Intrusion detection guidelines

Campus physical security guidelines and minimum standards for intrusion detection at the University of Waterloo


Intrusion detection systems at the University of Waterloo require a set of operating guidelines and minimum standards to meet the needs of clients, Information Systems & Technology (IST) 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 client false alarms.
  • Provide a structure to effectively manage the intrusion detection system at the University of Waterloo. 
  • Provide operating standards to ensure for the safety of the clients. 
  • Reduce the risk of theft and vandalism.

Installation, repair and servicing

The client is responsible for contacting IST-Network Services (Security) to ensure correct installation, addition or upgrade of the intrusion detection system. The client should submit a request using the Request Tracker (RT) system or send email to

IST-Network Services (Security) will confirm user requirements and work with IST-Network Services (Infrastructure team) to determine the scope of work and generate a quote.

Once approved by the client and an account code is proviuded IST-Network Services (Incrastructure team) will order appropriate parts (where required) and schedule the physical installation and testing.


A security assessment is performed to determine the need for an intrusion detection system with consultation from the Special Constable Service. Once a request has been submitted IST will contact Special Constable Service. After reviewing, Special Constable Service will make recommendations for an intrusion detection system based on your needs or history of events.  


Any assessment and determination for an intrusion detection installation should be focused on the objectives and needs of the client.

Physical security

When conducting an assessment of a given area, the client 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. The Special Constable Service can provide assistance to university departments in assessing the physical security of their area. 


IST-Network Services (Security) will provide the necessary instruction on basic alarm operation to the client. IST-Network Services (Security) will provide Campus Security with any codes or cards required to access the alarmed area. 

Once the intrusion detection system is installed and is operational IST-Network Services (Security) will notify the Special Constable Service. 


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

Campus Police's dispatch centre provides 24-hour alarm monitoring for your intrusion detection system. Currently, there is no monthly or ongoing fee for this service.  

Clients are responsible for providing a minimum of two alarmed area contact names, including work and home numbers, and an email address for routine correspondence by Campus Security and IST-Network Services. IST-Network Services (Security) will provide a contact information form once the system has been installed and tested.


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

Clients are required to ensure that their users operate the intrusion detection system correctly. IST-Network Services (Security) is your primary resource for instruction on alarm operation. 

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 Campus Security (ext. 22222) 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 Campus Security (ext. 22222) if they activate the intrusion alarm.
  • Users are responsible to purchase and replace batteries on any wireless devices including panic buttons
    • This is also a chargeable service by IST-Network Services (Infrastructure team).

Response: to be approved by Special Constable Service

UW Campus Police provides emergency response to all intrusion detection systems on the University of Waterloo Campus.

The preceding guidelines have been developed to ensure the safety of the security staff during a response. A standard response will involve an examination of the area and activated zones to determine the cause and correct the problem. Campus Security will attempt a reset of the intrusion detection system and then file a security incident report on the response. Campus Security will notify a client 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 client is responsible for contacting IST Physical Security and ensuring that repairs are carried out.

False alarms

One of the stated goals of these guidelines is to reduce the incidence of false alarms. 

  • Standard configuration of intrusion detection systems. All devices and zones will be installed and labelled in a consistent manner to assist Campus Security staff during a response. 
  • One intrusion sensor per zone for the safety of the responders and to improve diagnostic capability. *Clearly labelled zones on the keypad at the alarmed area.
  • Keypad panic/duress features are removed for institutional applications. *Client education so that clients and area users know how to operate their alarm system.

When an authorized user generates a false intrusion alarm they are required to immediately contact the alarm monitoring station (Campus Security) at ext. 22222, provide their name, and the correct area pass code.   

Disciplinary action

  • (to be approved by Special Constable Service) The Director of Campus Security reserves the right to suspend intrusion detection monitoring or response for any client that fails to address protracted problems with an intrusion detection system or area users.

These guidelines are subject to periodic review and update.