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

*** ******** ** ** alarm ***** ** ** gather *********** **** ******* and ******* ** **** *********** by ********** *******. ***** it ** ******** ** program ***** ********* ********, most ***** ****** **** a ******* ** ********* preprogrammed *** ******* ***** on *** ******** *** purpose ** *** ******. These *** ****** **** types. In **** ****, ** will **** **** *** various **** **** ******* and **** ***** ** responses **** *** *******, including

  • **** ** * ****?
  • ******** ** *****
  • **** *****
  • ****** ** *****
  • ********** *******
  • ******* ******
  • **** ******
  • ***** ******
  • ******* ******
  • ** **** *** ******** Zones
  • **** **************

[***************]

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.

Read this IPVM report for free.

This article is part of IPVM's 6,366 reports, 855 tests and is only available to members. To get a one-time preview of our work, enter your work email to access the full article.

Already a member? Login here | Join now

Related Reports

Use Access Control Logs To Constrain Coronavirus on Apr 09, 2020
Access control users have included capabilities that are not commonly used that can help zero-in and discover potential Coronavirus hotspots in a...
The Access Control Codes Guide: IBC, NFPA 72, 80 & 101 on Nov 07, 2019
For access, there is one basic maxim: Life safety above all else. But how do you know if all applicable codes are being followed? While the...
Genetec Kiwi Intrusion Detector Analytics Tested on Nov 27, 2018
Genetec has built Kiwi Security's Intrusion Detection analytics into Security Center, aiming to simplify deployment compared to separate camera...
Access Controller Software Guide on Dec 11, 2017
Properly configuring access controllers software is key to a professional access system. These devices have fundamental settings that must be...
Wireless Burglar Alarm Sensors Guide on Jul 21, 2017
Wireless sensors for burglar alarm sensors are an increasingly common option for the historical labor intensive wired alarm systems. However,...
Power For Burglar Alarms on Jul 14, 2017
In order to operate, alarm panels require the high voltages found in electrical outlets be converted to the low voltages they run on. In this...
Burglar Alarm Partitions Guide on May 10, 2017
Many burglar alarm systems have a single designated level of access for users. A user can arm or disarm the entire alarm by entering a single code....
Arming States For Burglar Alarms on May 04, 2017
Burglar alarms give the user the ability to choose how much of their alarm is active at any time. Activating alarm sensors on windows and...
Burglar Alarm Sirens Guide on Mar 27, 2017
Sirens are used to alert users to an alarm condition. In this note, we examine how to choose, locate, and install alarm sirens, including Siren...
Alarm Panic Switches Tutorial on Mar 16, 2017
Panic switches allow silently triggering an alarm system when it is otherwise disarmed. In this tutorial we explain and contrast the 7 most common...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Access Control Online Show - July 2020 - With 40+ Manufacturers - Register Now on Jul 01, 2020
IPVM is excited to announce our July 2020 Access Control Show. With 40+ companies presenting across 4 days, this is a unique opportunity to hear...
Hanwha Face Mask Detection Tested on Jul 01, 2020
Face mask detection or, more specifically lack-of-face-mask detection, is an expanding offering in the midst of coronavirus. Hanwha in partnership...
UK Government Says Fever Cameras "Unsuitable" on Jul 01, 2020
The UK government's medical device regulator, MHRA, told IPVM that fever-seeking thermal cameras are "unsuitable for this purpose" and recommends...
Camera Course Summer 2020 on Jun 30, 2020
This is the only independent surveillance camera course, based on in-depth product and technology testing. Lots of manufacturer training...
Worst Over But Integrators Still Dealing With Coronavirus Problems (June Statistics) on Jun 30, 2020
While numbers of integrators very impacted by Coronavirus continue to drop, most are still moderately dealing with the pandemic's problems, June...
FLIR Screen-EST Screening Software Tested on Jun 30, 2020
In our FLIR A Series Test, the cameras' biggest drawback was their lack of face detection, requiring manual adjustment when screening each...
Dahua Buenos Aires Bus Screening Violates IEC Standards and Dahua's Own Instructions on Jun 30, 2020
Dahua has promoted Buenos Aires bus deployments as "solutions that facilitate community safety". However, they violate IEC standards and,...
UK Firm Markets False Fever Screening, Hikvision Disavows on Jun 30, 2020
A UK security firm falsely claimed its Hikvision-based thermal solution could be used for "accurately detecting fever in any person", even claiming...
Industry Study: 83% of US Temperature Screening Sellers Falsely Say Not Medical Devices on Jun 29, 2020
83% of US companies selling temperature screening devices, aka 'fever' detectors, claim they are not medical devices, contrary to FDA definition,...
Manufacturers on Virtual 'ISC West' 2020 and Potential ISC West 2021 on Jun 29, 2020
With the 2020 ISC West show now officially canceled, attention turns to Reed's new "ISC West 2020 Virtual Event" planned for October and for the...