Security & Fire Protection Systems/First Alert Security System


QUESTION: I am a total loss to find the manual for this system.  We purchased a home that has one and the previous owner did not leave one behind.  I've spend a tremedous amount of time trying to locate one on line to no avail.  I've called first alert, they tell to call first alert professionals and I get no where.

Can you direct me to a manual on line that I could download?

Much appreciated,

ANSWER: Hello Sharon, and thanks for your question.

The FA 260 refers to the keypad only, and this keypad is used for several First Alert control types.

So in order to get you the correct user's manual, we need to find the model number of your control.

The control panel is separate from the keypad. It'll be tucked away in a closet or the basement. It'll be a steel box, a little bigger than a phone book, probably beige in color.

You'll need to find that, open it, and refer to the diagram that's on the inside of the cover.

Just let me know what model number is listed, and I'll be able to direct you to the user's manual.

Best Regards,


[an error occurred while processing this directive]---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

I've located a manual for system FA130cp.

The display keeps showing a "3" and "AC" "Not Ready"

We thought the "3" represented a door or window that may not be making contact and the system is reading open.  Opened and closed all to no avail.  Do you have any insight to what else could be the issue?

Much appreciated,

ANSWER: Hello Sharon, and thanks for the follow up!

Let's see if we can simplify things.

First, the "AC" displayed on the keypad is normal. It means that the control panel is getting AC power from its transformer, as it should.

Next, the "Not Ready" message means that one or more zones of your protection aren't closed. In your case, this would be Zone 3.

Now, it's common practice for the installing company to leave a listing of what protection each zone covers. If you have that, then you're in a good position to narrow the problem.

It seems that you've done that, and you've ensured that all the protected doors and windows are, in fact closed. But just because those doors and windows are closed doesn't mean that that there's a problem on the zone.

The zone includes all the interconnecting wiring between the control and each protective device. So there's the possibility of a broken wire #had any work done on the house around the time the trouble showed up?#

And any one of those protective devices can be either out of alignment #for example, a loose-fitting window or door#, or just may have failed.

These things can be hard to find -- more so for the user than an experienced technician.

So I think the best that you can do without a technician is to inspect each protected device on zone 3. What to look for? See if you can identify the switch and magnet #that closes the switch#, and make sure that they are aligned, and close together.

Does zone 3 include any motion detection? If so, make sure that the motion detector has power. If the "walk-test" led does not light up when you walk in front of it, I'd suspect that it has lost power. This might be a plug-in transformer that's been inadvertently unplugged.

So, have a look around. And if you can tell me what types of protection are on zone 3, perhaps I can give you some additional insight.

Best Regards,


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: THanks again Dave.  Unfortunately, the first thing I looked for was a map of the zones to no avail.  We haven't had any work done and there are no motion detectors.  We will do another inspection of each door/window to check the switch/magnet and take it from there.  I will follow up with our status.

Best regards,

Ah... that's too bad. But you can try to figure this out on your own.

If you close everything in the house, and get someone to stand at the keypad, you can open doors and windows one at a time. The zone fault will show at the keypad by number... and you can develop a list of what each zone contains.

For windows or doors that don't make a change at the keypad... these would be zone 3.

Might be worth a shot!


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Dave Neuweiler


The design and application of burglary and fire systems for homes and businesses. Helping alarm owners understand how their system works. Helping to troubleshoot false alarm problems. Questions about monitoring issues.


Over a quarter century in the industry. Experience in installation, service, and monitoring centers. Training manager for a national protective services company; director of education and training for a national trade organization for for alarm dealers.


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