call waiting, you can’t just enter a disable code like Ma Bell. So this setting is useless to me except that it allows me to enter the *99. Originally added a pause and *99 at the beginning of the caller center number but that only worked 50 % of the time.
3. Changed the SIA/CID reporting from CID to SIA- I think that this is was really the fixed it but I haven’t tried it with only this setting.
Of Note: Most alarm systems have a built-in line voltage meter on the phone line. This is why you will receive a message on the alarm when you alarm is disconnected from a phone line. However, the absence of this message DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU ALARM CAN CALL HOME, only that the alarm is detecting voltage on the phone line.

To truly test that you alarm can call home you either need to do a phone test from the console or call the alarm company and have them put your alarm in test mode and then set off the alarm. Also you need to do a line interrupt test to make sure it can still dial out after the burglar takes the phone off the hook. Easy enough call the alarm company from your ooma phone and then when the alarm dials out it will have to disconnect you first. Many of the people I have spoken to on this forum who claim to have ADT working were sadly disappointed when then did a phone home test to the central monitoring office. They incorrectly thought that if the alarm is not complaining about not having a phone line then the alarm is working. Good luck and I hope that this helps. It certainly took me long enough to figure it out.

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