The ins and outs of home security can be tough. And learning everything from A to Z before you buy a system is just as challenging. Fortunately, we’ve identified and defined some of the most common home security terms and products to make your home security journey as easy as 1-2-3.
- Alarm Permit – A municipal required document for you a home security system, and avoid potential penalties.
- Alarm System – A common term for a burglary system and equipment used to secure your home. The system usually includes a control panel, a motion detector and sensors to alert you of activity.
- Arm – The term used to activate your alarm system and sensors.
- Backup Battery – An extra battery that continues to power your security equipment during power outages.
- Burglar Alarm – A high-decibel alarm that sounds when someone enters without your alarm system passcode.
- Cellular System – A home security system that uses wireless signals to communicate your system’s signals to your provider’s monitoring station.
- Carbon Monoxide Detector – A device installed in homes to detect carbon monoxide levels and alert you before the poisonous gas spreads.
- Continuous Video Recording (CVR) – A security camera feature that records activity all the time instead of when motion triggers it.
- Control Panel – A computer hub to control all smart home and security equipment in your home.
- DIY (Do-It-Yourself) – Home security systems that require you to install your home security system without a professional technician.
- Doorbell Camera – A camera installed in place of a standard doorbell that alerts you when guests arrive. The camera also lets you see and speak to them using your smartphone.
- Disarm – The term used to deactivate your alarm system and avoid false alarms.
- Environmental Monitoring – Service and equipment offered to detect and alert monitoring professionals of smoke, fire, carbon monoxide or water leaks.
- Entryway Sensors – Small devices installed at entryways to alert you when doors, windows and other entryways open and close.
- False Alarm – A false alert or call for an emergency or triggered sensors that result in emergency responders answering the signal.
- Freeze Sensor – A sensor installed near water pipes or close to the floor to detect and alert you of low temperatures in your home that could be hazardous.
- Flood Sensor – A sensor used to detect water leaks, pipe bursts or flooding.
- Garage Door Opener – A wireless remote or smartphone app feature used to open a home garage remotely.
- Glassbreak Sensor – A sensor installed adjacent to glass windows or doors to listen for the frequency of shattering or broken glass.
- Home Automation – The ability to control smart lights, locks, and other smart equipment. You can use your smartphone, voice assistant or scheduling to manage devices.
- Hub – A device that connects multiple smart home devices and security equipment to be controlled at once. Z-wave hubs and the Amazon Echo are most common.
- Installation – How your security system is set-up. Most companies offer either professional, DIY or both to add equipment to your home.
- Keyfob – A remote used to arm and disarm your system. It can also be used as a panic button and to control other security features.
- Motion Detector – A device installed in the home to detect and alert you of motion using a high-decibel chime. They’re also built in cameras to send mobile alerts when motion is spotted.
- Night Vision – A security camera’s ability to see activity clearly in the night or darkness.
- Panic Button – A remote or feature on your system’s control panel that sounds a high-decibel alarm when pressed during an emergency to call for help.
- Professional Monitoring – A service that allows your home security’s professional agents to alert emergency responders of triggered sensors or suspicious activity at your home.
- Professional Installation – A service that lets professional technicians set-up your security equipment and give a tutorial so you’re comfortable using it.
- Remote Control – The ability to arm, disarm and control your security system when you’re away from home.
- Self Monitoring – The ability to monitor your security equipment on your own using your smartphone.
- Siren – A loud, high-decibel alarm installed in most security systems to signal and emergency or deter thieves.
- Smart lock – A lock installed in place of traditional locks or deadbolts for keyless entry using a keyfob or fingerprint verification to open or lock the door.
- Video Surveillance – Recording and storing your security camera footage to playback or share later. Some surveillance is stored locally on an SD memory card, while other providers offer secure cloud storage.
- Wired – Security systems and equipment that are installed with your home electrical system. This often requires a professional technician, cables, an Internet connection and a landline phone.
- Wireless – Security systems and equipment that are installed using wall outlets or batteries.
- Z-Wave – The way to wirelessly connect your smart devices to your security system to sync and control multiple devices.
- Zone – An customized monitored area that will trigger an alarm or alert if any activity is detected.
You now have everything you need to know from A to Z about home security to start your search for the right system and equipment. Remember, check back frequently to stay you up to date on the latest terms and phrases.