What is a Partition?
A partition refers to a sectioned-off portion of an alarm system that can be operated independently from the rest of the system. A partition can only be operated with a code that has been assigned access to that partition or with the Master Code. This can be useful for restricting access.
When a sensor is enrolled with a system, its zone will be assigned to a partition. If the partition that a zone is assigned to is armed, then that zone will correspondingly be armed. Likewise, if that partition is disarmed, then that zone will be disarmed as well. A sensor can only be assigned to one partition on a system at any given time. Please note that it is possible to change a zone's partition after it has been assigned.
However, a sensor can also be assigned to a common partition so that it can be armed or disarmed with the other partitions on the system. This works on a "first in, last out" basis. This means that the first partition to disarm the system will also disarm the common partition. Then, the last partition to arm the system will also arm the common partition. In other words, the common partition will disarm once any one of the regular associated partitions is disarmed, and it will arm as soon as all of the associated regular system partitions are armed.
Whether or not any given system code can arm or disarm a partition is determined by its partition assignment and authority level. A code must be assigned to a particular partition in order to be able to control the corresponding zones. If a code is not associated with a partition, then it will not be able to control any of the zones in that grouping. So if the system owner wants to restrict access for a certain user in a particular area, they can set sensors to a partition that is out of the user's control. On Vista-20P and Vista-21iP systems there's also the Partition Master Code, which is able to assign new users to their partition. Additionally, the system's Master Code is able to control any partition and zone that has been established on the system.
Please note that partitions are only used with systems that support partitions. This feature is most commonly available on hardwired and commercial panels. If a system does not support partitions, then it could be stated that all of the system zones are on the same partition. In that case, a user would have to bypass zones individually if they wanted certain sensors to remain inactive while the rest of the system is armed.
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