What is a system code?
A system code on a Honeywell Panel is a numeric password that is used to gain access to certain menus of the system
and to perform various functions. The main reason that alarm systems have codes is to make sure that the person who
is using the system is supposed to have access. Only the end user and any other individuals they have authorized to
use their security system should know any of the system codes.
Depending on the type of code, a master user can restrict access to only specific parts of the system for other users.
This makes some system codes more powerful than others. For Honeywell Systems, most codes are four-digits in length and
use the digits 0-9. This allows for up to 10,000 possible combinations for any given code!
How should I choose a system code?
Any code you use on a Honeywell System should be a code that is easy for the user to remember,
but difficult for others to guess. Remember, the purpose of a code is to prevent access to unauthorized users.
If an unauthorized user, like an intruder, is able to provide a valid system code, it could result in a serious
security breach. Likewise, if an authorized user forgets a code, it can be inconvenient or even impossible to get back in.
Most Honeywell Systems operate using delay periods. In other words, upon entering the premises, a valid code must
be provided within a very limited time period to disarm the system. If a valid code is not provided within this
specified time, then an alarm will occur. This will give an end user who knows a valid code enough time to disarm
the system. But it will not give an intruder nearly enough time to brute force their way into the system
by guessing codes.
What types of codes are used on Honeywell Systems?
There are many types of codes used with Honeywell Panels. The most common are outlined below:
Master Code: Each system has one Master Code. This is the main code a user will normally use for arming and disarming.
It can perform all security functions, add and delete users, change the current Master Code and perform many additional
system functions. This code cannot be deleted from the system entirely. Only the main user and operator of the security
system should know the Master Code.
User Codes: Most Honeywell Systems can have multiple user codes set up. These codes can arm and disarm the system just
like the Master Code. However, they cannot perform other system functions. A user code should be provided to a user who
needs regular access to the building, but should not be able to adjust important settings and configurations for the alarm system.
Installer Code: Each system has one Installer Code. This is the main code that is used for making programming changes to
the system. It is needed for adding, deleting and configuring sensors, adjusting entry and exit delay periods and more.
Basically any major system setting will require the use of the Installer Code. An important note is that the Installer Code
can only disarm the system if it was used to arm the system in the first place. This means that keeping the Installer Code
at its default is not a security risk, as long as the code isn't used to arm the system. This code cannot be deleted from
Guest Code: Also called a "babysitter code", a guest code is a restricted-access code that can be established on most Honeywell
Systems. The important thing to remember about this code is that it can only disarm the system if it was the code used to arm
in the first place. This code is best provided to users who need temporary access to the system, such as a house guest,
a babysitter or a maintenance person. The main user can arm their system with the guest code so that they can access the premises.
But if nobody else should be using the system, then the Master Code or a regular user code can be used to arm so that the guest
code cannot gain access.
Duress Code: The duress code is a special code that is used to send a secret signal to a central monitoring station, letting them
know that help is needed immediately. When this code is entered, it will appear to disarm the system like normal. But in reality,
a distress signal will be sent out to the central monitoring station to request immediate help. This code is very rarely used, as
its only purpose it to protect the user in hostage situations. Otherwise, this code should never be used. However, it is still
important to remember this code, as it can save lives when used properly.
Arm Only: On select panels only. This code can arm the system, but it cannot disarm.
Partition Master: Only for systems with multiple partitions. This code is the same as a Master Code, but its
authority only applies to a specific partition. This type of code is optional on a system, but it can be useful
if multiple partitions have been established.