What is Intrusion Detection?

Make intruders think twice

ps_es_intr_id_whatis_144Intruder alarm systems are at the heart of out-of-hours security measures deployed by householders and businesses: not only can they act as a deterrent, but they will also provide a warning that an intrusion is taking place either to staff, a remote monitoring centre or passers by.

The focus of alarm systems has moved from one of prevention to one of deterrent and even beyond that where damage limitation is considered key.  This is particularly true for commercial applications, and more and more so for home security. The current thinking is very much based on limiting the time an intruder has in a property. This increases the importance of response times (a key factor in the increased take-up of remote monitoring), as well as highlighting the role of corrective actions e.g. if someone breaks in through a window while the premises are shut, how quickly can the window be replaced to re-secure the building?  These factors are of significant interest to insurance companies who are understandably equally keen on damage limitation and corrective actions.

Summoning police response and intervention (monitored alarm systems)
Alarms connected to a monitoring service are the most effective and are usually a requirement of insurance companies providing cover. Opting for a remotely monitored alarm, where activation signals are sent to a monitoring centre, ensures the police are contacted immediately in the event of a confirmed activation. Signals are filtered for false activations, thus avoiding the risk of losing police response to an  alarm.

Intruder detection: the challenge of false alarms
With intervention or police response potentially a costly affair in the event of false alarms, technological developments have focused on limiting the risk of false activations. The primary area lies with the devices triggering the alarms. Siemens motion detectors are specifically designed to deliver the highest detection rate and false alarm immunity, including in environments with fast changing light or temperature conditions.

Effective intervention management with alarm confirmation / verification
Another area of development aimed at reducing false alarms is the advance in alarm verification and transmission technologies. Audio and video verification devices (microphone / speakers and cameras for example) are linked to detectors in pre-defined verification zones, enabling for direct contact to be established quickly in case of an alarm. Further technology developments also allow for alarm actuation scenarios to be programmed, ensuring that only certain sequences of events (e.g. with more than one detector activating within a given time frame) are responded to as being true alarms.

Detector activated remote monitoring surveillance systems (use of CCTV)
Integration of video surveillance to intruder detection systems brings further benefits, not just in terms of alarm verification, but also in terms of deterring or even prosecuting intruders. The Sintony 410 system is compatible with SISTORE digital video surveillance systems, enabling a more effective alarm management by e.g. live remote viewing of cameras positioned in the alarm zone, and CCTV recording for evidential purposes.

In the end, intruder alarm systems need to be designed with the needs of the business or home in mind and should take into account the usage of the premises whilst remaining effective and user friendly. The quality of the installation and maintenance service plays therefore an essential part in the effectiveness of the overall security for commercial or residential premises.

Compliance with international industry standards

The Siemens range of intruder detection products and systems complies with all relevant international standards. Each detector, control unit and peripheral is designed with specific applications or environments in mind, and therefore will comply with different standards. This gives a wide range of options for the installers or users to choose from. Standards include:

Approvals_144x202    EN50131



    RoHS, WEEE

    Country specific approvals also available

Why is it important?

Insurers increasingly link premiums to the grade of the security system installed. There will be a price differential as the grade increases. In this matter, it is also good to remember that the lowest grade of component (i.e. panel, detector, warning device or ATS) sets the grade of the whole system.

As a manufacturer, Siemens also complies with Quality Assurance standards such as ISO9000, etc...


Part of the EN50131 series (detailed in Technical Specification 50131-7) lays down a structured risk assessment procedure for designers of alarm systems, which should in turn lead to better designed systems that are graded to meet the needs of the risk. This process includes performance attributes, which recognise that heavier risks deserve more protection against more knowledgeable intruders and better planned attacks. The requirement to select a grade of system appropriate to the risk should mean fewer examples of the 'one size fits all' approach, resulting in improved system performance and reducing the probability of false alarms.

ps_es_intr_id_market_144Security in every facet of life.
Security, and particularly intrusion detection, is fast moving from the place of work to the home. Factors such as aging populations and the advent of new family units, particularly women living alone, contribute to the security agenda. 

Figures from the British Crime Survey show that households with no home security measures are almost ten times more likely to be victims of burglary.  In the US, a study focusing specifically on home security systems demonstrated that homeowners with no system are some three times more likely to experience a break-in. 

The main objective in home security - as in professional security -  is to make the burglar’s job too difficult, time-consuming, noisy or risky, compared to alternative targets - light, time and noise are the intruder’s worst enemies.

Wireless technology
A recent trend which looks set to continue is the increased use of wireless technology.  There are significant advantages, the most obvious being the ease of installation and the flexibility in terms of positioning the products, as well as the cost reduction in retro-fitting systems into existing buildings by eliminating the need for adding to or modifying existing wiring.  In the residential market, going forward, the most prevailing feature of wireless security will be the all-in-one unit that houses smoke, fire, carbon monoxide, motion detectors and door/window alarms, with the unit activated through a remote control that works anywhere in the house.

IP-ready intrusion systems
The widespread use of internet for business or entertainment at home, the increase in available bandwidth, and the speed of internet connections make the use of this technology a real possibility for alarm transmission to receiving centres or even directly to customers themselves via SMS or e-mail. 
IP makes security and the checking of the status of a home or commercial premises in general much more accessible to the end-user.  Linked into this are new trends in remote video monitoring with the use of webcams and PIR cameras gaining ground at home - and with IP cameras being used more and more as part of video surveillance systems.

One of the prime advantages of having these integrated into intrusion systems is to provide video alarm verification for remote monitoring centres (RMC) or central security control rooms, whereby alarm information and images are sent to the operator via email, for example.  The spread of  VoIP (Voice over IP) will further help with remote monitoring and real-time alarm verification.

In this evolving market, one area that manufacturers should be very mindful of, is the need for a robust connection for alarm transmission.  Siemens always complies with European standards, with a signal transmission that is always secured, recognising the potential consequences of the loss of a signal in an emergency situation.  In the case of break-ins, the priority is to alert the monitoring centre, then try and remove the intruder, although noise-making gadgets are now largely considered to be ineffective.