The world of home security is full of terminology, jargon and buzzwords. Deciphering what things are and what you need to protect your home is therefore not an easy process, but we’re here to help! We’ve put together our Home Security Glossary, so that you can understand all the key terms in the home security space, quickly and easily.
1080p (HP) – Is used to describe a certain level of image or video quality. It will contain 1080 horizontal lines of vertical resolutions, which is considered a high level of image quality.
24 Hour Security – A security system that operates around the clock, 24 hours a day. The system may include CCTV cameras, an intruder alarm system as well as motion sensors and a professional monitoring service.
4K (HD) – Another type of video or image quality that is also known as ultra-high definition. This type of resolution has twice the vertical and horizontal resolution of 1080p and therefore 4K CCTV cameras will provide an even higher level of quality in terms of clarity and zoom capabilities.
Access Code – Is a series of numbers that are entered into a keypad to provide access to a home. Also known as an entry code, the type of entry is an alternative to a key and lock entry system.
Alarm System – A system for the home that can detect and notify homeowners of a break-in or other suspicious activity, as well as other situations that are a risk to both the home and livelihoods such as fire or flooding.
Arm – The process of activating a home security system so that all the individual components are working to protect the home.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) – A major part of smart home devices, AI allows for the learning of a homeowner’s behaviour through a computer system. This information is then used to provide experiences to meet the homeowner’s needs.
Automation – When systems and devices are interconnected, they can be used to automate tasks around a home such as locking doors, setting alarms and turning on and off lights.
Biometrics – Are measurements and statistical analyses of a human’s unique physical appearance or behavioural characteristics such as facial, iris or fingerprint recognition. These can then be used within home security systems to provide increased protection from entry.
Break-in – The term used to describe forced entry into a home, building or vehicle, most commonly for criminal purposes.
Burglary – The criminal activity of stealing possessions and carrying out theft. Often in tandem with unlawful entry into a home.
Burglar Alarm – A home alarm system that will detect a break-in and unwanted intrusion into a home. Once detected an alarm bell will loudly sound to notify the homeowner and surrounding neighbours about the incident and also acts to deter the criminal.
Bypass – The act of going around an existing system to gain access. When installing a home alarm system, you will want to make it as difficult as possible to bypass the system.
CCTV System – Stands for ‘Closed-Circuit Television System’ and consists of cameras being placed around a property that sends signals to a set of monitors that can only be viewed by authorised users. Also known as video surveillance.
CCTV Camera – Are the cameras installed within a CCTV system.
Cellular connectivity – Refers to wireless communication over a cellular network. Many home security systems use this type of connectivity to enable the individual components to communicate and send signals to the central control panel without the use of hardwiring.
Chime – A type of ringing sound that grabs the attention of the user or homeowner and alerts them to a notification or alarm. Smart doorbells and home intercoms commonly use a chime noise to notify homeowners of a visitor.
Cloud – A remote location that is used for storing and accessing data, files and information on the internet. It is an alternative to using a computer’s physical hard drive and therefore provides ‘unlimited’ space. Security systems such as CCTV often use the Cloud to store video footage.
Control Panel – Acts as the central hub of all a home’s security systems, allowing each one to be controlled and arms/disarmed from one central control point.
Disarm – Refers to the process of deactivating a home security system. This can be done via the control panel or mobile app (if applicable).
DIY Security – Refers to the process of ‘do it yourself’ security, in that a user will install their own how security systems. This is usually a more affordable option for homeowners but doesn’t guarantee a high level of security or lack of faults.
Door Sensor – When armed, will detect when a door has been opened or closed. When detected, an alarm will sound to notify the homeowner.
DVR – Stands for ‘digital video recorder’ and is a system that digitally records footage from CCTV cameras when a motion has been detected.
Emergency – An unexpected and dangerous event or situation that poses a threat to one’s safety, life, property or environment. Emergencies will need rapid intervention and response in order for them to be resolved.
Emergency Lighting – Is a type of security system that enables the lighting of fire and other emergency exits in the event of an emergency. Even if a property’s power shuts down, emergency lighting will still show to help those inside exit quickly and safely.
False Alarm – Is when an alarm has been triggered without an emergency taking place, such as an intruder. False alarms can occur from time to time and are often caused by pets, insects or the weather.
Fire Alarm – An alarm system that is set up to detect and extinguish a fire, as well as notify the homeowner and other occupants.
Flood Sensor – An alarm system that is set up to detect extreme shifts in moisture, that would indicate a flood in the property. The system would then notify the homeowner.
Glass Break Sensor – A sensor that detects when the glass on a window or door has been broken, indicating a break-in. This would then initiate an alarm to notify the homeowner.
Hardwired – Refers to a security system that is connected via cabling and electrical wires, rather than a cellular connection.
HD – Stands for high-definition and describes a certain level of image or video quality.
Heat Sensor – A sensor that is designed to detect an extreme change in temperature within a home, most likely indicating that a fire has broken out. It will notify the homeowner or activity the alarm.
Home Alarm – A security system component that sounds a high pitched and loud noise to notify the homeowner, occupants and passers-by that one of the home systems has been triggered. Whether that be the fire or intruder alarm.
Home Automation – Refers to the automation and control of home systems, appliances and devices with a central monitoring station and mobile device, to enable all systems to work together with automatic processes to be put in place.
Home Security – Refers to all aspects of securing a home against the risks of burglary and theft.
Intercom – A two-way communication device that is used at the main entrance of a home, such as a gate or front door. It enables the homeowner to speak to the visitor without opening the door and therefore verifying who they are.
Interconnected – Refers to systems that are all connected back to one central station. This allows for home automation to be in place and for systems to communicate with each other and share data.
Intruder – An individual who has unlawfully entered a home.
Intruder Alarm – A system that is installed within a home to detect when an intruder has unlawfully entered a home. Once detected, an alarm bell will sound and the system will notify the homeowner.
Intrusion – The act of entering a property unlawfully.
IP – Stands for ‘Internet Protocol’. It is a set of rules that dictates the format of data transmission over the internet or other type of network.
IP Camera – A camera that can be wirelessly connected to a mobile device. Users can therefore view the camera footage remote and from anywhere in the world.
Keypad – A interface that has pressable, numbered buttons and is secured to an exterior wall of a home. It is where the user will enter their access code to enter their home.
Key Fob – A wireless and remote device that arms and disarms a home’s security system.
Maintenance – The process of checking and identifying any faults in a home security system and essentially making sure that it is all working correctly.
Monitoring – The process of monitoring a home security system by a professional company, to identify false alarms and respond to any potential risks or threats.
Motion Sensor/Detector – Devises that are placed around a home that works in tandem with an intruder alarm system to detect any movement when the system is armed.
Night Vision – Technology that allows for CCTV cameras to capture imagery in low levels of light.
NSI – Stands for the National Security Inspectorate and acts as the hallmark of excellence for the providers of security and fire safety services.
NSI Approved – Means a company has received the certification given by the NSI and therefore complies with the highest and most stringent standards within the industry.
Remote Access – Allows a homeowner to access their home security system and control it remotely, usually through a smart App on their mobile device. Users can therefore manage their home security from anywhere in the world, 24hrs a day.
Security Company – Is an organisation that provides security services and solutions to homeowners, in an effort to make their homes more secure.
Security System – A system that is installed within a home to improve the overall security of a property and the safety of those that live there. It can incorporate many different components and can be as simple or as complex as the homeowner requires.
Sensor – A device that detects certain changes in conditions. Whether that be temperature, moisture or movement, they detect any potential security risks to a home.
Smart Doorbell – Is a doorbell with smart features and options involving video capabilities. It allows a user to answer the door using a smart device and due to being connected wirelessly, can be answered from anywhere in the world.
Smart Device – An electronic piece of equipment that can be connected to other devices and provides numerous smart functions. Includes smartphones, tablets, smart speakers etc.
Smart Home – A home which has multiple smart devices that are all interconnected with each other, allowing for full home automation.
Smart Security – A security system that has smart features and the capabilities to be connected to other smart devices and systems.
Smoke Detector – A device that detects smoke within an area as well as extreme temperature changes, thus indicating that a fire has broken out. The detector will then sound an alarm to notify the homeowner.
Tamper – Refers to the process of interfering with a system or device so that it is damaged or its use compromised.
Video Doorbell – See Smart Doorbell.
Video Surveillance – See CCTV System.
Window Sensor – Placed on a window, it detects when a window has been broken or forced open, identifying a break-in.
Wired – Refers to when a system required hard-wiring, as opposed to one that is wireless and works via a cellular network.
Wireless – A system that requires no hardwiring for it to operate and is, therefore, battery operated and/or works via a cellular network.
If you wish to have more information about home security or want to know how Homewatch can help you secure your home, get in touch! Call us on 0330 094 7404 or get in touch online here.