Everything You Need to Know About Home Security Terminology

If you don't understand home security terminology, then it's impossible to make wise and informed decisions when purchasing a system for your home. Too frequently those in the industry use jargon that the average consumer simply isn't familiar with. We've demystified these terms by presenting them in simple, easy to understand ways.

  • Automated Security: This type of protection prevents unauthorized people from accessing property or valuables. Once it's set, it will alert the police department, the homeowner or first responders through either a silent alarm or a noisy alarm (depending on your settings).
  • Secondary Battery Back-Up: Typically, a home security system will run on the home's electric supply. However, if the electricity becomes compromised, this can lead to a loss of data or even the system being completely compromised itself. A secondary battery back-up provides enough battery power for the system to run for several hours without electrical power.
  • co2 Detector: Carbon monoxide is the most common way an individual can be poisoned in their own home. It is an odorless, colorless gas that is undetectable without a co2 detector. These detectors can provide a loud warning to inhabitants of the property before levels become dangerous, and can also be set to alert emergency personnel.
  • CCTV: Also known as Closed Circuit Television, CCTV is a video surveillance system that can be incorporated into your home security system. These days there are very high tech options that can distinguish between people, vehicles, and animals.
  • Double Cylinder Lock: This type of lock requires a key from both sides. Typically it's used on doors with glass sections, because without it a burglar could simply break the glass and reach in to unlock the door. The main issue with this type of lock is that it can make it more difficult for residents of the home to evacuate in the case of fire or other emergency situations.
  • Glass Break Sensor: This type of sensor detects if glass is broken or shattered, or if wood surrounding a window is splintered. There are several types of glass break sensors, including single and double. The single break listens only for the frequency of broken glass, while the double break also listens for a 'thump' sound following the glass break frequency.
  • Medical Alarm / Medical Alert: This is a system that can be installed as part of a home security system and typically includes both a receiver and a pendant or button. If the person wearing the pendant or button has a medical emergency, they can summon first responders simply by pressing the button. Another advantage is that their specific button will relay information about health issues that first responders should be aware of.


The above home security terminology offers information on the most common and basic questions people have. As you search for the right company for your needs, make sure you're working with a company who will take the time to explain the specific terminology that will apply to your home security systems.

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