Security & Fire Protection Systems/Home Alarm Problem


I have an FBI XL-31 non-monitored home alarm system.  Lately when I try to set the alarm, zone 4 (which consists of a set of french doors and 3 windows) shows that something is open.  I can open and close the door a few times and the warning light will clear.  The alarm, though, has come on some time later several times that I'm aware of.  The problem is intermittent but has caused us to be wary of setting the alarm and then leaving the house.  My neighbor has called while we were out to tell us the alarm is going off!  Just changed the battery to see if that is the problem, but it seems to be zone 4 that is the culprit.  Advice??  I am not alarm savvy.  thx

It sounds to me like one of your contact switches has become misaligned.  This can occur if it's been accidentally moved (surface contact) or the window/door frame has "shifted".  Since you have a set of doors and three windows on that zone, here's what I want you to try.  Close all the windows and the door and make sure you have the "ready to arm" indication at the keypad.  Have someone stand at the keypad to watch what happens.  Now go to the French Door and grasp the knob (without turning it) and pull/push on it.  If the zone lamp flickers then you've found your culprit.  You'll have to tell me what kind of contact this point employs (surface, concealed, or a roller switch).  If it's not the French Door (the keypad indication doesn't move off "ready to arm"), then go to each window in turn and bang on the frame close to where the contacts are installed.  You will eventually find the one that's misaligned.  We can then move to the next step and correct it.  

Feel free to call me on my toll-free line (in North America) at 1-888-340-3473 anytime.

Good luck!!

Security & Fire Protection Systems

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Frank Kurz


Questions relating to Burglar Alarm and Security Equipment, Fire Alarm and Extinguishment Systems, Access Control, CCTV Systems, Installation, Service, Testing, Verification


30 years installing, servicing, and testing security, access control, extinguishment, and fire alarm systems

Chair of ULC Working Groups for Fire Alarm Testing (CAN/ULC-S536) and Fire Alarm Verification (CAN/ULC-S537), Executive Director of the Fire Protection Technicians Network (

Publications, Better Business Bureau Magazine, Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia ( SUPPRESS! and Techs Fire Break Newsletters

Associate in Science; Emergency Systems (University of British Columbia); Aircraft Maintenance Technology (BCIT)

©2016 All rights reserved.