Home Security Tips

Control Panel - A control panel is the brains of your security system. It monitors your security devices (motion sensors, glassbreak detectors, door and window contacts) and when it is in the "Armed" state, it helps track many events such as:

  • Door openings and closings
  • Movement detected by a motion sensor
  • Power failures
  • Low battery

A control panel is comprised of one or more circuit boards and wires, all of which are contained inside a metal box, called a can. The control panel is usually installed inside a closet in the home.

Motion Sensor ?A motion sensor is a device that is designed to detect movement in the area it is set up to monitor. Motion sensors in your home communicate to your security system control panel and send a signal when motion has been detected. If your security system is monitored, this signal is also sent along to a Central Station operator.

There are two main types of motion sensors available:

  • PIR motion sensor桝 passive infrared motion sensor (PIR) senses changes in ambient (background) temperature. When a person enters a room, the background temperature changes and it is detected by the PIR, which in turn sends a message to the control panel that this event has occurred.
  • DUAL TEC?motion sensor桝 DUAL TEC motion sensor is a dual technology sensor which uses two technologies to detect motion. Not only does it detect changes in ambient room temperature (like a PIR), a DUAL TEC motion sensor also uses Doppler (like the technology used to predict weather) to detect moving mass. Therefore, the DUAL TEC motion sensor does not send a message to the control panel until it has received and analyzed both messages-that both heat (PIR) and moving mass (Doppler) have been detected.

Animal Immunity ? Animal immunity in a motion sensor means that it does not detect animals, but does detect humans. Both PIR and DUAL TEC motion sensors may include some level of animal immunity. Sensors are "rated" for animal immunity, and may offer immunity to pets from 25 pounds up to 100 pounds, depending on the sensor. If you have pets in your home, ask your security professional for a motion sensor with animal immunity.

Glassbreak Detector ?A glassbreak detector is a device that detects when glass doors, windows or glass skylights have been broken. Honeywell glassbreak detectors "listen" for two sounds to determine whether or not glass has been broken. First, they listen for the flex sound that a window makes just before it breaks (we can't hear this sound.) The detectors then listen for the audio portion of the glass breaking (what we can hear.) If these two sounds match what the detector knows to be a glass break event, the detector sends an alarm message to the control panel.

Door/Window Magnetic Contact ?A door or window contact is a two-piece device consisting of a reed switch and a magnet that is mounted to the top or bottom of a door or window frame. When the door or window is closed, the switch and magnet "make contact." When the protected door or window is opened over about 2 inches, the contact is broken and an alarm message is sent to the control panel.

Arm/Disarm ?Your security system can be programmed to protect various areas in your home. When you want to activate these protected areas, you can Arm the system. By arming the system, you are instructing your security system to turn on and to detect movement, glass breaking, etc. When you want to turn off the protected areas because you're home, you can Disarm the system.

Zones ?A Zone is an area in your home that is designated to be the "protected area." Honeywell security systems are available to protect from 1 to over 100 zones in your home, depending on the size of your home and your security needs.

Central Station/Monitoring Company ?A Central Station or Monitoring Company is a business that梖or a monthly fee梞onitors the alarm signals that are sent to your control panel. The monitoring company is instructed by you as to how they should handle the reporting of your alarm signals.

Alarm ?An alarm is a message sent from a security system device (i.e. door contact, glassbreak detector, motion sensor) to the control panel. The homeowner has the choice as to what the control panel does with these messages. Some examples would be to send a voice message to you or a neighbor, monitoring company, sound a siren at the home, or simply record the detection in the control panel's memory to be retrieved later.

Hardwired ?A hardwired system is one that is wired into your home, similar to the way your phone lines and cable television lines are wired inside the walls.

Pre-wired ?A pre-wired system is one that has wiring already in place to add a security system. This allows the homeowner to add a system later, at their convenience. Many new homes are pre-wired for security.

Wireless ?A wireless system is a security system that uses RF (radio frequency) to communicate from a device (glassbreak detector, motion sensor) to the control panel. It does not require wiring in the walls.

Keypad ?Also known as the "user interface" to your security system, the keypad is your way of communicating with your system. The keypad is your method of turning on and off your security system, checking the status of the zones, adding in new users, etc. Keypads are available in many styles, depending on the system you choose.

Space Protection ? A security system allows you space protection. When you decide on a security system, you decide which areas (zones) you want to protect, and what type of protection you want for each zone, whether it be glassbreak detection, motion sensing, door opening detection, etc.

Perimeter Protection ? Perimeter protection gives you the ability to secure areas outside of the home. An example of a perimeter protection device would be a glassbreak detector, a motion sensing light, or a gate contact that would signal when an outside gate had been opened.

CCTV ?Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) is the latest security technology to make its way into the home. A CCTV system allows you to observe areas in and around your home. A system typically consists of from one to four cameras, a video observation monitor, and a VCR梚f the homeowner wants to record events while away from home.

Video Observation System ?A video observation system is a device that combines a monitor and a switcher in one compact unit. The observation system can be attached to any combination of one to four color or black and white cameras. You can hook up a VCR to record activities monitored by the attached cameras. This system allows you to observe areas of your home while you're busy in another room.

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