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Alarm Setup and Install Best Practices
Alarm Setup and Install Best Practices

Learn best practices to set up and install your Verkada alarm

Updated yesterday

Building materials, obstructions, distance, and general radio frequency (RF) interference are highly variable across different environments and from the time of day. As such, we highly recommend that you read and follow guidelines outlined in this article to ensure that your wireless system operates to the best of its ability.

Add your wireless alarm hub to Verkada Command

  1. Remove the cover from your alarm hub and plug the device into a Power over Ethernet (PoE) switch.

  2. In Verkada Command, go to All Products > Add Devices and select a site. This will be your alarms site.

  3. Find and enter the 12-character serial number, beginning with "DQ6", located at the bottom of the device or on the box that was provided.

  4. Click Activate.

  5. Once you activate your hub, follow the setup flow to configure your alarms site. If you added it to an existing alarms site, you can skip this step.

  6. Navigate to the Alarms > Devices tab and verify that your wireless hub is reporting online and the LED on the hub is solid blue.

Add your wireless sensors to Command

Place your wireless sensors next to the wireless hub.

Note: Prior to installing the sensors in their final locations, our team will verify that all of your sensors are properly communicating with your hub and reporting events to Command.

Add your wireless sensors by SN

  1. In Verkada Command, go to All Products > Devices.

  2. At the top right, click Add Devices and select a site. This is the alarms site associated to your wireless sensor.

  3. Find and enter the 12-character serial number, located at the bottom of the device or on the box that was provided.

  4. Click Activate to automatically associate the sensor to the alarms site and the hub(s) in your organization.

Note: Wireless sensors and hubs do not have to exist in the same Alarms site. Sensors automatically communicate with the closest physical hub that exists in your entire organization.

Power on your wireless sensors

When the sensors are first powered on, they automatically try to join the closest hub to report their status.

  1. Pull the battery tabs from your sensor(s) to power on the device.

  2. Initiate trigger event(s), as detailed in Set Up Your Wireless Devices, for your specific sensor (door open/close, motion detected, button press, and so on).

Validate wireless sensor coverage

  1. Place the hub as close to the desired location as possible, such as the center of the floor/building for maximum coverage.

  2. The most recent sensor events are time-stamped in the Alarms site > Devices tab. You can monitor this page to ensure that sensor events and the sensor's current signal strength are properly reported to Command.

  3. Relocate your wireless sensors to their desired install locations and send several trigger events (door open/close, motion detected, panic button press, glass break tester, and shorting the metal contacts on the water sensor). The lowest recommended Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) is -85. We recommend not allowing lower values (for example, 90, -95, and so on); this weak signal strength means that the sensors will likely drop offline and experience difficulties upgrading. The -85 RSSI provides a safer barrier to the variability in environmental changes.

  4. If the events are reported to Command, install the sensor in its final location and send 1 more event for good measure; otherwise:

    1. If no events are being received, move closer to the hub to determine if the issue is related to signal coverage.

    2. If you find that events are received when you move closer to the hub, perform a site walk to determine if there are any obstructions that could be dampening the signal.

    3. Reposition the hub for better coverage and restart the testing.

    4. If all else fails, you may want to consider purchasing an additional hub and license to fully cover your floor/building.

Configure Command

Before you begin this configuration, verify your alarm site settings and validate system operations by raising a few test alarms.

Put your Alarm site in test mode

When the system is put in test mode, the system and monitoring agents still go through the alarms flow, but do not dispatch emergency services, unless you explicitly request it.

  1. Toggle on Enable Emergency Dispatch.

  2. Toggle on Monitoring Test Mode.

Configure the user call list and notifications

Required. At least 1 user with a phone number must be subscribed to receive a call from our monitoring agents.

In the screenshot example, the first person listed receives a call and then the following person would be the second to be called if the first person is unavailable, and so on. Each user will receive SMS and email notifications when an alarm is raised.

Add wireless or wired sensors as triggers

Note: All added sensors are used as triggers.

  1. On the Alarm Triggers page (for Wireless Sensor Events or Wired Sensor Events), click Add Sensor.

  2. Click Editto configure additional settings, such as door contact sensors and panic buttons.

Arm the site and raise a test alarm

  1. Arm the alarms site from Command and monitor the Activity tab.

  2. Trigger your sensors and after the entry delay has elapsed, an alarm should be raised.

    • Users on the notification list can resolve the alarm by spelling out their last name and phone number associated with their account to the monitoring agent.

    • Command users can also manually resolve the alarm banner or by disarming their system.

  3. Expand the alarm-raised event to see all of the sensors that were tripped:

    1. Under the alarm period, click See Details. In this view, you can see details about the flow of events for the raised alarm event.

    2. Click See more to expand the list of device events and include context camera footage for raise-alarm events, if configured.

Ensure the event population

Under the alarm site > Devices tab, ensure that all of the wireless sensors have populated at least 1 event.

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Need more help? Contact Verkada Support

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