- Design Considerations
- Location Considerations when Designing a Security or Fire Alarm System
- Physical Devices
- Configuration and Settings
- Device Connectivity
- In-house Services
- External Services
- Industry Standards for Home Security and Surveillance Systems
- Installation Plans
- Maintenance Plans and Procedures
- Exam Prep Questions
- Need to Know More?
Connecting all components of a security system requires compliance with national and local building and fire codes. Each internal and external interface involves selecting and identifying the correct type of wire, coaxial cable, and termination points.
Low-Voltage Wire Connectivity
Security system wiring is rated as low-voltage, limited energy circuit wiring by the local building codes in most states. Almost any gauge wire can be used for connecting sensors to the main control panel, but #22-gauge is the smallest gauge wire recommended for any home security wiring. Quad wire is a type of security wire that is used by many installers; it contains four wires enclosed in a plastic sheath and is used for interconnecting security system components.
As indicated earlier, some types of smoke detectors and heat detectors receive power from the home AC power wiring. They are not classified as low- voltage devices and must be wired in accordance with high-voltage wiring in compliance with local electrical building codes.
Although almost any gauge wire can be used for connecting sensors to the main control panel, #22-gauge is the smallest gauge wire that should be used for wiring home security systems.
Wireless System Connectivity
Wireless systems provide the easiest and most economical method for connecting components in a home security system.
Each sensor in a wireless security system provides its own power using internal batteries. When a sensor detects an intrusion, it transmits the information to a control panel using radio transmissions to signal an alarm condition to a central controller.
The telephone line is used by a security system to automatically call a central monitoring facility when an alarm condition exists. The alarm system controller box must be connected to the phone line with an RJ-31x phone jack. This connector takes priority when an alarm is triggered, disconnects the home phones, and dials the number of the monitoring service. This prevents a burglar from taking the phone off the hook to prevent the system from dialing out. The proper wiring connection for an RJ-31x connector is described later in this chapter in the section "Installation Plans."
Coaxial cable is used to transport video signals between video cameras and monitors in home video surveillance systems. The quality of the video signal is affected if poor-quality cable or the wrong type of cable is used. Structured wiring standards recommend the use of RG-6 coaxial cable and F-type connectors for connecting cameras and monitors.
The main termination points for a home security system are contained in the control panel. All the sensors installed throughout the home are connected with low-voltage wiring and routed through walls to the central controller termination strip.
The telephone line also has a termination point where it enters the control panel enclosure. An RJ-11 telephone jack is retrofitted with a RJ-31x jack. The four telephone wires are then terminated on the controller main connection bus with the other external cabling harness.