What is Cross-Zoning? Posted on July 9, 2018September 17, 2019 by Wallace Franklin If you’re looking for the best DIY home security system, wireless or otherwise, one term you will likely come across as you read through manuals is “cross-zoning.” What is cross-zoning? To put it simply, it’s a way to cut down on false alarms. We’ll break down the concept a bit more on this page and demonstrate why it’s a valuable tool for you to try. What are False Alarms? Even the best DIY home security system wireless setup may send a signal to the monitoring company, and ultimately to emergency services, when there isn’t an emergency. This is referred to as a false alarm. What Causes False Alarms? Oftentimes, it’s human error. For example, a person may arm a system while at home and open a window, which sends a signal that a home is being broken into. Or, a new alarm-owner may forget the disarm code. These things happen. Sometimes, a person has a general understanding of how components work, but they lack deep enough knowledge to understand a limitation or may place a component in a less-than-ideal place. For example, some may place a motion detector that relies on temperature readings near a radiator. When the radiator heats up quickly, it could trip an alarm. Situations that lead to false alarms are as varied as the people who use systems. Why Should I Prevent False Alarms? For one, alarms give off an audible sound, which usually sends thieves scrambling. Neighbors appreciate it when it helps rid the area of a crook, but they don’t like listening to it on a regular basis for no reason. Emergency services are brought in for alarms as well, and when they’re tending to a false alarm, they aren’t helping someone who genuinely needs assistance. In some cases, municipalities fine residents for these calls. What is Cross-Zoning and How Does It Help? What is cross-zoning? It’s a feature of some systems that cuts down on false alarms. With Life Shield, for example, homeowners may select specific sensors to be part of a cross-zoning setup. If any one of those sensors is triggered alone, nothing happens, but if a second one is triggered within 30 seconds, the alarm is sent to the monitoring center. Initial triggers may go back to being part of the cross zone if they’re restored (i.e. a door is closed) within a set period of time or they may be bypassed until the system is disarmed if they’re not restored. How does it help? Something like this is helpful if a motion sensor picks up a pet. Under ordinary circumstances, the alarm would go off. With cross-zoning, another trigger would need to happen, such as a door opening, in order for the alarm to be sent to the monitoring center. Or, perhaps a tree branch breaks a window. This might normally trigger a glass breaking sensor. With cross-zoning, the system would wait for the window to open or a motion detector to catch movement inside. In all these cases, cross-zoning would prevent the false alarm, keeping you on good terms with your neighbors and local emergency services. How to Choose the Best DIY Home Security System Wireless Setup If you’re looking for the best DIY home security system wireless setup, you should know there’s no single type that works best for everyone. What works for your family and the unique layout of your home may not be ideal for someone else. However, some things to look for include: Multiple false alarm prevention mechanisms, like swinger shutdown, fire alarm verification, and phone verification. Smart tech, such as the ability to capture CCTV footage and view your camera feeds on your phone and remote arm/disarm. Reasonable start-up and monthly monitoring costs. No long-term contracts. Additional safety features, like fire and carbon monoxide alarms which can save the lives of your family and minimize damage caused by fire. Backup connections that keep the unit “talking” to the monitoring company, even if one type if connection is cut off. Smash protection that ensures your console stays in contact with the monitoring company even if intruders try to break it. Panic and duress modes, so you can quickly and covertly signal the need for help, even if someone is standing over your shoulder watching you disarm the system. Simple install that anyone can do—ideally without using any tools. Kits with pre-selected pieces that make choosing the right components easy. Additional components, so you can create a comprehensive system that suits your unique needs. Panic and duress modes, so you can quickly and covertly signal the need for help, even if someone is standing over your shoulder watching you disarm the system.