Does ADT Alarm Work Without Monitoring? (Solved)

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ADT, a leading name in smart home security, monitors systems that provide 24/7 surveillance by a team of professionals ready to dispatch emergency services on your behalf, which takes the responsibility of emergency response squarely off your shoulders.

However, it doesn’t come without costs, and one might wonder if ADT alarms will work without monitoring. In this article, we’ll answer this and more, giving you an overview of what to expect with or without ADT monitoring. 

ADT alarm monitoring

Does ADT Alarm Work Without Monitoring?

Yes, your ADT alarm will work without monitoring as long as it has power, a charged battery, and you have the user code. It essentially becomes an alarm, alerting you if there’s a break-in. But remember that without monitoring, you’ll need to call for emergency services when required.

How to Use ADT Alarm System Without Monitoring?

To use your ADT alarm system without the monthly monitoring fees, you can easily take on the role of monitoring it yourself. Here’s a brief guide on how to self-monitor your ADT system effectively:

Choose the Right Equipment

Select essential components like sensors, motion detectors, and control panels to ensure comprehensive coverage of your home.

Install the System

You can install the system yourself following the manufacturer’s guidelines or opt for professional installation to ensure everything is set up correctly.

Program Your System

Use the instructions to program your ADT system, setting up alarm triggers and response actions.

Place Sensors Strategically

Install sensors in high-risk areas such as doors and windows, and adjust sensitivity settings to balance between security and avoiding false alarms.

Test Your System

Conduct tests at various times to confirm the system’s functionality, ensuring all components communicate effectively and the alarm responds as expected.

Activate Your System

Please turn on your ADT system and use it actively. Please familiarize yourself with the process of arming and disarming it, and make any necessary adjustments to settings based on your lifestyle and security needs.

Carefully follow these steps, and you can enjoy the benefits of a secure home with an ADT alarm system tailored to your preferences without the extra cost of a monitoring service. 

This approach allows for a hands-on security management experience, putting you in direct control of your home’s safety.

Additional Tips

Here are some additional tips you might want to look out for if you’re self-monitoring

Arm and Disarm Your System Manually

  • Manual Control: Without a monitoring service, you’ll be responsible for manually arming and disarming your ADT system. You can do this through the ADT control panel or the ADT app every time you leave or return home.
  • Arming Modes: Based on your presence at home, select the appropriate mode (e.g., stay, away, vacation).
  • Alarm Code: Enter your code carefully to avoid false alarms.

Customize Your System Settings

  • Full Customization: You can adjust your system settings, schedules, and preferences to match your lifestyle and security requirements.
  • Key Settings: Review and customize settings such as alarm modes, sensor descriptions, entry/exit delays, alarm schedules, alert notifications, and system tests.

Enhance Security with Additional Devices

  • Expand Your System: Incorporate additional security devices like cameras, video doorbells, smart locks, etc., to boost your system’s capabilities.
  • Remote Access: Devices like smart locks and video doorbells allow for remote access and control, adding convenience and enhanced security.

Set Up Remote Alerts

  • Stay Informed: Configure your ADT system to send you real-time alerts and notifications about security events and alarms.
  • Notification Methods: Use the ADT app for push notifications or set up text and email alerts and integration with smart home platforms for comprehensive monitoring from anywhere.

The above tips will help you maintain a high level of security by self-monitoring your ADT alarm system. This ensures you’re always in the loop without the need for a monthly monitoring service.

Equipment You Need When Using ADT Without Monitoring

When opting to use your ADT alarm system without professional monitoring, your primary focus shifts to ensuring you have the right equipment to maintain a high level of security through self-monitoring. So here’s a breakdown of the essential equipment you’ll need:

Core ADT Equipment for Unmonitored Use

  1. ADT Command Panel: This is the heart of your system, allowing you to control operations, customize settings, and receive alerts.
  2. Security Sensors: These sensors are critical for detecting unauthorized entry, movement within your home, and environmental dangers like smoke, carbon monoxide, or flooding.
  3. Alarm Sirens: A loud siren is crucial for deterring potential intruders and alerting you to security breaches.
  4. ADT Yard Signs and Window Decals: These act as a first line of defense, deterring potential burglars by signaling that your property is secured.

Recommended Smart Devices for Enhanced Functionality

To augment the capabilities of your unmonitored ADT system, consider integrating the following smart devices:

  1. Security Cameras (Outdoor and Indoor): Cameras allow for real-time visual monitoring of your home’s interior and exterior, enabling you to check in from anywhere.
  2. Video Doorbell Cameras: These devices let you see and communicate with whoever is at your door, providing added security without disarming the system.
  3. Smart Locks: With smart locks, you can remotely control access to your home, which is convenient for letting in family members without compromising your security setup.
  4. Smart Speakers: Integrating smart speakers enables voice controls and receiving voice alerts about your system’s status.
  5. Hubs: A central hub allows you to manage your ADT panel alongside other smart devices within a single application, streamlining your home security control.

By ensuring you have this equipment in place, you can effectively use your ADT system without monitoring, keeping your home secure while managing alerts and responses on your own.

Security Measures that can Complement your Self-Monitoring

When self-monitoring your ADT system, you can enhance your security with these additional measures:

Smart Home Technology

  • Integrate your ADT system with smart home devices for seamless control and enhanced monitoring.
  • Good options include smart locks (Yale, Kwikset, Schlage), video doorbell cameras (Ring, Nest, Arlo), indoor security cameras (Nest, Arlo, Wyze), smart speakers (Amazon Echo, Google Home), and home automation hubs (Samsung SmartThings, Amazon Alexa Guard).

Lighting and Activity

  • Strategically use lighting and activity to deter crime and enhance self-monitoring.
  • Install intelligent lights and program random lighting schedules when away.
  • Enable “away mode” settings on TVs and intelligent lights to mimic activity.
  • Request neighbors to park in your driveway, take in mail/packages, and turn on lights.
  • Keep landscaping neat and bushes trimmed to eliminate hiding spots.

Signage and Deterrents

  • Make it clear your home is protected, even without professional monitoring.
  • Use ADT yard signs and window stickers.
  • Post security camera signage around your property.
  • Install driveway alarms and sensors to detect activity.
  • Keep dogs in the home to deter intruders from barking.

Precautions to Take When Using ADT Alarm System without Monitoring

When using an ADT alarm system without monitoring, take the following precautions to ensure safety:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions meticulously during programming and installation.
  • Regularly test your system to ensure all sensors function correctly.
  • Develop and practice an emergency plan, including knowledge of home exit routes and the location of safety equipment like fire extinguishers.
  • Stay informed about local laws and regulations, and update your system accordingly.
  • Maintain open communication with local authorities for any issues or questions.

FAQ ADT Alarm Monitoring

Can Another Company Monitor My ADT Alarm System?

Yes, another company can monitor your ADT alarm system, with some conditions to consider. 

If you’re currently under a contract with ADT, you must fulfill the terms of that agreement, which means you cannot switch to a different monitoring service while the contract is active. 

However, once your contract with ADT has concluded and you’ve met all its conditions, you can explore options with other alarm monitoring companies. 

How much does ADT monitoring cost?

ADT’s professional monitoring is now available at a reduced cost, starting at $24.99 per month for basic security systems and $34.99 per month for systems with cameras and home automation. 

This marks a significant decrease from the previous rates of $45.99 and $61.99 per month. The new pricing structure aims to make ADT’s monitoring services more affordable and accessible for users with varying security needs.

How does ADT monitoring work?

ADT monitoring operates by promptly responding when the alarm is triggered. The monitoring station contacts the home or business owner using 1-2 phone numbers and proceeds to alert the authorities if there is no response or if the correct password is not provided. 

This ensures a swift and effective response to potential security threats, enhancing the overall safety and protection of ADT monitoring services.


ADT monitoring quickly responds to alarms, contacts you, and alerts the authorities if needed. But If you don’t have ADT monitoring, your ADT alarm still works by alerting you if there’s a break-in. 

To use ADT without monitoring, follow the steps highlighted in this article. While there might be some downsides to using an unmonitored system, you can still enjoy the system by self-monitoring with the right equipment.

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