ALARM PANEL – The brains of the alarm system.  All devices are connected to the alarm panel and their information processed to determine the response to an event.

ARM – Arming. To turn ON the alarm system.  Movement will activate sirens.

ALARM SYSTEM - The working combination of alarm panel, detectors, code pads, telephone interface, key fob wireless remotes strobe light and sirens used to protect a premises.

AREA – Zones can be conveniently grouped into AREAS that can be independently ARMED and DIS-ARMED.  For example the home may be occupied and therefore Dis-Armed but the external shed can be Armed.

BATTERY – A rechargeable battery, or backup battery, is fitted inside the Alarm Panel to ensure continued operation of the alarm system in the event of mains power failure.

BYPASS – A faulty detector can be bypassed to provide a temporary solution to false alarms.

BACK TO BASE MONITORING – A Centralised station (Monitoring Control Room) that receives reports from your alarm system, typically via the telephone line.  When an alarm is received the operator will call you or a security patrol or the police, depending on the instructions you have given us.

CODEPAD – The keyboard and screen used to program the alarm panel, ARM and DIS-ARM and read information from the alarm panel.

CONTROL PANEL – See Alarm Panel

CONTROL ROOM – See Back to Base monitoring

DELAY or ENTRY ZONES – allows a period of time after movement has been detected before activating sirens. Typically this allows an authorised user time to enter the premises and dis-arm the system at the code pad.


DIALLER – part of the Alarm Panel that allows alarm messages to be communicated to the Control Room via a telephone line.

DIS-ARM – To turn OFF the Alarm System.  Allows movement within the premises without activating sirens.

EXTERNAL SIREN – A siren and strobe located at the front of the premises.  Although not particularly attractive to look at the external siren performs several important functions. Most obviously to attract attention when the alarm has been activated but the flashing strobe helps identify the premises to a security patrol. Finally the External Siren provides a visual deterrent to a would be intruder that the premises are protected by an Alarm System.

FALSE ALARM – When the Alarm System triggers an alarm and no intruder is present.

HARDWIRE SYSTEMS – The detectors are connected to the Alarm Panel by wire.

HOME ARMING – Similar to Arming but bypasses INTERIOR ZONES so that occupants can move around parts of the interior without triggering an alarm.  For instance, in a multi-level home with the bedrooms upstairs, you might HOME ARM the alarm system at night to allow movement upstairs but have downstairs movement trigger an alarm.

INSTANT ZONES – Activates sirens immediately when movement has been detected and the Alarm System is Armed.

INTERIOR ZONES – Similar to INSTANT ALARMS but these zones are disabled when the alarm system is HOME ARMED, allowing movement without activating sirens.

INTERNAL SIREN – Makes noise inside the home when an alarm is triggered. The purpose of this siren is to shock the intruder into leaving the premises.  It also prevents communication between the intruder and the outside lookout.  Either way the Internal Siren tends to ensure that burglaries are restricted to smash and grab.

LOCAL ALARM – When activated, the alarm system only sounds at the premises.  No alarm signal is sent to the Control Room.

MONITORED ALARM – When activated, the alarm system sounds at the premises and the alarm signal is sent to the Control Room.


MOTION SENSORS – Passive Infra Red (PIR) detectors, Dual /Tri Tech detectors – PIR detectors use sensors to detect heat change, Dual and Tri Tech detectors use heat sensors and small microwave transmitters/receivers to detect both heat and movement within a room.

OPENINGS and CLOSINGS – The Alarm Panel can be programmed to send a message to the Control Room each time it is Armed (Closing) or Dis-Armed (Opening). This information can be used to check that a business Alarm System has been ARMED after closing hours.


TAMPER – A detector can sense the presence of an intruder but what if the intruder were to cut the wire to the detector as a means of dis-abling the detector? Electronic circuitry in the Alarm Panel can sense if cables are cut or shorted and reports the alarm as a tamper.  Unlike other alarms, tampers report whether the Alarm Panel is Armed or Dis-Armed.

WIRELESS – Using cables to connect the devices to the Alarm Panel is the preferred method, however if cabling is not possible then wireless devices can be used.  Wireless devices are battery powered and work almost as well as a wired device.

ZONE – Detectors are connected to terminals on the Alarm Panel, these terminals are called Zones.  The Alarm Panel constantly checks the condition of the zone for alarms and also detects if the cable to the detector has been tampered.