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Glossary of Terms - Intruder Alarm

Burglar Alarm installation manchester

Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC):

A secure monitoring station receives and acts on alarm signals sent from the remotely monitored alarms. Signals are monitored 24hours a day and on receipt of alarms, the ARC will call police, keyholders and system installers to attend.

Bell Box:

A self-contained high output two-tone sounder incorporating a strobe light for visual indication. All electronic components are contained within a secure fully tamper-proof enclosure.

Control Panel:

The central part of the system, which controls the system and activates alarms.


A device is used to signal to the control panel if there is any movement in its range. Most detectors are now Dual Technology, combining Passive Infra-Red with Microwave or Ultrasound, providing greater stability and as a result fewer false alarms.


Where a single device operates on two different types of technology, eg. where a PIR and a Microwave detector is combined into one movement detector.

Duress Code:

A number is chosen by the user that, if used to unset the alarm will act as normal but will also send a personal attack (code 2) signal to the ARC.


The wireless device that can arm and disarm the alarm system, also with a panic button for emergency alarm


An input device that allows the user to set, unset and perform additional functions on the system.

Motion Detectors:

The devices that detect the movement, there are three major motion detectors: Active Infrared Detector (AIR), Passive Infrared Detector (PIR), Microwave Motion Detector

Non-Volatile Memory (NVM):

This is a memory chip in the Control Panel which remembers the programmed alarm settings when all power is removed. The NVM can usually be reset to Factory Default settings.

Passive infrared movement detectors:

Intelligent devices that provide very stable detection, recognising the difference, for example, between humans and rodents. Electronic chips process the information even further to filter out false alarms.

Personal Attack Alarm:

A method of manually activating the alarm by a person witnessing a crime or in danger. This alarm activation is treated by police as the highest priority, providing a rapid response.


Redcare is a widely-deployed standard used in the UK to allow alarm systems to be continuously monitored from an ARC.

Remote keypad:

A keypad located remotely from the control panel is used to set/unset/programme the alarm.

Security Grades:

A system under which alarm components are graded (1 to 4) according to the level of protection they afford.

Silent Alarm:

A triggered alarm that is mute without audible sounds, the alarm system still transmits the alarm signal to Central Monitoring Station.

Silent Part Set:

This feature is available on most control panels. If the engineer has programmed this, when someone part-sets the panel, it will not emit any entry/exit tones. This is particularly useful if there are children in bed and there is a risk that setting the alarm system will wake them up.

Vibration Detectors:

Normally fitted to door or window frames and designed to detect high and low-frequency vibration within a range. They can be adjusted to suit local conditions.


A connection between alarm devices that does not use wires. Most wireless connections between system devices use RF wireless signals while wireless connections between security systems and central monitoring stations use cellular signals.


An alarm system with many input devices is often separated into a number of zones. Each zone has an indicator light on the keypad which presents the 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.

Let ISPY keep you safe! Here at ISPY CCTV & Electrical Fire & Security we;

- Are experts in the field with over 10 years’ experience in designing, installing and maintaining security systems.

- Are fully insured

- Have a team of expert installers ready to help protect you and your property

- Boast having many 5 star reviews and satisfied customers

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