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Glossary of Terms

Home Security Terms

Away Arming System is armed, no one is home (pet don't count). Perimeter and interior devices (motion detector) active
Back-up Battery A rechargeable battery that provides power to the system in the event that AC power is lost.
Carbon Monoxide Sensor A sensor that measures carbon monoxide (CO) density in the atmosphere. Measured in parts per million or PPM. Most sensors will alert you if the CO level reaches 35 PPM.
Central Station A location that monitors alarm system transmissions, contacts subscribers and/or local authorities if needed.
Chime A sound that keypads can be programmed to make when a zone is opened or closed.
Contacts Standard term for switches that are mounted at doors or windows to inform the control panel of openings and closings.
Dialer The subsystem of an alarm that dials the central station and relays information
Disarm To turn the security system off
Entry Delay The time delay that allows for the system to be disarmed before it alarms.
Exit Delay The time delay that allows for exiting a dwelling before the alarm is active.
Hard Wired A device that is physically connected to the alarm panel by wires.
Installer Code A four digit numeric code that allows for programming in addition to arming and disarming of the alarm system
Key Fob Able to control the alarm system and enter the system into different states depending on the programming of the individual keys on the fob
Keypad A device that allows a user to control an alarm system
Life Safety Code A standard maintained by the National Fire Protection Association. It states, Danger to Life from Fire. The Code addresses those construction, protection, and occupancy features necessary to minimize danger to life from the effects of fire, including smoke, heat, panic and toxic gases created during a fire.
Line Seizure A system feature that allows the alarm to take complete control of the house telephone system in the event of an alarm. (Even if a phone is off the hook.)
Master Code A four digit numeric code that allows for alarm code administration in addition to arming and disarming.
Panel Programming The "brains" of the system.
RJ31X A special telephone jack that allows the user to disconnect the house telephone system from the alarm panel in case the system malfunctions.
Smoke Detector A detector that senses smoke in the air. Smoke alarms have their own internal sounders
Sounders A siren or bell.
Stay Arming System is armed, home is occupied. Perimeter devices active, interior devices (motion detector) deactivated. Customer must open a door for the motion detector to activate.
Transformer AC power supply
User Code A four digit numeric code that allows for arming and disarming of the alarm system
Wireless Alarm devices that use radio frequency (RF) transmitters and receivers in place of or in addition to hard wiring.
Zone Generally a zone is an area and can be associated with a single device but there may be some situations where multiple devices monitor a single zone.