Security & Surveillance Solutions - Protecting People and Property
Glossary of Security Terms
CCTV | Access
Control | Access Control Card |
of Security Systems Terminology
zone - A device that remains armed constantly. Examples of
24 hour devices are Fire and Panic.
Screens - These are standard window screens that have a
special wire woven in the screening. They are designed to
detect someone cutting the screen.
Display - A Keypad that displays the condition of the system
in text rather than with LED's.
- The process of "Turning On" the alarm system.
Detector - A device designed to detect a break-in by
analyzing the sound waves generated by the breaking of glass
- The act of temporally dis-connecting a part of the system.
bypassed device can not trigger an alarm.
Station - A remote location that is designed to monitor
signals from alarm systems.
Protection - Protection that will detect both the opening
and forcible entry through a door or window.
- Devices designed to detect the opening of a door or
zones - Zones that can be turned on or off by an authorized
user of the system. Examples of Controlled zones are door
contacts and motion detectors.
- The process of turning the security system off.
Detector - Any device that uses two different sensing
technologies to detect an intrusion. Dual detectors are
thought to be less susceptible to false alarms.
Delay - A predefined period of time that the user has to
disarm the system.
delay - A predefined period of time that the user has to
leave the premises after arming the system.
alarm verification - A fire zone feature that attempts to
minimize false alarms by not signaling an alarm when a smoke
detector trips the first time.
the control will automatically reset the detector and only
activate the fire alarm if the smoke detector trips again.
Mats - Thin mats with pressure switches designed to be
placed under rugs to detect someone walking in the area.
Metallic tape placed on glass or walls to detect the
breaking of the material.
Arming - The act of arming a security system with one or
more devices in trouble. When armed in this manner the
faulted devices will not detect any intrusion. On some
systems if the device that was in trouble returns to its
normal state it will become an active device capable of
detecting an intrusion.
wired - A system that uses wires to connect all of the
devices to the control.
detector, Fixed - A detector that will trigger an alarm when
the temperature at the device reaches a preset limit.
detector, Rate of Rise - A detector that will trigger an
alarm if the temperature at the detector increases at a
zones - Devices that would be activated by normal movement
within the premises. Examples of interior zones are motion
detectors or contacts on bedroom doors.
- A device used to arm or disarm the system. This is the
device that is used to interface with the system.
Light Emitting Diode. An electronic device that lights up
when power is applied. These devices are used as various
- A system where the Security Company maintains ownership of
- A motion detector that uses high frequency radio waves to
detect motion. Similar to an ultrasonic.
- The sending of alarm, trouble, and other signals to a
remote location such as a Central station.
detector - A device designed to detect movement within the
of motion detectors are Microwave, Ultrasonic, and PIR.
A system where the purchaser owns the equipment.
PIR - A
device that uses Infra Red energy to detect motion within
Manually activated devices used to summon help. These
devices can either be silent or cause the sounders to
activate. If silent is desired the system must be monitored.
protection - Protection that will detect the opening of a
door or window.
- A zone or group of zones programmed as an area within the
premises. For example if you kept your stamp collection in a
room, normally not used, you could have all of the detection
devices in that room programmed as a partition. In this
manner that room will still be protected even when the main
house system is disarmed. Also works well for gun cabinets,
zones- Devices connected to exterior doors and windows.
eye: A device that uses a beam of light which when broken
will trigger an alarm. There are 2 parts to a photo electric
eye, the transmitter, which sends out the light, and the
receiver which "sees" the light. The light used in
these today is not visible.
of Protection - A single detection device such as a door
contact or motion detector. Multiple points can be wired to
a single zone, such as all rear windows.
Station - A manually activated device generally used to
activate the fire alarm.
Radio Frequency. Used to describe wireless transmission of
program - The ability to access the program in the control
panel and make changes.
detector - A device designed to detect the vibrations caused
when breaking glass, wood or other materials.
reset - Certain devices, such as smoke detectors, must be
manually reset after tripping. This reset process generally
involves removing power from the detector for a few seconds.
detector - See seismic detector.
detector - A device that detects the presence of smoke.
There are 2 basic types of smoke detectors, Ionization and
by - Battery provided to power the system in the event of an
detector - A device that detects the stress in beams when
walking above or near the detector.
shunt - An option on some controls which will automatically
by pass any zone after a pre set number of trips, during an
armed cycle. Some controls will reactivate the zone if it
remains normal for a period of time.
Underwriters Laboratories. a non profit organization that
sets standards for security devices, the installation of
security systems, and the monitoring of security systems.
detectors - Motion detectors that use high frequency sound
waves to detect motion within the area.
codes - Codes that are used to arm, disarm, or perform other
operations of the system. Some controls have levels of
authority which can limit what functions a user can perform.
In a partitioned system user codes can also be assigned to
the various areas.
test - A function that allows an authorized user to test the
detection devices. You should test all devices on a regular
mode - Sometimes called Chime or Monitor. An arming level
that will only activate a sounder at the keypad when a door
or window is opened.
- A system that uses Radio waves or RF to send intrusion or
status signals from detectors to the control. A supervised
system also monitors the condition of the transmitter as
well as its battery. These systems will alert you if a
transmitter fails or its batter starts to get low. An
unsupervised system does not monitor the condition of the
transmitters or batteries.
A point or group of points in a system. Making each
detection device its own zone greatly reduces
troubleshooting of problems and false alarms.