Glossary Of Terms

Glossary Of Terms

We take great pride in making our clients feel confident about their security evaluation, and the security system that is installed in their home or business. To help you gain a better understanding of your security system, we’ve compiled a glossary of terms that we commonly use in our industry.

2 A B C D E F G H I K L M O P R S U V W Z
  • 24-Hour Zone

    A device that is always armed, such as a panic button or a smoke detector.

  • Access Control System

    These systems not only control access, they provide security badging options, and track employee and equipment movements in and out of the premises or restricted areas, and can automate time and attendance reporting. Big Red Alert, Inc. also works with the leading edge of biometric systems, including hand, fingerprint and facial recognition systems.

  • 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.

  • Alpha Display

    A Keypad with alphanumeric display that gives a description of an alarm condition in text format rather than LED's.

  • Arming

    To activate or switch on the alarm system.

  • Battery

    A backup power source usually rechargeable to provide power in case of AC loss.

  • Burglar Alarm

    A burglar alarm is a mechanical 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.

  • Bypass

    To temporarily de-activate a portion of the input devices, so as not to trigger the alarm system while armed. This feature is usually used when a sensor is defective, or a window is intentionally left open.

    A zone which is temporally ignored or disconnected from the alarm system. Bypassed devices will not trigger an alarm.

  • Carbon Monoxide

    Carbon monoxide gas or CO is a by-product of burning fossil fuels. It is a colorless, odorless, and highly toxic gas. A 0.1% concentration of carbon monoxide can be deadly. Some common household sources of carbon monoxide are old or leaky furnaces, blocked gas or appliance vents, fireplaces, stoves, vehicles in attached garages, and even tobacco smoke. Carbon monoxide is a serious and common concern as it is present in almost every home in very small concentrations.

  • Carbon Monoxide Monitor/ 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.

  • CCD

    CCD (charge-coupled device) is a type of image sensor. In effect, it is the "eye" of a camera phone, digital camera, or video camera. It is a device similar to a computer chip, which senses light focused on its surface, like electronic film.

  • CCTV

    CCTV is frequently used in video surveillance systems. CCTV (closed circuit television) is a television system in which signals are not publicly circulated; cameras are linked to television monitors in a restricted region such as a store, an office building, or on a college campus.

  • CCTV Surveillance System

    Closed circuit television video surveillance systems are often used for security purposes.

  • Central Station

    A Facility that monitors alarm activation. When an alarm is activated , the operator calls the police, advises them about the alarm, and supply important information regarding precise location of entry (particular door or windows). Operator will also contact owner or other reference about the intrusion.

  • Contacts

    A two part device that signals to the alarm panel when a door or window is open. One part of the contact is installed in the door or window and the other part is installed in the frame.

  • Control Panel

    This is the "brains" of the alarm system , which receive information from all the Input Devices (contact , motion detector glass break detectors etc) process the information and triggers an output device (dialer, siren , strobe light etc.).

  • Controlled Zones or Area

    Zones, such as a motion detector, door, window contacts, or a group of these together which can be turned on or off. (The opposite of a '24 Hour Zone').

  • Decoders

    A tool or program that deciphers encoded data into its original arrangement. The term is frequently utilized in mention to MPEG-2 video and sound data, which must be decoded before it can be produced.

  • Delay Zones

    Any zone that after has been violated ,waits a predetermined time before triggering an alarm. This type of zone is related to entry doors into the premises.

  • Digital Dialer

    A device that electronically dials the residents phone to the monitoring station, ensures that is made contact with the receiving unit, and sends an electronic message indicating: the alarm activation, low battery, arming/disarming of alarm system etc.

  • Digital Video Monitoring System

    Digital monitoring systems are video security systems that can be used with a VCR, DVR, or personal computer.

  • Direct Line

    Also know as Dedicated Line or Direct Line. Special supervised phone line between Alarm System and Monitor Station , that if is cut or tampered with the Monitoring Station will be alerted and take appropriate action. Direct Line is used for higher security level required for computer store, financial institution , jewelry and fur store , gun shop etc witch require a ULC Certificate.

  • Disarm

    To turn off or de-activate the Alarm System.

  • Dual Detector

    A Motion Sensor which utilizes more than one sensing technology to initiate an alarm condition. A usual combination is PIR with Microwave or UltraSonic detector. These devices are more stable and less likely to create a False Alarm.

  • Dualtech Detector

    Two forms of technology used for alarm detection in the one detector. These are usually microwave and passive infrared technologies. Both technologies must activate before an alarm condition is generated. This provides increased protection against false alarms.

  • DVAC

    A network telephone system which meet ULC AA Certification standards and is replacing most others forms of Direct Lines.

  • DVR

    A Digital Video Recorder (DVR) is a device that records video to a hard disk in digital format.

  • DVR CCTV Recorder

    DVR CCTV Recorders record actions on a surveillance camera on closed circuit television that can be used for later viewing.

  • Electronic Surveillance System

    Electronic Surveillance Systems can protect homes from break-ins, burglary, and assault. They can be in the form of burglar alarms that notify the police, security cameras, and closed circuit television systems.

  • Emergency Response Locator

    An emergency response locator is a sign placed in your yard to help deter would be burglars and to assist fire, police and medical personnel find your property easily. The signs are marked with reflective numbers that are easily visible day or night.

  • Entry Delay

    The period of time that a user has to dis-arm the alarm system after entering the premises.

  • Environmental Monitoring

    A threat to your home or business that comes from internal mechanical failures or extreme environmental conditions. These failures/conditions include HVAC system failure; extreme temperatures, both hot and cold; a build up of water either from a plumbing failure or flood conditions, or high levels of dangerous gases, such as propane, carbon monoxide or natural gas. Monitoring of these threats is crucial to the safety of your home or work environment.

  • Exit Delay

    The period of time that a user has to exit the protected area after the alarm system is turned on.

  • False Alarm

    A situation were an alarm signal is triggered without any intrusion attempt. Some causes of this are user error (accounts for over 80%), telephone line trouble and equipment malfunction.

  • Fire Alarm

    A fire alarm is a mechanical system used to detect smoke and/or heat. When monitored by a certified central station the property has the added protection of the local authorities being notified to respond at the time of the incident.

  • Force Arming

    The act of arming an alarm system when a device is in a trouble or alarm condition. This device is usually bypassed by the control panel until the alarm system is turned off again. Some alarm systems will automatically arm this device after it is no longer in trouble or alarm condition.

  • grommet

    A small metal or plastic ring that is inserted into a hole made in another piece of material. It prevents fraying of the material around the hole and provides a durable, easily threaded opening for rope or twine. (Also called an eyelet.)

  • ground sign

    A freestanding sign that is not secured to a foundation or other secondary support structure.

  • Hardwire Systems

    Each sensing device is physically wired to alarm control box.

  • Heat Detector - Fixed

    A detector that will trigger an alarm when the temperature of the device reaches a preset limit.

  • 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.

  • Instant Zones

    Any zone that after it has been violated, trigger an alarm condition with no delay.

  • Interior System

    Sensing devices that are located in the interior of the protected area usually PIR.

  • Interior Zones

    Devices such as a motion detectors that protects the interior of an area. These interior zones can be turned off to allow movement within the premises whilst still protecting the exterior zones of the property.

  • Keypad

    A keyboard type device used for entering a numeric code to ARM or DISARM the ALARM SYSTEM. On keypad there are usually displayed status of zones, control panel and power.

  • LED

    Also known as a "Light Emitting Diode". This device is usually used by keypads to convey alarm system status.

  • Local Alarm

    A siren or bell is activated at the residence. This alarm relies on neighbor to dispatch the police and/or intruder to be scare and run.

  • Microwave

    A motion detector that utilises radio waves to detect motion. This technology is almost always used in conjunction with Passive Infrared (PIR) in dual-tech motion detectors.

  • Monitored Alarm

    Alarm system which sends information to a CENTRAL STATION or MONITORING STATION.

  • Monitoring

    The term used when sending alarm system signals to a remote location (as per 'Central Station').

  • Monitoring Station

    Same as CENTRAL STATION but is no requirement for guards to be on duty.

  • Motion Sensors

    Commonly referred as PIR (Passive Infra Red) works on principle of sensing infrared energy (heat) from the intruder's body in motion trough a protected area. It will not detect intruders trough walls, glass or others solid objects.

  • Openings & Closings

    Service provided for Monitored Alarm. Each time the alarm system is armed or disarmed special codes are send to the monitoring station which record the time and by whom the system was armed or disarmed. If system is not armed at regular closing time the client is notified. If the system is disarmed at an irregular time ( i.e. 02:00 AM ) the client and/or police is notified. Open=Disarm system; Close=Arm system.

  • Panic Button

    A device that triggers an alarm when activated by a user. The alarm system may respond by activating sirens or sending a silent alarm to a Monitoring Center.

  • Partitian

    A separate area of protection within a protected area. This protected area continues to be armed when the rest of the alarm system is disarmed.
    In effect the alarm behaves as a totally separate alarm system.

  • Perimeter System

    Sensing devices that are located on exterior doors and windows to activate the alarm.

  • Perimeter Zone

    A zone that has devices such as glass breaking detectors and door or window contacts.

  • Phone Line Seizure

    When the alarm is activated, this device automatically cuts off the phone service on the alarm line and use it for transmission of the alarm signal, releasing the line when the message is completed.

  • Photoelectric Detector

    A term used commonly with smoke detectors and photoelectric (PE) beams. A beam or light is transmitted to a receiver. An alarm occurs when the receiver does or does not receive the beam of light, depending on the device.

  • PIR

    Passive Infrared - this device detects changes in ambient temperature against the background temperature. When the PIR detects a change, it will trigger an alarm signal.

  • Proximity Card

    Proximity card, also called a “prox card”, is a generic name for contactless integrated circuit device. They are used for security access, control applications, or payment systems. The cards communicate with an external antenna by utilizing their embedded metallic coil. For this RF antenna to be read, close proximity is required.

  • Reed Switch

    A device that attaches to a door, window or roller shutter to detect if the door, window or roller shutter is opened.

  • Remote Access

    Remote access is the ability to get access to a computer or a network from a remote distance. In corporations, people at branch offices, telecommuters, and people who are traveling may need access to the corporation's network. Big Red Alert, Inc. uses remote access to make simple programming changes to our systems that would have required a service call in the past and to update and make changes to access control system data at the request of our customers.

  • Remote Programming

    Access to a control panel's program through telephone lines enabling alterations to be made.

  • Remote Security Alarm

    Remote Video Monitoring (RVM) systems supply a method of automatically obtaining video information from isolated locations and transferring them to a central laboratory workstation for processing.

  • Remote Video Monitoring

    Remote Video Monitoring (RVM) systems supply a method of automatically obtaining video information from isolated locations and transferring them to a central station workstation for processing.

  • Remote Video Surveillance

    Remote Video Surveillance systems supply a method of automatically obtaining video information from isolated locations and transferring them to a central station workstation for processing.

  • RF

    An abbreviation for Radio Frequency. A term used to describe the transmission method of wireless equipment.

  • Siren

    This device gives an audible alert that the alarm has been triggered.

  • Smart Card

    Smart Cards, also known as integrated circuit cards (ICC), are plastic cards with embedded microchips that can be downloaded with data. Although there is a diverse range of applications, there are two broad categories of ICCs. With a smart card, one can make electronic cash payments, pay for parking, pay for public transportation, give personal information, and make other purchases. As far as personal safety is concerned, they are capable of providing security services (e.g. confidentiality of information in the memory).

  • Smoke Detector

    A device that detects smoke. May also include a heat detector for added protection.

  • User Codes

    These codes are used to arm, disarm, or perform other operations of the alarm system. Most alarm systems have the ability to assign access levels (authority levels) to alarm system features and areas or protection (partitions).

  • Video Surveillance System

    Video Surveillance Systems can protect homes and businesses from break-ins, burglary, and assault. They can be in the form of burglar alarms that notify the central station, security cameras, and closed circuit television systems.

  • VoIP

    Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems are the new low cost telephone services that send calls over the Internet instead of traditional phone lines or any other IP-based network.

  • VoIP Alarm

    Not all VoIP systems are the same. Many deal with the phone traffic in ways that prevent alarm signal transmission entirely, or during peak calling periods. And because VoIP is currently unregulated by the FCC, companies are not yet required to resolve the potential problems with alarm signal transmission. At Big Red Alert, Inc. we’ve been monitoring the development of VoIP systems and we’ve engineered methods to ensure your security system will still be able to send an alarm.

  • Walk Test

    A term used commonly with motion detectors for the purpose of testing the detection pattern of the device.

  • Wireless Systems

    Sensing devices use radio frequency transmitters to relay signals to the Control Panel.

  • Zone

    An alarm system with many input devices is often separated into a number of areas called ZONES. Each zone has an indicator light on the keypad which present status of the zone. When all zones are secured alarm system is ready to be armed. In case of alarm, the Control Panel reports to the monitoring station condition of each zone tripped.