Burglar Alarm Glossary

Active IR - Active Infra-red detectors, as opposed to Passive Infra-red ( PIR ), comprise an IR transmitter and receiver and are usually used to provide long curtain coverage e.g. the perimeter of a compound.

Alarm Cable - These are the wires which are installed during construction throughout your home for the alarm system. Wires should be visible on your windows and doors and anywhere else where alarm devices will be located.

Alarm Monitoring - When your alarm is triggered by an intrusion or fire at your property, the signal will transmit to a team of certified operators who will dispatch and make notification of the incident.

Alarm System - An alarm system consists of any mechanism that triggers an audio or visual alert to warn of a problem, such as a fire or a burglar entering.

ARC: Alarm Receiving Centre . A Secure location where signals are monitored 24 hours a day.

Auto Dialer - A device connected to the alarm control panel which dials up to 3 pre-programmed telephone numbers and delivers pre-recorded voice (with some systems text as well) messages.

Back up Battery - The alarm system contains a 12v back up battery which keeps it active in the event of an electrical outage for about 2 days. When the power comes back on the battery will recharge itself automatically.

Breaking-Glass Detector – An intruder alarm detector comprising a microphone and signal processor to identify the unique sound frequencies of breaking glass

Burglar Alarm - A burglar alarm is a system used to scare off burglars if they breach the protected area with a loud bell or siren. When monitored by a certified central station the property has the added protection of the local authorities being notified at the time of the incident.

Business Security System - A business security system protects your business, employees, property and your competitive advantage. In addition to a burglar alarm an integrated business security system can include access control, video surveillance and recording, monitoring of environmental conditions and more.

Carbon Monoxide - Carbon monoxide gas or CO is a by-product of burning fossil fuels. It is a colourless, odourless, and highly toxic gas. A 0.1% concentration of carbon monoxide can be deadly.

Carbon Monoxide Detector - A device that monitors the presence and levels of carbon monoxide gas in a given area. If carbon monoxide is detected an alarm is sounded to notify occupants to vacate the area.

Carbon Monoxide Monitoring - If the Carbon Monoxide Monitor is tripped a signal will be sent to the central station and the proper authorities will be notified to respond.

Central Monitoring Center - This is the dispatch center where distress signals are received. It is operational 24 hours a day. Once the central monitoring center receives a distress signal, they will immediately call the home in order to make sure that it was not a false alarm. Then, if there is an emergency, they will notify the proper authorities right away.

Chime or Bell Mode - A programmable internal system that lets you know if someone has entered a zone while the system is disarmed. These are used in the disarmed mode for a variety of reasons. One of the best uses for the chime or bell mode is to let you know that someone has opened a door. It's a good way to keep track of teens or to know if a toddler has entered a portion of the house that is not safe, such as a backyard with a swimming pool. However, you should never use your chime or bell mode as your only way to safeguard your children from dangers such as swimming pools. If you have small children and a swimming pool then there are many steps that you should take in order to try to keep them safe

Control Panel - This box contains the 'brain' of the alarm system and is usually located beside your electrical fuse board. You will never have to go near this panel as it should only be accessed by the alarm installer.

Door and Window Contacts - When a door or window is opened, a contact sensor is triggered, and a signal is sent to dispatch if the system is alarmed.

Dual Tech Detector - A detector with two different types of detection within the same housing. The most common type uses PIR and Microwave technology such that both technologies have to be triggered to produce an alarm condition. This greatly reduces the occurrence of false alarms.

Dummy Sounder : An external sounder that provides a visual deterrent, but doesn't make any noise.

Duress Code : A number chosen by the user that, if used to unset the alarm will act as normal but will also send a personal attack (code 2) signal to the ARC / CMS

Entry Zone - A zone on the Control Panel to which detectors on the route in and out of the premises are connected. Detectors on this route do not generate an alarm until a user programmed time has elapsed. See also Inhibited/intermediate

External Bell - This is the bell that rings outside your home when the alarm is triggered. It is usually placed high up near the eves at the front of the house. Modern external bells come with a flashing strobe light and self contained back up battery. They also should have a permanent visible light on to tell the world that you have an active alarm system

EOL - End Of Line Resistor connected at the sensors to supervise the line from tamper

Heat Detectors - Heat detectors can determine excessive heat in your house or building. This can be a stand alone fire detection system or can work in conjunction with other security systems. Excessive heat can be a precursor to combustion

Home Security - Home security is crucial in order to protect your family, house, property and possessions.

Home Security System - A home security system is a complete system that secures a home from various threats and catastrophic events.

Internal Bell - This is a simple alarm bell which rings loudly upon alarm activation. It can be programmed to ring for a set length of time which is normally 10 minutes.

Key holder - a nominated person, who is deemed able to operate the security system, has keys as required and lives within 20 minutes travelling time.

Keypad - This device normally goes inside the front door. It is where you set the alarm and disarm it using your personal code. It will have a display which informs you of any events related to the system which may have occurred.

Keypad Panic Buttons - These are used in order to send out a silent alarm alerting the authorities that you are in need of assistance.

Light Activation - Some home security systems can turn on lights when an intruder is detected. On some systems, lights can also be turned on with a remote control.

Low Temperature Sensors - Alerts a monitoring center when the temperature inside your home drops below a specified level. This can come in handy if you live in an area where the outside temperature frequently dips down below freezing.

Magnetic Contacts - These consist of 2 parts, the magnet and the contact. The magnet is placed on the part of the window or door that opens. The contact is placed on the frame and connected into the alarm cable circuit. When the window or door opens and the magnet move away, it opens the circuit and sends a signal to the alarm control panel.

Master Code - The operators code for the system that has additional privileges such as being able to delete other user codes.

Medical Emergency Pendant - A MEP is a handy device that can be used in order to summon help if you become incapacitated. You wear these on your wrist or around your neck. If you fall, and you can't get up, you can use your medical emergency pendant in order to summon help.

Monitoring - When a home security system is connected by a phone link to a 3rd party

Neighbourhood Watch - It is a partnership between Police and public aimed at preventing crime in a residential area by informal surveillance, reporting suspicious incidents and developing social cohesion.

Opportunist criminal - A term to describe the criminal estimated to account for 80% of recorded crime. Two types of opportunist criminal are often identified. The first is not particularly intent on committing a crime, but when the circumstances present themselves will do so. The second actively seeks out opportunities. Both can be contrasted with ‘professional’ criminals who pursue a known target resolving to overcome whatever obstacles may be placed in their path. There is no clear distinction between these ‘types’ which simply serve as convenient shorthand when describing criminal activity. It is believed that the opportunist can be more easily deflected from his or her purpose.

Panic Alarm - A device which when pressed causes a full alarm condition regardless of whether or not the alarm system is set/unset. This may be enabled to cause a silent alarm if the system is monitored, then having the same effect as Duress code.

Panic Button - This is a device which, when pressed, activates the alarm. The alarm keypad contains a panic button feature on it as standard. Additional panic buttons can be installed if required.

Partition - Segmented section of a security system.

Patio door locks - Secure the sliding section to its frame. Various makes and types on the market suit all types of doors.

Perimeter protection (intruder alarms) - A term for any form of detection device that operates at the time of or before the entry of an intruder into a protected area i.e. a sensor located on the window frame of a home.

Pet Immune Detector - This type of detector is similar to a standard PIR but has a reduced sensitivity. Typically not detecting animals weighing up to 80 lbs

Photo Electric Beam – They are extended range infrared detectors designed to provide reliable perimeter security both indoors and outdoors. They normally feature two beams and require the breaking of the two beams within a preset interval to activate an alarm.

PIR Passive Infra-Red Sensor – Commonly known as movement or motion detector, they are designed to detect rapid thermal or heat changes such as an intruder entering a room. Passive infra red detectors receive but do not transmit energy.

Power Supply Unit - All Control Panels have a PSU usually rated at 1.0 Amp. This is normally sufficient to supply around 15 powered detectors and two sounders. If extra power is required a separate PSU can be added.

Shock Sensors - Also known as vibration sensors or inertia sensors, these devices contain a tremble switch. When a window or door is tampered with by an intruder the switch trembles and breaks the circuit, sending a signal to the control panel. The device can monitor the extent of the vibration and thus be programmed to ignore false vibrations caused by the wind for example, and only activate the alarm when genuine attacks occur.

Smoke Detectors - Gives early detection of a fire by an audible warning. They typically will detect smoke, other products or combustion. When used in conjunction with a home security monitoring company, emergency services can automatically be alerted that you have a possible fire. If your smoke detector uses a battery, you should have a certain day of the year that you religiously use to change the batteries.

Zone - A typical Control Panel will usually have 8 zones and in the majority of cases these are individually programmable as different zone types.

Zone Types - The different zone types determines how the control panel will react in the event of violation.

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