Security Speak Decoded

Decoding Security System Terms

Security System Terms Explained

Every Industry has specific terms that seem self-explanatory to professionals because of familiarity. This language is often daunting and unclear to the rest of us regular folk. The security industry is no different than most. Professionals don’t use security system terms to confuse us. It’s important to clear up the jargon though so you’re clear what you’re getting. You need to know what capabilities are included. Read this list of common security system terms often used by alarm providers.


Motion Detectors – These are electronics that sense movement within a narrowly defined space or field of view.

Glass-break detectors – Sensors that detect and activate upon the specific frequency of breaking glass.

Impact-activated detectors – These devices are activated by sharp, loud sounds.

Audio detectors – Devices which detect and begin recording sounds after an alarm activation in a wider range.

Partition – A group of alarm loops that protect a designated area of a building and can be armed and disarmed independently. For example, a warehouse might be one zone or partition and the office may be a separate zone.

Monitoring – The alarm system is connected by phone or IP communication to a central station where signals are received if devices are activated. Better quality systems include the capability to report if one of the components is malfunctioning. Local monitoring generally gives you the best service.

Verification – This is proof that the alarm is not false such as audio clips confirming a break-in in progress or video showing intruders.

The Bottom line
Getting the most cost-effective security system requires reliability. All electronic equipment is susceptible to malfunction over time. This means the most important part of your security system is really the warranty. The question is does your vendor stand behind what they sell? Make sure to look at the guarantees they offer and find out specifically what they promise. High-end technology is a great thing but make sure you know exactly what is covered if problems arise. Sonitrol makes that clear; we offer the industry’s most comprehensive guarantees. These guarantees cover performance, false alarms, satisfaction and emergency service. You need to know your security provider will back their equipment and be there quickly when you need them!

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