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ALARM GLOSSARY

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Term Definition
A/C Fail This is where the mains power going to the security system is cut off. When your security system is installed, AMC can also fit a back-up battery so that an alternative source of power is available during a mains power failure.
AREA This term describes the sections, or zones, of your property that are grouped together for the purpose of Arming and Disarming.
Access Control This is the electronic control of entry and exit points (through the use of using numerical codes, cards-swiping, or other methods of identification), instead of the mechanical locking and unlocking of doors by authorized personnel.
Activity Reports These are the reports that the AMC Monitoring Centre is able to generate in order to provide customers with information relating to their alarm system. The information that is monitored, and therefore can be given to the customer, includes such details as the opening and closing times of the facility, any personnel that were present, and details of alarm activations.
Alarm Event This comprises of a series of responses created upon the activation of the detection equipment on the site. This information is then relayed immediately to the AMC Monitoring Centre.
Alarm Panel This is analogous to the alarm system’s brain. All equipment and accessories are plugged into this panel, which then responds to specific stimuli.
Alarm System This is a functional unit comprising of the alarm panel, detectors, code pads, telephone interfaces, wireless remotes, sirens and other equipment that aim to provide electronic security.
Arm (Arming) This is the process of turning on an alarm system.
Authorized Contacts These are the key contacts listed in the customer’s monitoring records that should be contacted in the event of alarm activation. The contacts must be well versed with protocol, be familiar with alarm event procedures, and be readily available at all times.
Break and Entry (B&E) This is the forced entry of an unauthorized person onto the customer’s property, usually with the intention of causing destruction or harm.
Battery This is a backup power source, fitted with an alarm panel to ensure a smooth and continued operation of your security system in the event of a mains power failure. It is possible that a miscreant will cut the mains power immediately before a robbery.
Bypass This is the process of selectively turning off or disarming an area for the customer’s convenience.
Back to Base Monitoring This is the core system (the AMC Monitoring Control Room) where reports from a customer’s security system are automatically sent to via a modem, at the point when the alarm is activated. This system makes immediate decisions relating to proxy and key contacts, and the police may also be contacted.
Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) This is a system of television or web based cameras. They are connected by cables to designated monitors, and provide constant surveillance feed (they are not set up for broadcasting).
Codepad This is the user interface device for the alarm panel’s microprocessor. It displays information from the alarm panel, while also allowing the customer to arm and disarm the system.
Communication Failure This is the point communication between the AMC Monitoring Centre and the customer’s security system is lost. It is applicable to Securitel, GSM, GPRS and Internet monitoring systems. It will lead to a category An alarm event, whereby the property is considered at high risk.
Control Panel This is also known as the alarm panel. Refer to ALARM PANEL.
Control Room Refer to BACK TO BASE MONITORING.
Delay or Entry Zones These zones allow a period of time before activating an alarm, after entry is detected. This lets an authorized user enter the premises and disarm the system at the code pad without setting off the alarm.
Detector Refer to MOTION SENSORS.
Dialler This is the component on the alarm panel that is responsible for communicating alarm messages to the control room via a telephone line.
Direct Line Monitoring This is the process of relaying messages to the control room via a direct or dedicated telephone line. It is similar to Securitel monitoring, but it uses a separate line from the normal telephone line.
Disarm (Disarming) This is the process of turning off the alarm system.
Duress Buttons These are Hold Up alarms without an automatic police response.
External Siren This is a siren or strobe found on the external wall at the front of the property. It is responsible for attracting attention in case of alarm activation, helps a security patrol to identify the property, and also provides a visual deterrent to unauthorized personnel.
Early Open This is when an opening signal is received by the AMC Monitoring Centre outside of the customer’s scheduled hours. It is also known as an early opening, out of hours opening or out of hours entry.
False Alarm This is when the alarm system is triggered due to reasons other than an unauthorized entry. It can be caused by small animals (eg. ghekos, moths etc) present within the alarmed area, and can be prevented by the right selection and placement of detection equipment.
Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) This is where the mobile phone network is used as an alternate means of communicating with the AMC Monitoring Centre, and acts as a backup in case the fixed landline is cut, or if no landline coverage is available.
Hardwired This is where detectors are physically connected to the Alarm Panel through wires, instead of using radio waves.
Hold Up Arm This is for commercial use only. It is a category A priority alarm which has been triggered by the customer, and is considered to be a top priority event, warranting the immediate notification of police. These are usually triggered from either a fixed point, such as a foot activated switch, or a remote device, such as wrist watch.
Home Arming This is a feature which lets the occupants of a home move around internal parts of a building without triggering an alarm by setting up the by-passing of interior zones. In a multi-level home, it is possible to program, or home arm, the system at night to detect movement downstairs, while allowing free movement from the occupants upstairs.
Instant Zones This activates the alarm instantly when a detector in this zone has been activated. Usually, most zones are set to instant and points of entry are set to delay.
Interior Zones These are the zones which allow for movement within the internal parts of a building when the alarm system is home armed.
Internal Siren This is the loud noise that is emitted inside the building upon the triggering of an alarm, with the intent to shock or disorient the intruder. It also prevents the intruder from being able to communicate effectively with the outside world due to the level of noise.
Key-Switch This is a switch whose on/off functionality is operated by a key.
Local Alarm This is an alarm which sounds only on the property in the event of an alarm trigger.
Monitored Alarm This is an alarm which sounds on the premises, while simultaneously sending a signal to the AMC Control Room.
Monitoring Station Refer to BACK TO BASE MONITORING.
Motion Sensor This is a movement sensitive device which detects motion. There are two types: PIR and Dual/Tri Tech detectors. PIR or Passive Infra-Red detectors operate on the principle of detecting body heat, while Dual/Tri Tech detectors sense both body heat and movement within an area.
Opening and Closings Information is relayed to the Control Room each time an alarm system is armed or disarmed. This helps to detect unscheduled arming, or disarming, of the system outside of the customer’s normal business hours.
PIR Refer to MOTION SENSOR.
Reed Switch These are the switches that use a magnetic field to create open or closed circuits. The status is deemed normal when an egress reed switch is closed. When the egress is opened, the magnetic field is disrupted and the alarm is activated. Magnets mounted on the egress enable the contacts to come together upon closing (20mm). They provide a very cost effective method of perimeter protection (even when the doors and windows are partially open).
Securitel This is a specialized network connecting the AMC Monitoring Centre to the customer’s property. This alarm monitoring network performs regular checks such as ‘Polling’, where the status of an alarm interface is checked every 90 seconds. Securitel was popular in the past, but owing to the high costs of using this method, it is now being replaced by GPRS systems.
Slow Close This is the trigger brought into effect on exiting a property. It is usually seen when an exit is made after the exit delay time has expired.
Slow Open This is the trigger brought into effect on entering a premise. It is usually seen when an entry is made after the entry delay time has expired.
Smoke Alarm Events This is the response generated by a smoke detector.
Static Guard This is an authorized and licensed guard who oversees the property during a scheduled period of time. The time period may be set up as either temporary or permanent.
Tamper This is the switch, or setting, used to counteract the disabling of alarm equipment by cutting wires to the detectors or the sirens. This setting immediately reports a ‘Tamper’ status in the event of cables being cut or shorted.
Voice Code These are the unique passwords used to swiftly and accurately identify authorized personnel.
Wireless These are the alarms connected to their components using wireless devices. They are often implemented where installation using cables is not a viable option. These alarms are battery powered, and are as effective as their cabled counterparts.
Zones These are the terminals where detectors are connected to the alarm panel. The zones are routinely checked for alarm activations and tampering.