Burglar Alarm Zoning Guide

By: Ari Erenthal, Published on Apr 28, 2017

The function of an alarm panel is to gather information from sensors and respond to this information by triggering actions. While it is possible to program these responses manually, most alarm panels have a variety of responses preprogrammed and grouped based on the function and purpose of the sensor. These are called zone types. In this note, we will look into the various zone type options and what kinds of responses they can trigger, including

  • What Is A Zone?
  • Examples of Zones
  • Zone Types
  • Action On Alarm
  • Triggering Devices
  • Medical Alarms
  • Fire Alarms
  • Panic Alarms
  • Burglar Alarms
  • 24 Hour Non Burglary Zones
  • Zone Identification

What ** * ****?

***** ***** ***** ****** inputs. ** ***** ****** may **** **** ****** inputs (*, **, ***, etc.). *******, ***** ****** inputs ********* ******* **** being ******* **** ******* sets, ********* ** ********, to ********** ********* ** events. ***** ******** ******** those ******* ** ********** this.

*** ******* ** * zone *** **** ** a ****** *******. * sensor ** ***** ** sensors ** ***** ** a *******, ***** ********** at * **** ** screw ********* ** *** panel. *** ***** ******* voltage *** * **** small ****** ** ******* on *** *********, ********** the *******. **** *** sensor ** *** *** of *** ******* ** closed, ******* ***** **** the ******** ********, *** to *** ******, *** back ** *** ******** terminal.

*** *** ********** ** zones ** ****, ******* they ******* ** * zone *** **** ** a ****** *******, ***** cannot ********* ***** ****** in *** **** *** triggered. *********, **** ********** try ** ***** *** number ** ******* ** an ********** *******, ** that ** ***** *** be ****** **** **, at ****, *** ** two ********** *******.   

******* ****** **** ** detecting *** ******* ** normally ****** ********, ****** tend ** ***** ** an **** **** ** * ****** **** ** **** **** * sensor *** ******* ** open ******* ** *** completed * ****** *******. 

******** ***** ****** *** the **** ********** ** open ***** *** ****** zones, *** *** ** to **** **** *** wireless ******** ** ******* a ****** ********** **** the ********* ****** *** either ** **** ******* or * ****** *******. Since ***** ** ** wired ********** ******* *** sensor *** *** *****, the ***** ** *** actually ********* *** ****** of ******* *** ** instead ******* ** *********** from *** ******** ***********. 

*********** ******* ********* ******* * circuit ** ******* ** a ******** ******* ** circumvent *** ***** ** measuring *** ****** ** resistance, *************** ******* * ****** sensor ** * ***** on *** ****.

Examples ** *****

** * *********** ***********, commonly * ** ** zones *** ****. ***** often ******* * ***** zone ** *** ***** door, * ****** ***** detector **** *** *****, and * ****** ** perimeter ***** *** * windows. ****** ********** *** have ******** *****, **** zones *** ********** ******* and ********* * ******* zone.

** ** ****** ***********, dozens ** ***** *** often *****. ** ******** to *** ***** ** zones ** * *********** application, ******* ***** **** have ***** ****** ****, sprinkler ****, ************* *******, etc. *** ****** *** office, **** ***** *** typically **** ** ******* physically ***** ************* *** coming ****.

** **** ****** **********, like *********, **** *** zones *** ******. ** addition ** **** ** office ***** ****, * hospital ***** **** **** multiple **** *****, ******** environmental *****, ******** *** perimeter *****, ***.

**** ** ***** ***** are **** ********** **** zone *****. 

Zone *****

**** ***** *** ****** of ****** **** *** be ******** ** * zone **** ***** *** panel **** ** ** when *** **** ** open.

**** * ****** ******* ** alarm *********, ******* ****** can ****** ******* * local ****** ****** **** a ***** ** * relay, **** * ******* signal ** * ***** party, ** ****. **** commercial ***** ****** **** the ******* ** ******* multiple ******* ** *****, including ******* ********* ***** of ******* ******* *** triggering ********* ****** *******. Common ****** ** ******* are ******* ******** ** installers ** *** **** to ******* **** ****** manually *** ***** ****. These ****** ** ******* are ****** **** *****. 

** ******** ** ********** * local ****** **** ** a *****, ******* ****** can **** ****** **** ** sending *********** ** * ******* station ********** *******, ***** **** relays **** *********** ** first **********. ************ *********** that ** ******** ** possible ***** *** ***** of *** ***** ****** the ******* ******* ** notify *** ******* ****** safety ****** *** ***** ***** responders *** *********** ** be ******** *** *** call ****** ******** ** scene. **** ***** **** ****** identifying *********** **** ************ to ******* *******, ** the ******* ******* ********** knows ******* **** **** ** zone ** **. 

****** ***** ** ***** include:

  • ******* ******
  • **** ******
  • ***** ******
  • ******* ******
  • ** **** *** ******** Zones

Triggering *******

****** *** **** ** alarm ****** *** ** be ********** ** **** any **** ** ******. The ****** ** **** kind ** **** *********** ** choose ** ** ********* as *** ****** ** device ******. *** *******, an ********* *** ******* * wireless ****** ** **** * panic ******, * ******* alert ******, ** ****** anything ****. * ******** contact *** ** ********** as * ******* ******** zone, * ********* ****, a ** **** ****, or **** * ***** ****. 

**** ****** ******* **** as ***** ********* *** carbon ******** ********* *** an ********* ** **** rule, *******. ***** ********* should******** ********* ** * ***** detector ****. 

Medical ***** *****

******* ***** ****** ******** an *********** ******* *********, and **** ** ********* ** requested. ****** *************** ** medical ***** ***** ***:

  • ** **** *********, ****** whether ***** ** ***** or ********
  • ** ***** ** *****

***** ****** ****** ***** often ****** * ****** 24 **** ****, ** **** they *** ****** ** silence *** ****** ****** * medical *********. ***** ****** ** a **** **** ******* people ******* *** **** an ********* ** **** zone, ***** ****** *** keypad, ** ** ****** anybody *** ***** ** home **** ******* ** having * ******* ********* while ************** ********* ********* services. 

****** ********** ******* *** medical ****** ***:

  • ***** ******* ******* ** strategic ***** ****** * building
  • ******** ******* **** ** a ******** ** ********

******** ********* ******** *******(****) *** ******* ***** allow *** *** *** communication ******* *** **** and * ********* ******* dispatcher. ***** *** ******* hardwired ******* **** * built ** *******. ********** commonly ****** ********** *** PERS **********, ** ******** to *** ******** ***** monitoring ******.

****** * ***** ******** and * ****** ****** outside * **** *** help ********* ********** ******** the ****** ** *** call ******, ********** ** areas ***** ***** ******* are **** ** **** from *** ******. *******, some ************* **** ***** control ********** **** ******* an ***** ***** ******* itself ************* (** "**** out") ***** * ***** time, ******** * *******, which *** *** ** enough **** *** ** ambulance ** *******. ** the ***** ************ *** a ** **** **** option **** ****** *** auxiliary ******, ********** *** choose ** **** * strobe ********* ** **** output, ******** **** *** standard **** ****** **** its ********* ******* *******. 

Fire ***** *****

**** ***** ******** * report ** ***** ** fire, *** **** *** **** department ** *********. ****** *************** of **** ***** ***:

  • ***********, ***** ***** * ******* signal ** ***** ** a ******* **** *** wire ** *** ******
  • ****** ******, ***** ****** *** siren ** ****** * different ***** **** * burglary ****
  • ** **** *********, ****** whether ***** ** ***** or ********
  • ****** ** ********

********* **** ********** (*******) *** ***** and ****** *****, *** only ********* ** ** receives * ****** ****** from *** ***** ******** within * **** ***** period ** ****. ***** are ****** *** ******* down ** ***** ****** caused ** ******** **** the ***** *********.

******* ******** ****** * ** **** zone **** ****** ** bypassed, **** **** * normal fire ****, *** ***** only ****** *** ******, and *** *** ******. 

****** ********** ******* *** fire ***** ***

  • ***** *********
  • ****** ******** *********
  • **** *********
  • ****-**-**** *********
  • **********
  • **** ********

***** ********* ******* **** ********** for ********* ***** ** triggering *******. **** ** because *** ****** ** the ********** ****** *** give ************ ** **** as ** *** **** of ******* **** **** be ******, *** **** kind ** ********* **** therefore ** ********. * sprinkler ********** **** ******* a **** ********* ******** than * ****** ******** activation, *** *******, *** this ****** ********** ** dispatch *** ********* ***** and **** ******* ** simply ******* * ****** company ** *********** *****. The ******* **** ***** could **** ** **** a ****.  

Panic ***** *****

***** ******* ** **** up **************** ********* ** ******* alarms, *** ***** ******* station ** ******* ****** instead ** ** *********. Common *************** ** ***** zones: 

  • ** **** *********, ****** whether *** ***** ** armed ** ********
  • ****** *********, ******* * signal ** ******* *** no **** ****** ** keypad *****

**** ***** ******** ** prefer * ******* *****, hoping ** ***** **** an ******** ******* ** waiting *** ****** ** respond. **** ***** **** in ********** ************* ***** ********* are ********* *** ** adversary ***** **** * clear **** ** ******. For *******, * ***** cashing ******** **** * cash **** ********* **** bulletproof ***** *** **** to ** **** ** instantly ******* * ***** and ****** ** ******** and ********* * *** level ****** **** ** an ********* **** * knife. **** ********** * ***** button ** * ** hour ******* ***** ****, a ******, ****** ***** button ** **** ********, in **** ** * genuine ******. 

****** ********** ******* *** panic ****** ***:

  • ******* ****** / **** Up
  • ********* ******
  • ******** ******
  • ******** ******
  • **** *****
  • ***** *****

Burglar ***** *****

******* ***** ***** ******** the ******** ** ** intruder, *** ***** ******* station ** ******* ******. Common *************** ** ******** zones:

  • ****** **** **** ***** is *****
  • **** ****** ** *****
  • *** ** ********

***** *************** ***** **** * ********* ****** going **** ***** *********. Typically, *** ******* **** to * ****** **** be ********** ** * delay ****. **** ****** a **** ** *** the ***** **** *** keypad *** **** *****, opening *** ******* *** door. *** ***** ***** are ****** **** *** moment *** ****** ** armed, *** **** ** into ***** ** ******, but *** **** *** be ****** ** ****** as **** ***** ** necessary ****** *** ********* period. *********, ******* **** zone **** ***** ******* countdown ****** ***** **** alarm *********, ******** *** user ** **** ** the ****** *** ***** the ****, ********* *** system. 

**** ****** **** * predetermined ***** ****. ****** allow **** **** ** be **********. 

***** ******* *** **** ** leave *** ******** ***** arming *** ***** ** *** disarming *** ***** ****** the *** ** *** delay is ** ********* ****** source ** ***** ******. Users ****** ** **** aware ** ******* *** long *** ***** **, and ********** ****** ******** entering *** **** *** then ******* ******** **** the ****. 

************ ******* ** ***** zones, *** **** **** to******, ** ** ********* in ******** ****, *** delay ****. ** * keypad *** ** ** behind *** *****, *** should ** *** ** a ******** ** *** other. *** *******, ** a **** ***** **** to **** ** *** path ** * ****** detector ****** ******** *** keypad, *** ****** ******** should ** *** ** a ********. **** ***, there **** ** * delay ******* ******* ** front ** *** ****** detector *** *** ****** detector ***** **** ***** condition, *** **** ** the **** ** ***********. *********, *** ****** detector **** ** **** alarm ********* ***********. 

********* ******** *** **** ****** type ** **** **** in * ******* *****. These ***** **** * signal *** ***** * siren *********** ** ********* when *** ***** ** armed *** *** ******* if *** ***** ** disarmed. 

 ****** ********** ******* *** burglary ***** ***:

24 **** *** ******** *****

** **** *** ******** zones *** ***** ***** must ** ********* ************ but ***** ** *** require ********* ******** ** a ****** ****** ******. The **** ****** *********** for these ***** **************** *******

********** *** ****** ** associate ***** ***** **** outputs ** *********, **** as strobes ** ******, *** often ***** ** *** require * ***** ** sound. 

*** **** **** ********** with ***** ***** **** often ** ********* **** that ********** **** ***** types ** *****, *** will ****** ** *** nature ** *** ****. For *******, ** ***** user *** **** * temperature ****** ******* ****** a ****-** ******* ** call * ****** ****** or * ***** *******. 

**** ** **** *** burglary ***** *** *** require ************ * ****** at ***, **** ** output. *** *******, ** alarm **** ***** **** to ******* * ***** when ******* * ****, which *** ** **** by ********** *** ********* output ** * *****. This **** ** *********** is **** ****** **** the **** ** *** devices **** ** *-**** compatible lightbulbs *** *-**** ******** sensors.

****** ********** ******* *** ** **** *** ******** zones***** ***:

  • ***** *********** *******
  • ************ *********** *******
  • ******** *******
  • ***** *******

**** **************

*** ***** ********* ******* offer * **** ******* of ****** *****, ******** ********** ** fine-tune *** ******** ** different *****. *** *******, a ***** ***** ***** trigger * **** ********* type ** ******** **** a ***** ******** *****. 

******* ******* *********** **** public ****** *********** *** the *********** **** *******. Therefore, **** *********** ****** be ** ******** ** possible. ********** *** **** type ** *** ****. The ***** ** ******* out *** ******* ******* contract ********. **** * ******** is ****** ***, *** central ******* ****** *** the *********** **** *** customer's ****. ******** ** the ******** ** *** name *** *********** ** the ****, ***** **** instructions *** **** *** central ******* ****** ** if *** **** ****** send * ******. *********, this ******** * **** list ** ****** *** monitoring subscriber ***** ** ** notified, ***** **** * public ****** ****** ** private ***** ******* ** be *********.

***** ****** ** ***** descriptive ***** ******** ********. For *******, "****** **" ** less ********, *** **** less ****** ** * first *********, **** “******** Bathroom ******" **. ***** installers ****** *** *** think ** *** * first ********* ********* * **** for **** **** * central ******* ***** *** the ******** **** ******** ** scene, *** ****** *** alarm ** **** ****** as **** ** *** responder as ********.

Comments (13)

For those of you who are not super-familiar with this material, I can tell you: this is a very good and accurate treatment of the subject.

I Agree!
 Coming from an intrusion monitoring company's perspective, this is a fantastic article. 

 Good job IPVM! I really appreciate that you are covering, in great detail, the area of intrusion systems, devices & practices. Keep it up! 

Good overview of alarm systems. Only thing that i did not see was talk about zones in addressable systems. That would have been a nice addition.

What do you mean by 'addressable systems'? Do you mean zone doubling or? 

By addressable i mean systems that use a continuous bus or multiple bus's with several devices along that bus that report back individual zone status. They use modules in the field to set the address of the zone. 

zone doubling seems to use different resistor values to create a second zone on a conventional zone type. Ive never used zone doubling but i did watch a video on youtube.

Think he means a polling loop with addressable modules.

Yes this is what i meant. Sorry for the confusion

Oh. Aren't those mainly used for fire alarms? Because I was going to leave that for the fire alarm guides. 

Not sure about that. Ive seen them in box stores like target, home depot. Also see them in schools, town owned buildings etc... 

We see specs calling for that type of system fairly regularly.

Polling loops or Vplex as Honeywell calls it is commonly used on both Burglar and Fire alarms. The Vista 128 and 256 versions have this feature. There is a separate version of these.

Radionics calls the same technology Popit.

 

It is a very well written article. Nice job IPVM

 

Also, zone doubling with 2 different resistors on same zone port/circuit 

I was going to address that in my alarm supervision guide. 

I agree, this is a very clear & thorough article. Thanks!

On the question of addressable points, they are more and more common on more sophisticated fire alarm system. But, for the same reasons (multiple points on a polling loop, etc), there are some pragmatic uses. A good example is individually identifying a long line of overhead doors along an extensive loading dock. There, a single 2-conductor wire can be run, and every door fixed with an addressable point. (run a 4c line, and you can mix powered devices like motion detectors.

Check out DSC's PowerSeries or MAXSYS panels and their PC5100 add-in addressable zone expanders and AML series of addressable devices.

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