Zone List for your Home Security

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What is a Home Security Zone?

Your home security system is made up of zones. Each of your home security devices makes up a zone. In older wired security systems the zone list was made up of numbers only and a zone list would correspond to each of the numbers. Unless you had your zones memorized it would be extremely difficult to find out where the system was in alarm. It would be nearly impossible for someone taking over an existing system to know where each device was located.

Typical Zone List

A typical list would be:

  • Zone 1 – Front Door
  • Zone 2 – Back Door
  • Zone 3 – Inside Garage Door
  • Zone 4 – Master Bedroom Slider
  • Zone 5 – Hallway Smoke Detector
  • Zone 6 – Living Room Motion Detector


The zone list is usually written on the keypad door or attached on a slide out under the keypad. The problem with this is that many times the zone list gets worn and unreadable or the zone list is detached and lost. If your system is in alarm it is imperative to know what zone was triggered? In the new wireless systems each device has a unique ID and the zone list is programmed into the system so it cannot be lost unless the system becomes corrupted. The security system installer should program the zone list into your system but some do not so if your system has this feature available you should make sure that they do this for you. If you ever have your system upgraded by changing your control panel or adding any new devices, make sure that your zone list is also upgraded.

Home Security Devices

Every device that is attached to your system is considered to be a zone. Home Security devices can range from door contacts, window contacts, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, heat detectors, water detection, motion detectors and beam detectors. The audible devices on your system are not considered a zone so they will not be listed for the purpose of identifying where an alarm was triggered. It is useful to know where these devices are in your system in the event that they stop working.

Making a Zone List

If your zone list has become outdated or lost you should recreate your list. It is fairly easy to do this. If you still have your original User manual or the installation manual there is a blank form in the back. You can use this since most alarm installers do not utilize this. In most cases the alarm installer will not use the sheet in the book because they write the zones down at the keypad or just program it into memory. It is easiest to start at the front door and work your way around your home. Just open the front door and then go to your keypad and check what zone is lit up. If for example it is zone 3 then write down Front door on your zone list in the slot for zone 3. There may be no rhyme or reason for the number sequence that you end up with but this does not matter since it is already programmed this way. As an alarm installer I always started at the front door and worked my way around clockwise. It is much easier for the client and also much easier for future troubleshooting. Do this all the way around your house. Then check for any smoke or heat detectors and also any motion detectors that you may have. Now you have a complete zone list.

If you have some gaps in the zone list it may have been setup this way. If you have a wired system you can look inside your control panel and check to see if there is wiring installed on every zone. There should be a wiring diagram on the panel door. This will show you what terminals are for the zone connections.

Checking with Central Station Monitoring

If you have monitoring connected to your system you can also call them to get the zone list that they have on file. It should be the same as the one that you generated. If not, then they will be dispatching help in the event of an alarm with the wrong information.
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