The most important feature in a control for home alarm use is the maximum number of zones that the control can support (some panels can support over 100). Remember that a zone can be a single point of protection, or you can combine multiple points into a single zone. For example, if you have 4 windows in your bedroom you could put each window a separate zone or you could combine the all the windows into 1 zone. Zoning becomes important if you start getting false alarms. If each window has its own zone, you will know exactly where the problem is. If you have 6 windows on 1 zone it will take more time to find the problem.
Additional zones will increases the price, but it may be wise to take some steps during the installation to enable you to add zones in the future without major costs. First make sure that the installer runs separate wires from each device to the control panel (home run wiring), so that re-wiring to the devices will not be needed, second get a control which can be expanded to include the total number of zones you will need in the future. This way, adding zones is simply a matter of adding expander boards and re-connecting wires at the control.
Today's control allow many levels of arming. The basic ones are AWAY and HOME DELAY. AWAY arms all perimeter and interior devices and provides an exit/entry delay. It is used when everyone is leaving and no one is home. HOME and HOME DELAY arms only perimeter devices and provides exit/entry delay. It is used when you are arming the system and inside the home.
Sometimes you may want to disconnect or bypass one or more zones. If you are having a door or window replaced, or a motion sensor has been damaged or causing false alarms, you may have to bypass the protection until your security company can reinstall protection or replace the defective device.
Forced arming is the arming of a system with one or more zones in trouble. It is similar to automatic bypass with one exception. On some systems, if the troubled zone returns to normal after the system is force armed it can becomes active in the system.. This is helpful if the zone was a motion detector that was not reset when you were arming the system but does reset a minute later.
Monitoring is the connection of your security system to a remote Central Station. When your system trips the signal is sent via the phone lines to the Central Station where the operator will verify the alarm and call the appropriate authorities. In addition to calling the police or fire departments, they will also notify persons on your call list (neighbour or family). The monitoring company will also establish a "Pass-code or Code word" with you that will enable them to verify that the person they are speaking with is the authorized person. Any other code word than the one authorized, will tell the central station that you are "under duress" and the police will be notified of the situation.
Many local Police departments are starting to fine homeowners and businesses for false alarms. To reduce the chance of a false alarm, use dual-tech sensors in the installation of your system, or upgrade to dual-tech sensors if you are getting false alarms on your current motion sensors. Most false alarms are caused by improper operation or improper maintenance of the system. You must make sure that anyone operating the system is familiar with its operation. Having the central station verify an alarm can also help reduce false alarms.
The display on your Keypad consist of either LED's or an Alphanumeric display. The Alpha displays are more expensive then the LED display, but give you an English language display of the violated and trouble zones.They are much easier for the average homeowner.
The keypad is like your keyboard and monitor of your computer. Trough your keypad you arm , disarm, bypass zones, change codes etc.... The display will let you know if the system is armed, or not, that zone was tripped in case of alarm etc.
Glass break detector is limited by how well it hears all sounds and by how smart
it is in reacting to the one sound that poses a threat. Sound is captured with an
advanced microphone system able to capture sound far beyond the range of human hearing, at
low volume and up to 25 ft. away.
Advanced sound analysis technology can detect all of the common types of
breaking glass with ease: plate, laminated, wired or tempered. In addition to glass type,
it also accommodates changes in pane size, glass thickness and room acoustics.
A Passive Infrared Detector operates by detecting the
change in energy that occurs when a body of one temperature passes by a background of
another temperature within the detector's field of view.
Special signal processing techniques enable the detector to determine whether a signal is caused by a person, or by some other, false alarm source. Interchangeable optics allow the protection area to be customized to meet the needs of the specific application.
The thermal sensor used in today's PIRs is actually two (dual) or four sensors (quad) in a single unit. The two-element device, which is commonly called a Dual PIR (not to be confused with dual-tech which is a combination PIR and microwave sensor-both technologies have to trip before the unit goes into alarm)., divides each zone into two distinct, side-by-side detection areas. A person moving will first activate one of these sensors and then the other. This allows the PIR to reject alarms that originate from heated surfaces or even RF interference, since both of these are detected simultaneously by both elements.
A four-element device, which is commonly called a Quad PIR, further divides the zones into an upper and lower area. This allows the unit to compare the signals received, further reducing the possibility of false alarms.
PIRs incorporate additional features that help to minimize false alarms, such as white-light filters and pulse-count circuits. The white-light filters, for example, prevent the device from falsing (false alarming) when exposed to a source of direct light where the pulse-count circuit tells the unit not to activate unless it detects motion multiple times in rapid succession.
Proper PIR placement is essential for good protection
and false alarm reduction. The following guidelines should be considered
when using PIR detectors:
Some manufacturers also offer keypads that are wireless . These can be carried around , or mounted where wiring is difficult . Some of these keypads have a number-pad included for entering a code , while others have buttons for "arm", "disarm" and "emergency" . Obviously , your security is severely compromised if these are left available to an intruder . One manufacturer has a two way wireless keypad that signals whether the system is armed or not before you approach the door . It can also tell you if the alarm was tripped since the last exit .
Some hardwired controls can have wireless transmitters
adapted to them . If you are considering such an approach , be sure the control panel
actually supervises the alarm receiver , so the status of transmitters is always known .
from HOME INTELLIGENCE MAGAZINE
Information in this document is subject to change without notice.
Other products and companies referred to herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or mark holders.
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