How to unlock locked alarm panels

Updated April 17, 2017

Alarm systems are manufactured with a standard code. The code allows the alarm's purchaser to control low-level programming of the panel. When an alarm company installs equipment, however, it may change the factory default installer code to its own code so that it can maintain the majority of control. Sometimes this action is taken to protect a customer, preventing unauthorised people from having access to the code. An alarm panel is locked at other times because the equipment has not been paid for in full. Under these circumstances, some steps can be taken to unlock the panel.

Purchase an alarm panel instant unlocker starter kit and the accompanying charge chips from a vendor that specialises in alarm service. Ensure that the items are compatible with your alarm system.

Insert a charge chip into the programmer. The chip includes its prepaid amount of unlock charges. The number of unlock trials permitted by the chip is displayed on the programmer.

Join the appropriate connector to the panel microprocessor. The instructions in your system's user's manual should provide information on locating the appropriate connector.

Press the "Start" button. After five seconds, the green "Unlock" light should be visible on your system's display.

Remove the connector. You should now have access to the panel and the ability to make desired changes.


If such an option is available, some customers may choose to call their alarm company and ask a technician to dial into the panel remotely to unlock it. Another alternative is to ask for a service technician to unlock the panel manually at the residence or business.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand-held programmer
  • Programming heads
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About the Author

Jane Iwenofu started writing and editing professionally in 2004. Some of her work is featured on, and Iwenofu holds a Bachelor of Arts in criminology from the University of Windsor. She also has a certificate in business analysis.