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Customer Questions

Over the years we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions. We hope this section will help answer your questions about the security system.

Q) WHAT DOES A BASIC RESIDENTIAL SECURITY SYSTEM INCLUDE?

A) The Basic Security System includes: One Control Panel with Back-up battery; One LED Keypad; One Interior Siren; Three Door Sensors; One Motion Detector; One Monitoring Communicator; Decals and Yard sign.

Q) WHAT DOES EACH COMPONENT DO?

A) The control panel is the "brain" of your security system and controls all the processing of alarms from the different components of your system. The keypad is your command center, allowing you to turn on all or portions of your system. The door sensors tell the keypad when a door is opened. The motion detector senses movement in the protected area. The siren sounds an internal alarm while the system sends a signal to the monitoring center. The back-up battery is installed to run your system if the power goes out. The monitoring communicator provides connectivity to the monitoring center.

Q) HOW DOES THE SYSTEM WORK?

A) Sensors are placed in various locations in the house to detect break-ins and fire. When a sensor is activated, a loud alarm sounds in the house and the system contacts the monitoring center. Upon receiving the signal, the monitoring center first calls the premise to verify that it is an actual alarm, then dispatches the proper authorities.

Q) WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE AUTHORITIES ARE DISPATCHED?

A) The monitoring center will try you at work or start calling RESPONSIBLE PARTY members in the order you have listed. These people are selected by you and are responsible to meet the police or fire authorities at the house, let them in, turn off the system, or secure the premises if necessary.

Q) HOW DO I OPERATE THE SYSTEM?

A) You select a four digit master code to arm and disarm the system from the keypad. You can program several visitor codes allowing access by family members and guests while you are away. You can reprogram these codes at any time. When someone enters the house, a delay is activated which allows for the system to be turned off. The keypad will beep until the system is deactivated. The technician will train you on how to operate the system and give you an owner's manual at the end of the installation.

Q) WHAT DO I DO IF I SET THE SYSTEM OFF ACCIDENTALLY?

A) STAY RELAXED! Go to the keypad and enter your four digit code to cancel the siren. This will notify the monitoring center that the signal is a false alarm and we will not call you. If you cannot turn the alarm off, you will be called and asked for your code word.

Q) CAN I USE MY SYSTEM WHEN I AM AT HOME OR AT NIGHT?

A) The entire system can be armed and the motion detector turned off when you are in the house. This allows you to move freely inside your home while having the perimeter protected. To use the motion detector at night, a keypad must be installed in the master bedroom to arm and disarm the system if someone needs to get up and move around the house.

Q) WILL THE SECURITY SYSTEM WORK DURING A POWER FAILURE?

A) The system has a back-up battery. It will run the system approximately 12-18 hours when the electricity goes out. The battery automatically recharges itself when the power is restored. The battery should last about five years.

Q) WHAT IS THE MOTION DETECTOR (PIR)?

A) The motion detector is used to detect movement inside the house. This device sends a series of fan shaped, infra-red beams approximately 35-40 feet at a ninety degree angle. It is normally placed in a hallway or central pathway in the home leading to the master bedroom area, since this is the first place most intruders go. Your home may require more than one motion detector to give maximum protection.

Q) CAN I HAVE A PIR IF I HAVE PETS IN THE HOME?

A) Yes. For an upgrade fee, we can install a "pet effective" motion detector to allow for pets 80 pounds and under. This allows pets to be in the home while you are away and not set off the alarm. It must be mounted above 6' and not look at stairs.

Q) WHAT DOES THE WARRANTY COVER?

A) For a lease/transfer system, the warranty covers all parts on a new installation for the life of the lease. Labor is covered for one year. For a purchased system, the warranty covers all parts and labor on new installations for a period of two years. All warranty service must be scheduled during normal business hours.

Q) DO I NEED AN ALARM PERMIT?

A) YES...Alarm permit ordinances vary from area to area. Check with your local police department to determine if a permit is needed in your area. Some police departments will not respond if you do not have a permit. An alarm permit application will be provided in your customer packet when the alarm is installed. Some areas also require an electrical permit.

Q) HOW DO I PAY FOR MY SYSTEM?

A) We accept personal checks, money orders or cash. Payment for installation is due in full at the time of the install, plus any additional equipment, along with the first quarter of monitoring. You will then be invoiced in advance each quarter for the monitoring. If you choose to pay for monitoring annually in advance, you will receive one month free.

Q) WHAT DO SERVICE CALLS OR REPAIRS COST?

A) $55.00 for the first hour, $30.00 for each additional half hour during normal business hours, 8 am to 5 pm Monday - Friday. After hours service is charged at a double time rate. Payment is due at the time of service or repair. Rates are subject to change.

Q) WHO PAYS FOR FALSE ALARMS?

A) In some areas, a fee is assessed for false alarms. In these instances, you pay for fees incurred. If the false alarm is due to equipment failure, Nighthawk will pay the fee.

Q) WHAT IS THE HAND HELD PANIC BUTTON?

A) This remote unit lets you move from room to room and outside in the yard. In the event of an emergency you would just press it for help. The average range is within 100 feet of the house. Perfect for handicapped and elderly residents. It can be used for either medical or police emergencies.

Q) HOW QUICKLY CAN A SYSTEM BE INSTALLED?

A) Systems are usually installed within 2-5 working days from the in-home date of purchase. However, we may be able to schedule something sooner.

Q) WHAT IS THE MONITORING CONTRACT AND HOW LONG IS THE TERM?

A) The Monitoring Contract is an agreement between the Customer (you) and Nighthawk. We agree to provide service for a specified term and you agree to pay for that service. After the initial contract expires you would be on a month to month basis unless we receive written notice otherwise 30 days prior to cancellation. The contract term, depending on the program you select, is for one to two years.

Q) WHAT HAPPENS IF I MOVE WITHIN THE INITIAL TERM?

A) You may have the new owner assume the contract. If you are moving within our service area, we will move the existing system for free. Certain restrictions apply.

Q) WHO OWNS THE SECURITY SYSTEM?

A) With a lease/transfer system, ownership of the equipment will transfer to you at the end of the two year contract period. If you choose the purchase program, you own the equipment at the time of installation.

Q) DO I HAVE TO BE HOME DURING THE INSTALLATION?

A) No, however, you must be available for the initial evaluation and layout of the system, for signing the contract and the payment of the installation fee. You also need to be available when the installation is completed so the installer can properly explain the operation of the system. Installation generally takes about six to eight hours.

Q) WHAT IF MY PHONE LINES ARE CUT?

A) Nighthawk offers radio backup which provides a second line of protection. If your phone lines are cut, your system's signal would be carried via a radio communications network that ensures you remain on-line with our monitoring center. Additional hookup and monthly fees are required for this feature.

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