Security systems control panels are the brains of the system and need to be placed in an area where they can not be accessed without triggering an alarm, when in the armed state. This ensures the transmission of an alarm and activation of speakers and/or sirens prior to anyone being able to disable or destroy the system. Some control panels are self contained, meaning that speaker/siren, keypad, battery, and communications equipment are all in the same enclosure. Some security systems have multiple keypads and speaker/sirens because they cover many different areas called partitions. The security system control panel should be capable of handling all the zones(various devices and areas of protection) and all the keypads for the number of partitions. Caution: always go with a control panel that still has room for expansion. Security systems today can handle hardwired and wireless devices and zones. If you are putting in your own system, please consult with a security professional so you do not leave gaps in your protection.