security alarm and alarm response security guard training

security alarm system

Basic security guard training Unit 4 Lesson (D)

A security alarm is a safety mechanism which notifies the condition that needs urgent attention or response. In prime time, the alarm was quite primitive like a dog barking, bell with strings and other noise-making devices.

But, by today the alarm system has become more complex and accurate on giving the information about the broader range of the security issues. Using the alarm in an organization is to develop safety mechanism.

Generally, alarm uses to notify intrusion, fire, smoke, the release of toxic chemicals, changes in the environment such as temperature or humidity, and the malfunction of equipment.


  • Intrusion alarm
  • Fire alarms
  • Trouble/distress alarms
Major parts of the alarm;

Although the major components of the alarm system may vary on brands, the modern ones are more complex and made up of 3 parts such as sensor, transmitter and annunciator.

  1. sensor
  2. transmitter
  3. annunciator or control panel


sensors are a kind of switch. This hardware receives and detects the information from the protected area. A sensor is part of an alarm that determines whether something is wrong.

Mostly sensor designed to detect smoke and heat, high temperatures, gauges on boilers and heaters measure fluid levels and pressure.

  • The sensor knows whether something is wrong by detecting a change from good condition to a bad condition
  • The glass barker sensor knows when the glass has broken because it has sound frequency during the breakage.

There are several kinds of sensors such as:

  • Photoelectric
  • Motion
  • Pressure
  • Electromechanical (mechanical switch in a circuit)


The transmitter works between the sensor and control panel which passes the information from the sensor to the control panel. This could be anything like hard wiring, telephone wires, fibre optic lines, and radio signals etc.

Transmitter sends the signal from the sensor to the control panel advising that something has been taken place in the protected area.

Control panel;

In other words, the control panel is the brain of the whole alarm system because it receives the signal via transmitter and warns us the problem that has developed. There are many functions of the control panel but I have listed important ones as following;

  • It receives the signals and takes the action it is programmed to take.
  • Not all alarms are audible some alarms such are bank robbery alarms are not audible. These are called silent
  • They are silent in order to alert the police.
  • Annunciator: is an announcing or sounding device.
Types of security alarm;
  1. Local: local area sounding
  2. Central station: centralized monitoring (Control Room)
  3. Remote/ direct connection: It goes directly to a person responsible for the alarmed premises but May not be there.
Alarm response;
  • The best alarm response is by a security guard prepare what to do in advance and what to do when getting to an alarm location.
  • Many of the alarms a security guard response are false.
  • All alarms a security guard responds should be treated as if genuine (Actual)
  • False alarms are alarms which are not genuine
  • A genuine alarm is considered an alarm in which something caused the alarm to function as it should and the cause is able to be determined.
  1. Alarms which are false because of faulty
  2. Alarms which are false because they have been trigged unintentionally e.g. a motion sensor activated due to a gust of wind.
The common cause of false alarm;
  1. Technical malfunction: Improper installation
  2. Operator error: the person monitoring die alarm accidentally
  3. Environment cause: wind/rain triggering an alarm sensor
  4. Power of surges: can cause alarm to activate, when power is re-set


There are four main reasons why an alarm will activate:

  • A specified event has taken place (an intruder has entered the premises, for example), (approx. 0.01%);
  • A malfunction has occurred, (approx. 19.69%);
  • Human error, (approx. 45.80%); or
  • Undetermined, (approx. 34.50%).

How to response intrusion alarm?

  • Have a plan: Know how you are going to respond in advance whether it is a plan for your site or as an individual.
  • If possible know or observe what is happening before you attend the scene
  • Try and respond with more one security guard
  • Think about your action before you take them
  • If someone has a weapon act appropriately: do not directly approach someone with a weapon, watch from an if possible and report your observation.

 Distress Alarm;

  • A distress alarm detects a problem with a person or thing could be a crime or call for help.
  • Distress alarm as one that announces trouble or change in a condition such as panic alarm or alarm that signals faulty signals.
  • Change in condition: it means a change from a normal to trouble condition.
Example for distress alarms:
  • Personal panic alarm
  • Medical alarm (In hospital (ICU) for quick medical response)
  • Equipment alarm: To warn of an equipment failure

Security alarm system warns the people about the problem in a protected area, in addition, it helps to prevent crime and reduce workplace accidents. In a large organization or site, all the security systems coordinate in a place which calls the control room.

Control room;

The control room functions with the most complex security system and coordinates between them.

Control room functions

  1. CCTV Monitors – closed-circuit television
  2. Recorders (video recorder)
  3. CCTV control
  4. Alarm monitoring panel
  5. Public announcement system
  6. Radio base station
  • In larger building the control room functions as the emergency operation centre (EOC)
  • EOC is to coordinate an emergency response from one central location in order to ensure that an incident commander can have access to all information and resources in one place.

The control room is also the security office:

The control room is also a security office in the same fashion maintaining it professionally is your responsibility. However, all of the security personnel are not allowed to enter the control room they are responsible to manage it who have permission;

How to maintain your office and control room?
  • Keep your area clean
  • Maintain your area professional
  • Keep unauthorized people out
  • The appearance of your office reflects the professionalism of you and your company.
In summy:-
  1. There are three main types of alarm (intrusion, distress and fire)
  2. The most alarm has 3 parts ( sensor, transmitter and annunciator)
  3. Typically alarm coordinate one of these ( local, central station and remote)
  4. Alarm response is usually the responsibility of a security guard on the alarmed premises
  5. The best alarm response is by a guard to should be as genuine
  6. A control room can function as the emergency operations certain the event of a large scale emergency or disaster
  7. An intrusion alarm detects a potential attack on something that is being protected
  8. Intrusion alarms should be treated as a warning that someone is trying to commit a crime, whether theft or damage to property
  9. A distress alarm going off indicates or a change in condition, such as a panic alarm or an alarm that faulty equipment
  10. An intrusion alarm can install in Door/window, a showcase in the jeweller and vehicle.

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