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Security Encyclopedia

  24-hour Sensors any sensor in a system that cannot be disarmed or bypassed, such as fire detectors.
A/C Kit –To protect your air conditioning units with 24-hr monitoring
  Access Code a numeric combination that grants access to the system. (Also referred to as passcode)
  Access Control Computerized and mechanical processes for limiting access to resources based on users' identities and predefined roles. May be integrated with intrusion and fire detection and access control.
  Alarm a device for signaling intrusions or an emergency.
  Antenna a transmitting device that converts radio frequency energy into an electromagnetic field that travels through space, or a receiving device that converts an electromagnetic field in space into RF energy that can travel via a wire or cable.
  Anti-Pass back An access control feature that prevents system users from giving their access codes or cards to someone else. A user code must be used to enter and then to exit before it can be used to enter again. Similarly, to prevent the same PIN from being used by several persons, a time delay can be programmed so the PIN won't work again until the time delay is complete.
  Arm to activate a security system so that its sensors detect changes of state and report those changes to a control panel.
  Arming Levels a set of instructions that determines which sensors are activated and which are not. All sensors would be armed when you are away from home, for example, but interior sensors would not be armed when you are home and moving around the house.

  Automatic System Check
  • Reports to the central station when a sensor stops working Reports to the central station when a battery is getting low
  • Checks to insure the sensor is still within the range of the receiving antenna
  Auxiliary/Medical Alarm an alarm signaling the need for medical personnel.
  Bi-directional keychain touchpad.  A  system which not only controls the arming/disarming state of the panel, but can receive/send information to/from the panel as to other functions required to activate the system
  Biometric (Palm Reader) Usually used as part of an access control system, biometrics identify individuals on the basis of fingerprints, iris patters, or other identifying traits.

By far, the most common threat to our home is burglary. According to the FBI, a burglary occurs somewhere in the United States every 15.4 seconds.

  • By definition, the crime of burglary is a non-confrontational property crime that occurs when we are not at home. However, becoming a burglary victim can leave a family feeling vulnerable and violated.
    • Southern States having the highest percentage of 38.3% of burglaries
    • 55% of home burglaries happened during the day.
    • Burglary is mostly a crime of opportunity that capitalizes on YOUR carelessness and neglect.
    • Homes without alarm systems are 2.2 times more likely to be burglarized than homes with alarm systems.
    • If you are burglarized, your chances increase that you will be burglarized again. 
    • Burglary rates are especially high in the first two years that residents move into the house. Thirty four percent of all burglaries occurred within the first five years of occupancy; 47 percent occurred in the first two years.
    • Burglars prefer unlocked doors or windows and prefer homes without alarm systems.
  Bypass –

Use keypad to instruct  your security system not to arm a specific sensor or area.

Carbon Monoxide A colorless, odorless, and highly toxic gas produced during combustion by furnaces, water heaters, and other home appliances. According to the National Safety Council and the Center for Disease Control, CO kills between 500 and 1000 persons each year in their homes. 5,000 people in the United States are treated in emergency rooms for carbon monoxide poisoning.

CCTV – Camera Systems for Surveillance.

Closed-Circuit Television. The use of cameras for surveillance. Images may be viewed on a monitor, via the internet, or digitally recorded for later viewing and submission as evidence.

Cellular Technology -

A severed phone line disrupts the connection between you, CARE Monitoring Station, and the police, fire and EMS departments. 

    • An alarm panel communicates by telephone; you cannot transmit or receive a signal without a cellular backup unit to help you if your phone line goes down or is cut.
    • No Wires, No Worries - A perfect backup for your phone-based security system and those locations without phone service – a warehouse, cottage, barn or garage, etc.
  Internet Communications.. 

Without phone communications, the panel can still send signals to the central station via an IP address

Central Monitoring Station an agency that receives alarms from subscribers' security systems and requests the dispatch of fire, police, or medical authorities.

Control Panel (system controller)
the "brains" of the security system. Receives transmissions from sensors and communicates data to the central monitoring station.


  Delay the time allotted the system user to exit the premises after turning the system on without causing an alarm (exit delay); the time allotted the system user to enter the premises and turn off the system without causes a false alarm (entry delay).

  Disarm to turn the system off
Door/Window Sensor a device for detecting the opening of a door or window and

 for sending a signal to the control panel indicating the change of state.
  Dual Tech Motion Sensor

The sensor then evaluates several different aspects of the alarm prior to sending the signal, i.e.: motion detectors will evaluate the heat vs. size to create the alarm; glass break detectors will evaluate compression vs. shattering sound prior to creating the alarm

DVMR Digital Video Multiplex/Recorder. A device that receives images from several CCTV cameras at once and enables the images to be viewed on a monitor or recorded
  Electric Strike Electronic device for locking and unlocking doors in response to signals from an access control system.
  Electronic Access Control Controlling entry into a physical area by means of a controller and electronic components including locks, readers, sensors, buttons and more. Electronic access control specifies who can go where and when.
  Ethernet A way of networking multiple devices into one system, enabling a security system to be controlled from different access points within the network.
  Event Log A record of actions performed and recorded by a security or access control system.
  False Alarm any alarm sounded when there is no cause for alarm.  95% of false alarms are user initiated
  Fire Alarm a signal transmitted by heat or smoke detectors. Also could be manual, ie pull station
Glass break Sensor a device that detects frequencies that accompany the breaking of glass.
GPS  Global Positioning Satellite – Tracking System.

Know Where your fleet vehicles are at all times; when they are being used; idling; speeding; etc. 

  Handheld Panic Button a transmitting device for activating a panic alarm.
  Heat Sensor a device that detects heat or a rapid change in temperature which occurs in the presence of fire
  Home Automation the use of devices to automatically regulate or perform functions commonly associated with the home
  Horn Strobes  Siren with a strobe light.
Interference RF energy in the receiver's band which is not made by a system transmitter; reduces the communications range of a transmitter-receiver system.
  Interior Sensors devices that register changes of state of interior spaces or doors. Such as temperature sensors, sump pump sensor, motion detectors or interior door sensors
  Intrusion Alarm a signal transmitted by sensors that detect intrusion. Door/Window sensors, glassbreak detectors and motion detectors most commonly send intrusion alarm signals.

  Joystick A controller for moving a pan/tilt/zoom camera up, down, left or right.
KEY PADS: Control unit for the alarm panels

Key fob Wireless on/off button

Local Area Network (LAN)
A connected system of cameras, recorders, and other security systems that communicate with each other and can be controlled from different access points in the system.

  Module in home automation, a device for interfacing controllers with security devices, lamps, appliances, and other devices. Each module has an address which may be unique or may be the same as other modules.
Monitoring Service see Central Monitoring Station

motion Motion Detectors Passive Infrared: PIR: An intrusion detector designed to register changes of temperature, which occur when an intruder enters a protected space.

  No Delay

System will alarm immediately without delay.  Also the system user can approach the premises and before entering disarm the system with no delay using a key fob. This eliminates the feeling of being rushed to turn off the system to prevent a false alarm after entering a delay door.

  Panic Button a remote control device or a button on the keypad that sends an alarm signal without requiring the use of an access code.
Panic Pendant    (Personal Emergency Device) a portable device that sends a wireless panel signal to the control panel. They can be worn around the neck with a neck strap, clipped to a belt, or placed in wall-mounted holders. These devices are usually waterproof


see control panel (the computer’s brains of the system)

  Passcode same as Access Code – a 4-digit code you enter to turn your alarm system on or off or bypass, etc.
  Password a secret word to identify yourself when talking to the monitoring station.
Prewire To wire your structure for alarm system, intercoms, access control, surround sound, whole house integration before the walls and drywall is up

Pull Station

When pulled sets off an alarm that your monitoring station will respond to by calling the fire department. Unit has to be reset to be used again

Receiver sensitivity
the ability of the receiver to hear the transmitter's signal.
the RF analog and logic components in the security alarm panel that processes the signals received by the antenna and reconstructs the digital message of the transmitter.

  Radio Frequency the alternating voltage and magnetic fields in a radio signal. Frequency is measured in cycles per second, which is usually referred to as a Hertz after the man who discovered them. A megahertz (MHz) is a frequency of 1 million cycles per second.

 is a Violent Crime  - The formal definition of robbery is the taking or attempt to take anything of value from the care, custody, or control of a person or persons by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear. The short definition of robbery is theft from a person by use of force or fear.


Sensor   a device that detects a change from one state to another. For example, a door/window sensor detects the change in a circuit from a normally closed state to an opened state.
  Silent Alarm an alarm received by a central station operator which does not activate a local alarm sound.
Smoke Sensor or Smoke Detector  a device of either photoelectric or ionization design which detects the presence of smoke and sends a fire alarm signal to the control panel.
  Spatial Diversity using two or more antennas (on either the transmitter or the receiver) where the two antennas are switched. Having antennas with unique locations provides independent signal paths through space and thereby significant fade resistance.
  Supervision the use of a special signal sent automatically from the transmitter to the receiver to inform the receiver that the transmitter is operating properly.
  Transmitter Power the signal intensity of the transmitter. The higher the power radiated by the transmitter's antenna the greater the reliability of the communications system.
  Transmitter the circuit that includes logic that generates a baseband message describing the status of the inputs to the transmitter, a radio frequency oscillator that generates the carrier frequency, modulation method to impose the message onto the carrier frequency, and an antenna to radiate the signal.
  Two-Way Voice a technology for allowing a central station operator to hear what transpires after an alarm is activated and to talk to persons on the scene. Utilized in churches where phones are not accessible. Also, used with medical panic systems 
  User ID A unique identification code that enables access. Usually used in conjunction with a password. (See Passcode and Password)
Video Motion Detection Detection and triggering of video recording by a camera. Usually, the camera will activate 5 seconds prior to movement and continue recording for 5 seconds after the movement stops
  Wave Length the distance that the radio wave travels in one cycle of the transmitter’s frequency. At 300 MHz a wavelength is about 30 inches and at 900 MHz a wavelength is about 8 inches.
  Wireless Keychain Touchpad a system-controlling device designed to fit in a pocket or purse.