Differences between threat levels and alarms - Security Center 5.9

Security Center Administrator Guide 5.9

Applies to
Security Center 5.9
Last updated
Content type
Guides > Administrator guides
Security Center

There are key differences between threat levels and alarms, such as why they are triggered, how they are activated, and so on.

The following table highlights the differences between threat levels and alarms.

Characteristics Alarm Threat level
Purpose Deals with localized events, such as a forced entry or an object being left unattended in a public area. Deals with widespread events affecting an whole area or the entire system, such as a fire or a shooting.
Configuration privileges
  • Config Tool
  • Modify alarms
  • Add/delete alarms
  • Config Tool
  • Modify threat levels
  • Add/delete threat levels
Activation Typically triggered by an event-to-action. Can also be triggered by a manual action. Typically set manually by a Security Desk operator. Can also be set by an event-to-action.
System response on activation Recording starts automatically on cameras associated to the alarm. The threat level activation action list is automatically executed.
Notification method The alarm icon turns red in the Security Desk notification tray.

Depending on your Security Desk configuration, the Alarm monitoring task might be brought to the foreground.

The threat level icon turns red in the Security Desk notification tray.

When a threat level is set at the system level, the background of Security Desk turns to the color of the threat level.

Recipients Security Desk users configured as alarm recipients. All Security Desk users.
Event ranking Alarms are ranked according to their priority level (1=highest, 255=lowest). Higher priority alarms are displayed first. When the priority level is the same, the most recent is displayed first. Threat levels are independent of each other. Only one threat level can be set on an area at any given time. The last threat level set overrides the previous one.
Deactivation A Security Desk user (alarm recipient) must acknowledge the alarm.

Alarms can also be automatically acknowledged by the system after a specified delay or when the acknowledgment condition is met.

A Security Desk user must manually clear the threat level or set a different threat level. A threat level can also be automatically cleared using an event-to-action (Set threat level to None).
System response on deactivation The acknowledged alarm is removed from all active alarm list (Alarm monitoring task in Security Desk). The threat level deactivation action list is automatically executed.
Related events
  • Alarm triggered
  • Alarm being investigated
  • Alarm condition cleared
  • Alarm acknowledged
  • Alarm acknowledged (alternate)
  • Alarm forcibly acknowledged
  • Threat level set
  • Threat level cleared
Operator privileges
  • Security Desk (Application)
  • Alarm monitoring (Task)
  • Alarm report (Task)
  • Trigger alarms (Action)
  • Snooze alarms (Action)
  • Forward alarms (Action)
  • Acknowledge alarms (Action)
  • Security Desk (Application)
  • Set threat level (Action)
The same privilege is used for both setting and clearing threat levels. To clear a threat level is to set it to None.
NOTE: The threat level activation and deactivation actions are carried out by the system, independently of the operator’s privileges.
Exclusive actions None.
  • Set minimum security clearance
  • Set minimum user level
  • Set reader mode