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Expert advice on ways to fend off criminals -- and avoid danger in the first place. Part 10

 

Last issue we highlighted the first part of zoning and arming details, this is part two to complete this section.

 

User codes and Authority levels:

Most control panels provide multiple user codes. This allows the user to assign each operator of the system their own code, making it easy to remember. The authority levels allow you to control what features/functions each user can perform. You may want your code to control every feature but the codes you give to your employees may only arm/disarm the system. This is also useful if one would like to receive a "user closing and opening report". In case one wants to monitor if a certain person is really coming and going in time or as appointed. Nowadays remote key fobs are more and more common, either as addition to hard-wired systems or as standard equipment to wireless alarm systems.

 

Multiple areas:

It may be desirable to divide your security system into several areas. A multiple area system allows one control to be segregated into a number of areas that can be armed / disarmed individually. This allows you to keep the system active for one area while the rest of the security system is off. If your control has authority levels you can also assign the areas to the individual codes.

 

Zone bypassing and forced arming:

Sometimes you may want to disconnect or bypass some of your protection. If you are having a window replaced, you may have to bypass the protection on that zone until your security company can reinstall the sensor or device. Force arming is the arming of a system with one or more zones still open or in trouble. It is similar to bypassing with one exception. If the troubled zone returns to normal after the system is force armed it can become active. This is helpful if the zone was a motion detector that was not reset when you were arming the system but does reset a minute later. 

A major function of by-passing, called home / away switching, it is imperative to always utilize your alarm, not only switching it on when leaving, but have the perimeter, such as windows and doors switched on and the interior motion detector switched off in order to freely move in your premises and still no-one can break in through the back door. For that reason, systems designed with only motion sensors in every room are in fact useless.

 

Communication techniques:

If your system is monitored it must be connected to a central monitoring station by some means of communication. The most common used today is called digital communication, using your existing telephone line. When the control needs to send a signal it "seizes" the line, disconnecting your telephones, and calls the central monitoring station. These systems do not require any special telephone lines but have the disadvantage that if your telephone line is out the control cannot communicate. Also, lately, telephone companies in Thailand offer internet services which use the existing “land line”. In order to do so they install certain filters which make it impossible for the “monitoring protocol” to send the alarm signals. The only solution left is to install a wireless GPS communicator at extra cost; it operates with a standard SIM card. Certain wireless alarm panels have this GPS option build in.

 

Your control can be programmed to send a simple test message to the monitoring office every 24 hours to check the integrity of the line. If this signal is not received the monitoring office knows something is wrong. It may not detect a burglar cutting the line but it is better than nothing. 

 

Cellular or SIM line units use the wireless cellular network to provide a path for your control panel to call the monitoring office. As the communicator will call two numbers you could consider using one land line and one SIM line connection, this way you ensure 24 hr uninterrupted connection. 

 

Monitoring companies use special phone lines, computers and trained staff to watch over a home security system and call the appropriate authorities if the alarm goes off. There is a yearly fee for the service. Because quality and experience can vary greatly among monitoring companies, do some homework before choosing one.

 

This information is provided by: Master Safety Enterprises Ltd. 1988
The oldest and foremost security installer company with a 24/7 alarm monitoring station in the Eastern Seaboard.
Address: 124/55 M10, South Pattaya Road (next to Shell Station), Nongprue Banglamung 20150, Chonburi Thailand. Tel 038 489102-3 Direct 038 426423.
Web www.thaisecurity.com -- e-mail master@loxinfo.co.th