Glossary of Terms

Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act
The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act is a federal statute that was signed into law by President George W. Bush. The Walsh Act categorizes sex offenders into three tiers and mandates that Tier 3 offenders (the most serious tier) update their whereabouts every three months with lifetime registration requirements. Tier 2 offenders must update their whereabouts every six months with 25 years of registration, and Tier 1 offenders (which includes minors as young as 14 years of age) must update their whereabouts every year with 15 years of registration. Failure to register and provide updated information is a felony under the law.

The Act creates a national sex offender registry and instructs each state to apply identical criteria for posting offender data on the Internet. The Act was named for Adam Walsh, a six year old boy who was abducted from a shopping mall and later found murdered.

Alarm Monitoring
When an alarm is triggered by an intruder or fire, a signal is sent to a team of monitors who will immediately notify the police, fire department or other proper authorities. In addition, the monitor will trigger an audible siren to alert the occupants and neighbors.

Alarm Screens
Alarm Screens or Security Screens are wire mesh screens that contain interwoven detection wires. They are a far more attractive alternative to window bars, providing both light and air flow. While the alarm is activated, you can open or close your windows from the inside knowing you are protected from criminals 24/7.

Alarm System Control Panel
This is the operations center of your home or business security system. Modern alarm controls are solid-state devices and thus are more reliable than the older alarm panels.

An AMBER Alert or a Child Abduction Emergency is a child abduction alert issued upon the suspected abduction of a child. AMBER is officially an acronym for "America's Missing: Broadcasting Emergency Response" but was originally named for Amber Hagerman, a nine year old girl who was abducted and murdered.

AMBER Alerts are distributed via commercial radio stations, satellite radio, television stations, cable TV, and electronic traffic - condition signs.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, of the children abducted by strangers and murdered, 75% are killed within the first three hours. AMBER Alerts are designed to inform the general public quickly when a child has been kidnapped and is in danger so that the public can be additional eyes and ears for law enforcement.

Asset Protection
No comprehensive plan to protect your family and property is complete without an asset protection plan.

Battery Back - up
A battery back - up is part of the control panel in all security systems installed by It keeps the security system operating in the event of an electrical failure.

Carbon Monoxide
A colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that can be highly toxic to both people and animals. The most common sources of carbon monoxide are malfunctioning fireplaces, water heaters, gas furnaces and stoves, plus exhaust from motor vehicles and gasoline powered generators. There are approximately 16,000 carbon monoxide poisonings in the United States each year with many resulting in death. Carbon Monoxide poisoning is often called "the silent killer."

Carbon Monoxide Monitoring
A carbon monoxide monitor can detect this colorless and odorless gas and send a signal to the monitoring station. In addition, the monitor will trigger an audible siren so that everyone can get out of the house as quickly as possible.

CCTV Security Systems
CCTV or Closed Circuit Television systems are generally part of a video surveillance system. The signal is most often transmitted to a smart phone, Ipad, or personal computer for viewing anywhere, at any time 24 / 7.

Civil Disorder
Civil disorder or civil unrest is a term used by law enforcement and government to describe riots, sabotage, widespread intentional acts of destroying private property and other crimes that often follow from the break down of law and order.

Class Warfare or Class Conflict
Refers to the attempt to create tension or antagonism between groups of people, usually for political purposes. The object is to incite one group of people to take action against another group. Examples include tension between employees and employers, and welfare recipients and tax payers. The attempt to align one group against another often results in vandalism, violence and even civil disorder.

Code Adam
Code Adam is a "missing child" safety program originally created by Wal-Mart retail stores. It is named in memory of Adam Walsh, a six year old boy who was abducted from a department store and later found murdered. Legislation enacted by Congress in 2003 now mandates that all federal office buildings employ the program.

Wal-Mart along with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and the departments of several state Attorneys General, has offered to assist other companies implement the program.

Companies that implement the program generally place a Code Adam decal at the front of the business. Employees at these businesses are trained to follow six steps according to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children:

  1. If a visitor reports a child missing, a detailed description of the child and what he or she is wearing is obtained. Additionally, all exterior doors to the building are locked and monitored;
  2. An employee goes to the nearest in-house telephone and pages Code Adam, describing the child's physical features and clothing. As designated employees monitor doors to the building, other employees begin looking for the child;
  3. If the child is not found within ten minutes, law enforcement is called;
  4. If the child is found and appears to have been lost and unharmed, the child is reunited with the searching family member;
  5. If the child is found accompanied by someone other than a parent or legal-guardian, reasonable efforts to delay his or her departure will be used without putting the child, staff, or visitors at risk. Law enforcement will be notified and given details about the person accompanying the child.
  6. The Code Adam page is canceled after the child is found or law enforcement arrives.

Control Panel
See Alarm System Control Panel

Digital Video Recorder (DVR)
A digital video recorder is an electronic device that saves video recordings so they can be reviewed at a later time, if necessary. A digital video recorder is usually part of a video monitoring system.

Disarm means to deactivate or turn off a home or business security system.

Double Cylinder Lock
A double cylinder lock is a lock installed on an exterior pedestrian door that uses keys on both sides. They are commonly used on doors that have adjacent glass areas so that burglars cannot break the glass and then reach inside to open the door. While double cylinder locks work well for the intended purpose, they can delay or prevent people from exiting the home in the event of a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.

Drug Cartel
These are large criminal organizations created for the purpose of promoting, controlling and selling narcotics (and other illegal drugs), primarily cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin. Drug Cartels obtain their illegal drugs from many foreign sources including Mexico, Venezuela, Columbia, and Afghanistan. Illegal trafficking operations have been established in Los Angeles County, Ventura County, Orange County, and San Diego County. See Gang.

DVR CCTV Recorders
Digital Video Closed Circuit Television Recorders (or DVR CCTV Recorders) record surveillance camera video for later viewing.

Edwin Holmes
Edwin Holmes is recognized as the inventor of the burglar alarm system. See: History of Burglar Alarm.

Emergency Phone
An emergency phone is a phone with a dedicated phone line directed to a specific location such as 911 when it is picked up. Emergency phones are generally found in elevators, inside safe rooms, and near swimming pools.

Fire Detector
Fire detectors detect heat and smoke and will send an electronic signal to the monitoring center when necessary.

Flood Detector
A flood detector is a device designed to detect the presence of water. They are normally installed in subterranean garages, basements, and other building areas that are below the grade of adjacent land.

Gang or Street Gang
A gang usually refers to a group of people involved in a criminal organization. Money is generally earned through illegal drug trafficking, burglary, home invasion robberies, shop-lifting, and extortion. Gang members are also involved in a large percentage of rapes, kidnappings, and murders. The vast majority of crime in Southern California is gang related. Gangs often establish a territory or turf and then use extortion to provide local businesses "protection" from their own criminal activities.

Gang members usually identify themselves with a particular color. Any perceived disrespect for their color by an unaffiliated person is grounds for violence including death.

Los Angeles is known as the "gang capital of America" with more than 120,000 gang members. Currently, there are more than 300,000 gang members in the United States and the numbers are growing daily.

Glass Break Detectors
Glass break detectors are electronic devices that trigger an alarm when the vibration or sound of breaking glass is detected. When the device detects that glass has been broken, a signal is transmitted to the monitoring station.

Graffiti is the name for letters or images scratched, painted, or marked in any manner on property. It is a form of Vandalism and a part of gang culture. It is used by gangs to mark "their territory" much like a dog will urinate on objects to mark territory. Graffiti is a crime that costs private citizens directly and through their tax dollars, millions of dollars every year. See Vandalism and Gang.

Means a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person that a reasonable person would consider as seriously alarming, seriously annoying, seriously tormenting, or seriously terrorizing the person and that serves no legitimate purpose.

Inadequate or Insufficient Security
A common claim made in a lawsuit against a homeowner association, apartment building owner, property management company, or landlord following a burglary, robbery, assault, battery, rape or other crime. Compare to Negligent Security.

Jessica's Law
Jessica's Law, also known as the Sexual Predator Punishment and Control Act was a statute enacted by 70% of California voters in 2006, authored by State Senator George Runner (R - Antelope Valley) and State Assemblywoman Sharon Runner (R - Antelope Valley).

The Act increased the penalties for sex offenders, broadened the definition of certain sexual offenses, eliminated good time credits for early release of certain offenders, prohibited probation for certain crimes, increased court - imposed fees on sex offenders, and provided for lifelong GPS monitoring of high risk offenders. The law also effectively blocked offenders from living in many areas of large California cities.

Enforcement of the law was blocked by U.S. District Judge Susan Illston, who ruled in a case filed by an existing sex offender.

The device used to turn the security system on or off (arming or disarming). It has numbered buttons. Only the correct combination pushed in the right sequence will work the system. It is simple to use.

Medical Alarm System
A medical alarm system includes a mobile pendant or alarm button that can be used to call for help electronically. Upon receiving a signal, a trained professional at the monitoring station can talk to the caller through the system and summon the appropriate type of assistance.

Medical alarm systems are commonly used by older people who are likely to be seriously injured from a normal fall, and people with certain medical conditions such as diabetes. provides Medical Alarms - Pendants to clients anywhere in the United States.

Mexican Drug War
The Mexican Drug War is now resulting in nearly one thousand deaths every month (or 33 every day) and is rapidly spilling over into the United States. While many uninvolved, innocent people have become the victims of unprovoked murder and decapitations, the main war is between the various Drug Cartels fighting for control of the illegal drug trafficking business. The Cartels are also at war with forces of the Mexican government and to a lesser extent United States border guards.

Monitored Alarm System
This is a security system that sends electronic signals to a central alarm station, as contrasted to a non - monitored alarm system that only makes a loud noise when set off. installs only monitored alarm systems. Non - monitored systems are like car alarms.

Monitoring Center
The monitoring center is where all distress signals are received. It operates 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. When the monitoring center receives a signal, an operator will immediately call the designated contact number in order to determine if the signal was a false or accidental signal. If there is no immediate response, the proper authority will be contacted.

Motion Detector
This is a device that detects the movement of an intruder. Motion detectors are very effective for both residential and commercial properties.

Motion Sensor Lighting
Most commonly, these are flood lights that automatically turn on when activated by motion. They are designed to make visible anyone approaching your home or place of business at night. They can be set on an "activated mode" or "inactivated mode" depending on the circumstances and time.

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) is a private, non-profit organization signed into law by President Ronald Reagan.

Funded primarily by the Justice Department, the NCMEC acts as an information clearinghouse and resource for parents, law enforcement agencies, schools, and communities to assist in locating missing children and to raise public awareness about ways to prevent child abduction, child sexual abuse and child pornography.

The NCMEC provides information to help locate children reported missing and to assist physically and sexually abused children. In this capacity, the NCMEC distributes photographs of missing children and accepts tips from the public. It also coordinates its activities with many state and federal law enforcement agencies.

Negligent Security
A common claim made in a lawsuit against a homeowner association, apartment building owner, property management company, or landlord following a burglary, robbery, assault, battery, rape or other crime. The claim asserts that while security was provided, it was provided negligently. Compare to Inadequate or Insufficient Security.

Panic Button
A panic button is an emergency button that when pressed indicates an emergency situation. Panic buttons can be hand held or can be installed anywhere in a home or business.  This is a button or switch that will immediately activate a signal to the central station notifying them that you are in immediate danger.

Political Vandalism
Political Vandalism is the act of destroying an opponent's political advertising. See Vandalism.

Security Screens
See Alarm Screens.

Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows or willfully and maliciously harasses another person and who makes a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear for his or her safety, or the safety of his or her immediate family is guilty of the crime of stalking.

All security systems must be tested by the property owner, usually monthly, depending on the particular system.

Vandalism is the ruthless destruction of property or spoiling anything beautiful or venerable. The act is usually an expression of contempt, hatred or intimidation. It is a criminal act in most cases and a part of gang culture. Graffiti is one common example.

Wireless Alarm System
This is an alarm system that operates with radio signals as opposed to wires. Wireless alarm systems have advantages and disadvantages. You should discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a wireless security system with an experienced security alarm technician.

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