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Intrusion Detection Guidelines





The rapid growth of intrusion detection systems at Queen's University requires a set of operating guidelines and minimum standards to meet the needs of intrusion subscribers, users, and Campus Security.


The goal of these guidelines is to:   

  • Streamline the process for installation and upgrades of intrusion detection systems by clearly identifying roles and responsibilities of those involved.

  • Reduce the incidence of subscriber and user error false alarms.

  • Provide a structure to effectively manage the intrusion detection system at Queen's University.

  • Provide operating standards to ensure for the safety of the responders.


Determines the need for an intrusion detection system.  Campus Security, Insurance and Investments, and Physical Plant Services may make recommendations for an intrusion detection system based on your needs or history of events.  A set of “Useful Terms” is listed at the end of the guidelines to assist you in understanding the various components of an intrusion detection system. 

Potential alarm subscribers should consider the following factors when deciding on an alarm system:     

Objective - any assessment and determination for an intrusion detection installation should be focused on the objectives and needs of the subscriber. If the primary objective is to protect property and assets, then an intrusion detection system is required.  If the subscriber's primary objective is to control access to an area, then an access control system may be the preferred option (many Intrusion Detection Dealers will also install access control systems).  An access control system utilizes an electronic locking system in combination with a keypad, swipe card, or proximity card and will provide access when the correct code or card is used.  This type of system is particularly useful for areas that have a large number of users entering at various times of the day or night. Some subscribers may have a need for a system with a combination of these features providing a dual-function capability.  Subscribers should note that Campus Security will only monitor and respond to intrusion detection systems, not access control systems. 

Cost - a basic intrusion detection system with one keypad and six devices will cost between $700-$1,500 to purchase and install (see Monitoring Section for additional fees).  The cost increases with the number of sensors or features that the subscriber requests.  The cost of the alarm system should be weighed against the cost of any property and assets that are being protected.  Subscribers should also consider that many installers lease or rent alarm systems for a monthly fee. 

Physical Security - when conducting an assessment of a given area, the subscriber should first ensure that any deficiencies in physical security are identified and corrected.  Examples may include the correct use and function of existing locks and door closing mechanisms, examining current key holders, reviewing after-hours access policies, and modifying or strengthening vulnerable points of entry.  Campus Security can provide assistance to university departments in assessing the physical security of their area. 

Moving or Renovations - subscribers should also examine the length of time that they will be using an area in which they intend to install an intrusion detection system.  If a renovation or move to another area is planned in the near future, this should be taken into consideration and alternatives examined to minimize costs.  A leased or rented intrusion detection system may be a lower cost alternative for short-term usage.  


The subscriber is responsible for contacting their Physical Plant Services Area Manager to ensure correct installation, addition or upgrade of the intrusion detection system.  The subscriber is responsible for repairs and servicing of the intrusion detection system once installed. 

 Intrusion detection installers are required to notify the Campus Security Operations Coordinator with following information prior to any installation, addition, or upgrade of an alarm system: 

·        A floor plan (provided by Physical Plant Services) illustrating the location of all devices and sensors, zones, keypads, and intrusion detection panels. 

·        The make, model, and version number for the intrusion detection system. 

·        The location of the electrical panel, the panel number, and breaker number. 

·        All installations must meet the guidelines that follow.  All plans and written submissions are subject to approval by the Physical Plant Services Area Manager and the Campus Security Operations Coordinator. 

The intrusion installer will notify the Emergency Report Centre 533-6000 (X77780) prior to any repairs or servicing of the intrusion detection system.

All intrusion installations monitored by Campus Security must be compatible with the ERC's monitoring station (Surguard digital receiver using a modem communications format).  The intrusion installer will provide Campus Security with the make, model, panel software version number, and factory installer code of the alarm system in their written submission.  The following features on the intrusion detection system must be activated for the monitoring station to receive a signal: uploading turned on, double call timer turned on, and digital communicator turned on. 

*Note:  this policy is designed primarily to address operational guidelines for intrusion detection system.  A complete list of compulsory technical specifications is available from Campus Security or Physical Plant Services (reference Queen's University Standards, Division 16, Intrusion Detection Systems, Section 16.725).


Most intrusion detection systems communicate with the monitoring station using analog telephone lines sending digital signals.  Intrusion installers may be able to use an existing fax telephone line depending on its configuration.  All requests for new telephone line installations will be made with the Campus Security Operations Coordinator who will forward the request to the appropriate Departmental ITAdmin Rep. for processing.  Most installations can be completed within five business days of ITS Telecom receiving the request from the ITAdmin Rep.  Queen's ITS Telecom can be contacted directly at 533-7555 for additional information on phone line installation, costs, or technical requirements.


Intrusion installers are required to provide necessary instruction on basic alarm operation to the subscriber and their users. The intrusion installer will provide the subscriber with written instruction on the operation of the intrusion detection system. 

All intrusion detection systems should come with a minimum 1-year warranty on installed parts (not including batteries and transformers), a lifetime warranty on door contacts, and a one-year warranty on installation (labour).  Subscribers should ensure that their intrusion detection dealer meets these requirements and will service what they install. 

Subscribers are reminded that once an intrusion detection system is purchased it becomes the property of that university department or organization.  In most cases your existing system can be moved and reinstalled if the department moves to a new location (consult with your Physical Plant Services Area Manager and your intrusion installer). 

Subscribers are required to provide Campus Security with any keys or cards required to access the alarmed area (check with the Campus Security Operations Coordinator to determine if Security already possesses keys or cards to access the alarmed area). 

Once the intrusion detection system is installed and is operational, the intrusion installer is required to notify the Campus Security Operations Coordinator who will conduct an inspection of the system to ensure it meets the stated requirements.  If the system meets standards and passes inspection, the Campus Security Operations Coordinator will install a Campus Security user code to operate the intrusion detection system.


The alarm monitoring station initiates the emergency response to intrusion detection activations. 

Campus Security's Emergency Report Centre can provide 24-hour alarm monitoring for your intrusion detection system.  The one-time set up fee is $400 for a basic installation and $100 for each additional partition. Currently, there is no monthly or ongoing fee for this service.  

Subscribers are responsible for providing a minimum of three alarmed area contact names, including work and home numbers, and an E-mail address for routine correspondence by Campus Security.  Subscribers are also required to provide a confidential pass code for alarm verification (ERC Monitoring only). 

Monitoring by ERC will begin when the installation is complete and the alarm installer and subscriber have provided the Campus Security Operations Coordinator with the necessary information complete alarm account.   


Subscribers are responsible for the operation of their intrusion detection system once it has been installed.   

Subscribers are required to ensure that their users operate the intrusion detection system correctly.  Your intrusion installer is your primary resource for instruction on alarm operation.  Subscribers should ensure that the alarm installer provides clear, simple instructions, and a hands-on training demonstration for operating the intrusion detection system.  

These instructions should address the following areas of intrusion detection operation: 

·        Users are required to ensure that the alarmed area is clear of other users before arming the intrusion detection system. 

·        Users are required to ensure that all zones in the alarmed area are secure prior to arming the intrusion detection system. 

·        Users must have a code to arm and disarm the intrusion detection system. 

·        Users know how to arm and disarm the intrusion detection system. 

·        Users will contact the Emergency Report Centre (X77780), external monitoring station, or area contacts if they are unable to arm the intrusion detection system.  Users will provide the area pass code for verification of a false alarm. 

·        Users should be instructed to contact the Emergency Report Centre (X77780) or external monitoring station immediately if they activate the intrusion alarm or answer the telephone if it rings immediately after entry to an alarmed area.  


Campus Security provides emergency response to all intrusion detection systems on Queen's Campus. 

The preceding guidelines have been developed to ensure the safety of the security staff during a response.  The Security Supervisor may initiate a response by Kingston Police at any time or for any reason.   

A standard response will involve an examination of the area and activated zones to determine the cause and correct the problem.  The Security Supervisor will attempt a reset of the intrusion detection system and then file a security incident report on the response.  Campus Security will notify a subscriber contact for the area if the intrusion detection system cannot be reset or if a genuine problem has been discovered. 

In the event the intrusion detection system requires repair or servicing, Campus Security will notify an area contact of the problem.  The subscriber is responsible for contacting their intrusion installer and ensuring that repairs are carried out.   


One of the stated goals of these guidelines is to reduce the incidence of false alarms.  Campus Security recognizes the Canadian Alarm and Security Association (CANASA) for setting minimum standards for intrusion detection installation and operation and has developed the following standards for intrusion installers to reflect both university and industry standards: 

  • Standard configuration of intrusion detection systems.  All devices and zones will be installed and labeled in a consistent manner to assist Security staff during a response. 

  • One intrusion sensor per zone for the safety of the responders and to improve diagnostic capability.

  • Clearly labeled zones on the keypad at the alarmed area.

  • Clearly labeled signs indicating an intrusion detection system is installed in the area.  The signage should include the name and phone number of the monitoring station (Campus Security will provide signage for those systems monitored by the ERC.)

  • Audible devices (sirens) indicating an activation of the intrusion detection system.  Siren must sound for a minimum of one minute and maximum of two minutes.  A siren is required for all intrusion detection systems.

  • Audible exit delay alerting the user that the exit delay cycle has started.

  • Exit error fault alerting the user when an error has been made when arming the alarm or leaving the alarmed area.  

  • Keypad panic/duress features are removed for institutional applications.

  • Subscriber education so that subscribers and area users know how to operate their alarm system.

  • Factory installation specifications are to be observed and compatible with the monitoring station.  (See notes under INSTALLATION above)*

When an authorized user generates a false intrusion alarm they are required to immediately contact the alarm monitoring station (Campus Security’s ERC) at extension 77780 (533-6080 external), provide their name, and the correct area pass code.  The Security Supervisor response will be cancelled when the ERC Operator authenticates the Pass code on the alarm account and confirms a valid user opening in the alarm history for the account. 


The Director of Campus Security reserves the right to suspend intrusion detection monitoring or response for any subscriber that fails to address protracted problems with an intrusion detection system or area users. 

These guidelines are subject to periodic review and update.  The most recent copy will be posted on Campus Security's web site at   listed  under "Policies". 

Please direct any questions or concerns about these guidelines to the Campus Security Operations Coordinator at 533-6000 (X75202) or by E-mail at  . 


Access Control System - a device or electronic system restricting physical access and entry to authorized users.  Access control systems are generally used to replace traditional key systems. 

Audible – refers to a siren to indicate that the alarm has activated.  Campus Security requires each alarm system to have an “audible” siren operating for at least two minutes but not more than five minutes. 

Auditable – the ability to audit an intrusion detection system or access control system to determine which users input codes or operated credentials. 

Battery – intrusion detection panels have batteries to operate during power outages.  Most batteries that come with an alarm panel are good for about three years and will operate for several hours during a power outage.  Your alarm installer can supply you with a higher amp/hour value allowing your alarm system to operate for extended periods without power.  Campus Security generally receives a  Low Battery signal when the battery becomes weak. 

Campus Security - the department at Queen's University monitoring and responding to intrusion detection systems. 

Credential – a device that operates an access control system.  These can take many forms including I-buttons, access cards, or key fobs. 

CSID (Central Station Identification Number) - a number assigned by Campus Security, which corresponds to a specific area protected by an intrusion detection system.  CSID numbers are assigned by Campus Security to subscriber owned intrusion detection systems.  The number is used for electronic identification of intrusion detection panels. 

Door/Window Contact - a sensor installed within the frame or on the surface of a door or window.  The sensor detects the opening and closing of the door or window.  The sensor connects to the intrusion detection panel via cables and it is part of the intrusion detection system.   

Dual-function System - an electronic system that operates both access control and an intrusion detection system.  Campus Security generally monitors the intrusion zones only and not the access control elements in these systems. 

Emergency Report Centre - the section of Campus Security that monitors intrusion detection systems and critical events at Queen's University. 

False Alarm - occurs when an intrusion detection system activates for no apparent cause or reason. 

False Alarm (subscriber or user oriented) - occurs when an intrusion detection system activates as a result of improper use by the subscriber or a user. 

Fibre-Optic Loop – a type of sensor consisting of a fibre-optic loop forming a circuit.  This type of sensor set-up is generally used to secure expensive pieces of equipment within an alarmed area.  The loop is secured to the equipment.  When the equipment is removed, the circuit is broken, and alarm activates.   

Glass Break Detector – a type of sensor designed to monitor the alarmed area for the specific sound of breaking glass.   

Intrusion Detection Dealer/Installer - a person or company who sells, installs, and services intrusion detection systems. 

Intrusion Detection Panel - a small computer that electronically monitors all of the sensors (zones) within an alarmed area.  The panel transmits data to the monitoring station. 

Intrusion Detection System - an electronic system to monitor and report unauthorized entry to an alarmed area.  It consists of a complete and functioning intrusion detection system comprising one or more sensors, a keypad or card reader, a battery, a step down transformer, and a siren. 

Keypad - the device into which the user enters a numeric code to arm (turn the alarm "on") or disarm (turn the alarm "off") the intrusion detection system.  The keypad will also indicate which zone has been activated on the intrusion detection system during an alarm response.  Keypads may be LED-type using small indicator lights or LCD-type using a liquid crystal display.  Keypads may also have audible features to alert users when the intrusion system has been activated. 

Motion Detector - a device monitoring movement within an alarmed area (also known as a PIR for Passive Infrared detector).  The motion detector connects to the intrusion detection panel via cables and it is part of the intrusion detection system. 

Partition – a partition generally consists of a group of zones and a keypad as part of a larger system (see Intrusion Detection Panel).  Partitioning allows a number of areas to be operated independently from a single intrusion alarm panel. 

Pass code or Password – a specific word or phrase to verify a user. 

Physical Plant Services (also PPS) - the department at Queen's University that manages the installation of intrusion detection systems. 

Proximity Card Reader - a device that identifies a credential for a specific user.  Proximity card systems are often used as part of an access control system to allow authorized users access into a secure area.  Proximity card readers often replace traditional key systems by using electric latches or magnets (see also credential). 

Security Supervisor - the primary intrusion detection responder at Queen's University. 

Sensors - electronic devices that monitor the zones within an alarmed area.  Sensor is a generic term for devices that include door or window contacts, motion detectors, or shock sensors.  

Shock Sensor - a device placed on or near glass, wood, or drywall surfaces to monitor vibrations and frequencies consistent with forcible entry.  The sensor connects to the alarm panel via cables and is part of the intrusion detection system. 

Subscriber - a department at Queen's University operating an intrusion detection system. 

Trap Lacing – a type of alarm sensor consisting of a circuit of wires covering an entry point.  The sensor is activated when an intruder forces the entry point and breaks the wire circuit. 

Users - members of the subscribers department or group who use or operate the intrusion detection system. 

Zones - a specific area within the alarmed area monitored by the intrusion detection system.  Current standards allow for only one sensor device per zone.   


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