There is a great deal of flexibility in the way an intrusion alarm system can be designed for a building. The designer has a great deal of latitude in selecting the quantity and type of equipment that will be used, and in determining where this equipment will be located.
Depending on the owner’s security requirements and budget, the designer may choose to design a simple, “bare bones” system, or may choose to design a deluxe, “high-security” system. The primary difference between a simple intrusion alarm system and a more elaborate one is the number and type of detection devices used.
For example, in a low-cost “bare-bones” system, the designer might choose to install detection devices only at a few points in the building where he feels that an intruder would be most likely to enter. An example of this type of system would be a building where contact switches were installed only on the entrance doors to the building.
In a “high security” system, the designer considers every possible way in which an intruder could enter the building, and places detection devices in such a manner that the intruder is quickly detected in every case. An example of this type of system is the building where contact switches are installed on every door, glass breakage detectors are placed near every window, and motion detectors are provided in every room.
In the real world, most intrusion alarm systems are designed to fall somewhere in between these two extremes. Most systems provide more protection than the basic “bare-bones” system with contact switches only, but not the comprehensive protection provided by the “high-security” system with detection devices in every room.
Exactly how many detection devices should be provided in any given building, what type of detection devices should be used, and where these detection devices should be placed is the subject of great debate among intrusion alarm system designers.
While each different system designer has his or her own idea of what the best arrangement of detection devices is, there are four basic “design concepts” which are commonly used:
Perimeter Protection Concept
The “perimeter protection” concept provides detection at the exterior or “perimeter” of the building. The goal of perimeter protection is to detect the intruder at the point of entry.
Complete perimeter protection usually requires that contact switches be installed on every perimeter door and opening window, and that glass breakage detectors be installed near every glass door and window on the exterior of the building.
Interior Protection Concept
The “interior protection” concept provides detection within the interior of the building. The goal of interior protection is to detect the intruder once he has gained entry into the inside of the building.
Complete interior protection requires that motion detectors be installed in every room and corridor of the building. Interior protection can also be achieved by installing contact switches on the interior doors of the building.
Combined Protection Concept
The “combined protection” concept fully combines the detection capabilities of both the perimeter detection concept and the interior protection concept.
The combined protection concept utilizes perimeter detection devices, such as contact switches on exterior doors, as well as interior protection devices, such as motion detectors installed in rooms and corridors.
The combined protection concept provides the benefits of both perimeter protection and interior protection, and is commonly used in “high security” applications, such as at a jewellery store or at warehouses that contain high-value merchandise.
Hybrid Protection Concept
The “hybrid protection” concept utilizes some portions of the perimeter protection concept, and some portions of the interior protection concept.
The goal of the hybrid concept is to take advantage of the benefits of both perimeter and interior protection, while at the same time keeping the cost of the system below the cost of the fully “combined” system described above.
The typical hybrid system uses partial perimeter detection and partial interior protection. An example of a system designed using the hybrid concept would be a building where contact switches were installed on perimeter doors, and motion detectors were installed in hallways and corridors. This system does not provide complete perimeter protection (there are no glass breakage detectors), and does not provide complete interior protection (motion detectors are not provided in every room), yet the combination of detection devices together provides a reasonable level of protection for the building.
There is a great deal of flexibility in the way a hybrid system can be designed. The designer may choose to provide full perimeter protection in some portions of the building, and choose to have only partial perimeter protection in other parts of the building. The same is true with interior protection; complete interior protection can be provided in some areas, while partial or no interior protection can be provided in other areas.
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