Security & Fire Protection Systems/Protection One Security System


QUESTION: Been in my home 3 years.  It has a Protection One system Model K3743 and another number M7266. System shows green "ready" but has never been armed ... no manual, no previous owner.
I would like to use the system with no monitoring.  Can it be done?

ANSWER: Hello Chuck, and thanks for your question.

As with many things, there's not a simple "yes" or "no" answer. That leaves us with a qualified "maybe." So let's look at what we know.

Your system displays a green "ready" LED, which means that the field wiring -- all the protective devices -- are probably OK. The system has been like this for three years without sounding trouble signals, so I'm guessing that it's already programmed to operate without monitoring.

But you have no manual, and no user codes to operate the system.

The first thing to do is correctly identify the equipment. Protection One is not an equipment brand; they buy large quantities of equipment from manufacturers who put the Protection One name on the equipment as "private labels." But in my experience, the preferred manufacturer for Protection One has been ADEMCO (later bought out by Honeywell). So it's likely the the alarm panel you have is an ADEMCO Vista !0se or 20se. (The "se" is for special edition, i.e., "private labeled.")

If you open the control panel -- which is separate for the keypad, you may be able to find markings on the main board to make a positive identification.

If you do have an ADEMCO panel, it's possible to reveal the Installer's Code, which is used to program the original Master Code for the system. The Master Code is then used to program User Codes for the system.

If you can identify the panel as a Vista 10 or 20 se, Google "User Manual" for the particular model so you have a User's Guide. This will explain how to program User Codes.

To find the Installer's Code, try this procedure:

Power down the system -- both AC and battery ... unplug one of the battery terminals, and disconnect the wire from terminal 1 on the motherboard.

Wait about a minute, then reconnect the battery and wire on terminal 1. This will reboot the system. Within 50 seconds of doing this, you can reveal the Installer's Code.

On the keypad, press the * and # keys at the same time. This will put you into system programming.

Press #20. The system display will reveal the installer code, one digit at a time. Ther may be leading zeros, but ignore these.

When you have the Installer's Code, press *99 to exit the programming mode.

Set a new master user code by entering the Installer's Code, then 8, 2, followed by the 4 digit code that you choose. Those 4 digits are your new Master Code.

Use the User's Guide to figure out how to program User Codes, and to operate the system.

I hope this helps.

Best Regards,


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

QUESTION: Found the Programming Guide behind panel.  Still needs a master's degree ... your info looks easier.
The Guide shows 320P1 (VISTA-20PSIA with Custom Defaults)
Also,I can see the connection for the phone.  Should I disconnect that line?
Does any of this additional info alter you first answer?

It's a plus if you found the programming information that the original installer filled out. That could be useful to you later on.

Nothing different from my first answer.

Well, you have nothing to lose ... the worst that can happen is that you have a siren going off that you can't silence. (But you can, just by powering down to buy time to regroup).

Good luck!


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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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