One of the most asked questions that we ask our security company is whether or not we get to own the equipment. Other questions that may arise include: whether or not a security company can monitor an existing ADT alarm system or if they can take over existing ADT alarm equipment such as sensors, alarm panels, fire alarms, cameras, and others. Here in this article, we tackle these burning questions, while providing a sensible path forward, in case your monthly monitoring fees from ADT are going up. 

ADT-Owned Equipment

If you have ADT equipment and are not locked into monitoring with them, reach out to a local security company to see if they offer monitoring services that are compatible. Most likely, you will find a company that can use your existing ADT equipment and wiring so you can monitor your alarms. Most security companies can reprogram your control panel to work with their own monitoring center, even if ADT has locked you out from using it.

If you are going to use another company to monitor your existing ADT equipment, some key things to look out for when you are deciding on a monitoring company include:

  • Are they Listed?

The UL Certificate is an alarm company’s declaration that an alarm system has been installed, and will be maintained, tested, and monitored, in accordance with the most up-to-date applicable codes and standards. UL’s technical experts assess alarm companies for their ability to install, maintain, test, inspect, and monitor alarm systems, as well as, provide runner service and communicate with the proper authorities.

  • Are they TMA Five-Diamond Certified?

The TMA Five Diamond designation is granted annually to monitoring centers that satisfy all of the requirements of the five points of excellence, including a commitment to:

  1. Random inspections and quality criteria standards by a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as FM Approvals, Intertek/ETL and UL — the highest levels of customer service.
  1. Ongoing job-related education and testing by having 100% of its central station operators certified using the TMA online training series.
  1. Raising industry standards through TMA membership and participation in its activities.
  1. Reducing false dispatches.


With DIY security rising in popularity, it is inevitable that homeowners will question whether or not they need to monitor their system professionally and just do it themselves. However, it is advised that you have your fire and security alarms professionally monitored, not only for peace of mind but also for the overall security and safety of your home and family.

If you look at many of the DIY security systems today, they are professionally monitored. This is because a homeowner cannot provide the same kind of consistency in monitoring and response, even if they are getting alerts sent to their phone or tablet. In addition, every minute counts when we are talking about a fire alarm, for example, so having that monitoring center contacting emergency response when you need it is why you pay for the pro-monitoring.

Am I Getting the Newest and Most Up-to-Date Equipment?

All of ADT’s equipment is brand new right out of the box. ADT doesn’t provide previously rented or refurbished equipment.

Do I Own or Lease the Home Security System?

With ADT, you lease the equipment. The price of the equipment is rolled into your monthly monitoring payment. According to an agent from ADT, once the contract is up, they will not take their equipment back — so you can either leave it in the home or throw it out. However, on the ADT FAQ page, the company states that once your service is disconnected, you’ll receive a prepaid return box and instructions on how to return the equipment.

Does ADT Service Its Equipment?

Yes, ADT services its equipment, but depending on your plan, there might be a fee associated with the service. According to an ADT representative, we can choose to design our system — by picking out the equipment we need — with or without a warranty. There is, however, a fee attached to the service without the warranty. Either way, the good news is that the company has technicians available 24/7.

Can I Take My Security System with Me When I Move?

ADT allows you to move with your security system; however, there is usually a fee attached. The company offers a Mover’s Discount Guarantee to help with some of the expenses of moving, but you’ll have to be a customer for at least two years

Is the Service Transferrable?

You might be able to use ADT’s equipment with another company if the new security provider’s technology works with ADT’s equipment.

Can You Use ADT But Monitor With Another?

Let’s start by addressing a question that we often hear ADT Customers ask: “Can I use my ADT equipment but monitor with another company?” Unfortunately, the answer is not a simple yes or no, as it depends on if you are under contract with ADT and what type of contract you currently have with ADT. If you own the equipment, the answer is simple — yes. 

But, if you signed up under one of ADT’s promotions that involved offering you free equipment if you commit to paying the monthly monitoring fee, you may be out of luck until the contract period is up, at least when it comes to having someone else monitor it. In addition to charging you more for monthly monitoring fees because they are giving you (or loaning you) the equipment upfront, they will also want their equipment back or block use of the alarm panel if you cancel monitoring service, as included in your contract. So be sure to keep an eye out for this in your contract if you have one with them.

In the competitive security landscape today, with many local security companies that can possibly offer you a better deal, it makes sense to double-check what ADT has to offer that we aren’t already aware of. Above everything else, if you already own equipment from ADT, it is best to see how they can work the most to our advantage. All in all, this is everything important you need to know when it comes to ADT’s equipment. Should you have more questions or need further assistance, don’t hesitate to visit their FAQs page here