Why Is My Sensor Failing and/or Showing Malfunction?

About every hour, your alarm system's control panel will send a signal to all of your sensors to make sure they are all functioning and reporting properly. This is commonly referred to as a "roll call".

If the control panel does not hear back from a particular sensor, it will announce a "Failure" when you check the status on the control panel. It will show up as a malfunction on your Brinks Home Security Interactive interface.

 Common reasons that a sensor will go into "Failure" or "Malfunction" are:

  1. The battery in the sensor is dead.
  2. The sensor is too far from the control panel. If the sensor exceeds 100ft, then a malfunction may occur.
  3. There is something causing Radio Frequency (RF) interference near that particular sensor or near the master control panel. Common wireless devices that cause interference are: Routers, telephones, gaming controllers or doorbells, Large metallic objects such as refrigerators, or large screen T.V.s., Plaster walls with metal fibers, Metal studs in your walls, Interior concrete walls


  1. Perform A Sensor Test - this will attempt another "roll call"
  2. Change The Sensor Battery 
  3. Relocate the sensor that is failing with another sensor that is not failing. This will tell you if it is an issue with the location of the sensor or if it is an issue with the sensor itself.
  4. If the problem follows the location, try re-positioning the device higher or lower on the door or window (if a door or window sensor is failing) or higher or lower on the wall (if it is a motion or glass break that is failing).
  5. If the problem follows the sensor, you will need to replace the sensor as it is defective.

*Note - If you change the battery, be sure to reseat the cover. If the cover is not properly aligned and snug it will create tamper trouble. Also, check to make sure the arrows on the sensors are lined up and there is no more than the width of a pencil between the two when mounting. 


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1 comment
  • Hi Robert,

    Batteries can typically be found on Amazon Prime, Best Buy, Batteries Plus, or Walmart. 

    Which sensor is showing a low battery? Also, can you tell me the name of your system or upload an image?


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