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AvantGuard's Industry Glossary

Carbon Monoxide Detector (Co)

A device that detects the presence of the toxic gas carbon monoxide, a colorless and odorless compound which is lethal at high concentration. if enough carbon monoxide is detected, the device sounds an alarm, giving people in the area a chance to ventilate the area or safely leave the building. carbon monoxide is produced from incomplete combustion of fossil fuels.


A sensor that is dedicated to identifying significant changes in environmental factors such as: gas levels, temperature, brightness and sound frequencies. detectors that belong to a monitored system always communicate to a central panel.

Flood Detector

A security system device that consists of an alarm transmitter and a probe that detects the presence of water. the transmitter can have a hardwired or wireless setup and is typically mounted far above the level water would ever be expected so the transmitter’s circuitry is safe. the probe is then mounted a few inches off the ground so that flooding is detected as early as possible.

Glassbreak Detector (Gbd)

A security system device that detects the sound frequency made by breaking glass. a glassbreak detector houses a highly sensitive microphone that can detect the exact frequency of broken glass. gdbs, along with motion detectors, are devices used for interior monitoring to provide another layer of protection beyond exterior monitoring. one gbd can usually protect every window in a room and should be mounted on the wall across from the windows it is meant to protect. gbds are preferable over motion detectors when large animals live in the alarms premise, since they work while the security system is in stay mode without causing false alarms.

Heat Detector

A burglar alarm or fire alarm device that detects a preset high temperature or a rapid rate-of-rise (ror) in temperature. heat detectors can be either electrical or mechanical in operation. the most common types are thermocouple and electro-pneumatic, both of which respond to changes in ambient temperature. if the ambient temperature rises above a predetermined threshold, then an alarm signal is triggered. heat detectors are better than smoke detectors for areas where smoke would normally be found such as a kitchen or smoking lounge, since they do not produce as many false alarms.

Local Smoke Detector

A battery-powered smoke detector that is not monitored by a central monitoring station. these devices are typically installed in buildings where local codes require a certain number of local smoke detectors that can warn occupants of a potential emergency.

Monitored Smoke Detector

Monitored smoke detectors go a step further than normal smoke detectors by adding an extra level of protection to the structure and its occupants. while a local smoke detector will only sound a local siren, a monitored smoke detector sounds a local siren and also sends an alarm signal to a central monitoring station so that the local fire department can be sent to investigate the scene.

Motion Detector

A security device that uses passive infrared or microwave detection to detect motion in a monitored premise. some motion detectors are capable of utilizing dual technology detection and even have pet immunity to prevent false alarms.

Passive Infrared Motion Detector (Pir)

An alarm device that measures infrared (ir) light radiating from objects in its field of view to sense motion and activate an alarm. once the pir motion detector is installed, it settles into a normal state with a normal temperature. apparent motion is detected when an infrared source with another temperature, such as a human, passes in front of the pir detector and changes the normal temperature causing an alarm.

Rate Of Rise (Ror) Head Detectors

A type of heat detector that triggers an alarm when a predetermined amount of change in temperature is registered in a given window of time. (e.g. 20°change in a five-minute period)

Smoke Detector

A device that is designed to detect gas that is created by fires and other hazardous sources. many smoke detectors are capable of tracking carbon monoxide gas, which is a silent killer and in its natural form is unnoticeable to the human nose.

Water Detector

See flood detector