Programmatically trigger an alarm


New Member
We have an install where there is a button under the receptionist desk, which needs to preform 2 task...
  1. Press & released, then make announcement on the speakers in the back for someone to come up front
  2. Pressed & held for 5 seconds, then trigger a silent alarm to the CO
We have this almost done, but cannot find a programatic way to trigger the alarm. I spoke with support today & they suggested wiring Output 3 to one of the inputs & then turn Output 3 on for X time.

While that does sound like it would work, it seems like there should be a way to do the same thing without using actual interfaces?

Does anyone have any other suggestions? Thanks.


Senior Member
Many years ago, we had an exhaustive thread going on about this trying to figure out the best way to handle such a thing. At the time, the topic was about how to roll our own setup for the garage where exit1/exit2|entry1/entry2 weren't sufficient. The M1 is powerful enough to accomplish a lot through the rules, but one thing it cannot do is trigger an alarm based on rules alone.

Because you're trying to do two things with that button, it makes things different. If you just wanted a panic button, that'd be easy to wire it in as such - but because you want it to have multiple functions, you have to get a little more creative.

Long story short, the only good way to accomplish what you're after is what Elk recommended - wiring an Output to an Input - you can programmatically turn an output on in any condition; you'll have that trigger the input zone which will be configured appropriately. With rules, you can do something like:

Whenever Panic zone becomes secure then
Turn on output 99 for 5 seconds

Whenever Panic zone becomes violated AND output 99 is off, then
Trigger Voice Alert

Whenever Output 99 turns off AND Panic Zone is secure then
Turn output 3 on for 2 seconds
--(output 3 is connected to an input that's designed as a panic button)

That should roughly do it.

Another option - 5 seconds is a long time when someone is irate or holding a gun - consider two buttons side-by-side - if either one is pressed it alerts the back; if both are pressed together, it's a panic button. With some creativity, I bet I could figure out a way to wire this up using only 2 inputs and no outputs (with a combination of relays) so that no outputs are wasted - but I'd have to think about that for a few (not in the middle of the night).

If you feel like reading more about all this, here are a couple of old threads I found where it was discussed:


Senior Member
Personally, I think it is a terrible idea to use the same button for calling someone in the warehouse and to use for a silent alarm to the CO.

If it were me, I'd put in an obvious button on the desk for the warehouse call button and put a separate hidden button on the desk for the silent alarm. I would probably even setup a separate area on the alarm system that is always armed and a simple push of the button triggers it for silent.


Senior Member
You don't need a special area to arm there are zone type definitions already for this... most likely in this case it'd be a 24=Police Alarm, No Indication.

We haven't heard the OP's reason, but I can see plenty of instances where one might like both types of alert - if you have a woman working in reception and a seemingly violent person comes in who just needs a larger male to pursuade him to leave, a quick call to the warehouse could fix the problem... but if someone comes in acting like a danger to everyone (phsycotic, waving a gun, etc) then a police warning would be warranted.

If it were me, I'd be tempted to go the two-button route; that reduces accidental presses - but still allows for instant triggering if needed.


New Member
Thanks all for your help. I am surprised that there is not a programatic way to do this. I guess that we will wire it up--it just seems like a hack.