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  • Emma Dixon

Security Terms Explained!

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

In our work at Securipol Security Services, we often use industry-specific words and phrases to refer to various aspects of guarding and system installation. Below is a handy guide to what some of these mean so you can better understand what it is we're talking about!

Security Terms Explained.

Systems terms:

  • Access control – a system which uses keys, fobs, swipe cards, or codes to restrict who can enter certain areas of a site or property

  • Active Witness (pictured above) – this system, for which Securipol Security Services hold the trademark, uses motion detection and facial recognition software to identify approved visitors and staff members and filters out false alarm activations

  • Burglar/intruder alarm – interchangeable terms for a system of motion detectors which send signals to a receiving centre when activated (i.e., when movement is sensed)

  • CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) – this refers to a camera system designed to capture a constant stream of video footage of a property

Guarding terms:

  • Confirmed activation – when more than one motion detector within an alarm system is triggered

  • Unconfirmed activation – when only one motion detector in a system is triggered

  • Live incident – this refers to a situation where unauthorised activity, such as trespassing or vandalism, is actively taking place when a security guard or keyholding member of staff attends a site

  • Receiving centre – when an alarm system is activated, the signal is picked up by monitoring staff at this centre, who then notify the keyholder or security company responsible for the site and, if required, the local police

Other regularly used Security Terms Explained.

  • Caretaker – a keyholding member of staff designated by their company to respond to any alarm activations at their site

  • Duty of care – this describes an employer’s responsibility to protect the physical and mental wellbeing of their staff and ensure their safety at work.

  • Keyholder – any member of staff who is responsible for a set of keys required to access a site and who may be called in case of an alarm activation or emergency

  • Lone worker – any member of staff who is carrying out work on their own, with no supervision or assistance from other employees

  • BSI – British Standards Institution – this organisation develops standards to help businesses take responsibility, be better governed, and to hold them accountable for their practices

  • NSI – National Security Inspectorate – the certification body for security and fire safety providers, who verify compliance with various standards and codes of practice and are accredited by the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS)

  • SIA (Security Industry Authority) – the government body for regulating the UK’s private security industry, responsible for licensing individuals and approving companies

Hopefully this quick guide has helped to explain some of the phrases we may use when discussing your security requirements, but if you ever have questions then our office staff are more than happy to talk things through with you to make sure everyone is on the same page and we can provide the best possible service for you. If you are interested in any of the services we offer, don't hesitate to get in touch with us via our webform for a free quote!


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