Driveway Sensor

Do you hate being caught off guard? For instance, you’re doing the dishes and you don’t hear someone entering the house. That person creeps up behind you and scares you out of your senses.

It could be anyone; your son, husband or sister. But then it could also be a stranger or an intruder with the intention of harming you.

You can avoid this entire situation by being pre-warned. How do you do that?  By installing a driveway sensor.

Driveway Sensor

A driveway sensor is designed to detect people, animals or vehicles that pull up in a driveway. The device is often integrated with an alarm system, which automatically alerts you when an unexpected intruder or visitor steps on the premises.

Types of Driveway Sensors

As with other alarm systems and devices, driveway sensors also come in two basic types:

Wired: Since a wired system is not dependent on batteries, it is generally considered more reliable. You do not have to constantly worry about checking and changing batteries. This type of a driveway sensor, though, would be more difficult to install since you will have to drill holes and rewire your main system to make room for the alarm.

Wireless: As for a wireless system, this runs on batteries that need to be changed regularly.  It is easier to install and operate.

Choosing between a wired or wireless system is typically going to be determined by your security needs.  If you are not sure about the type that is most suitable to your needs, you are advised to consult a professional.

Sensor Types:

Three types of sensors are typically used in driveway sensor systems:

Passive Infrared: These sensors are designed to operate by measuring incoming infrared energy. They do not give out any energy themselves, which is why they are called passive. Infrared energy is released when heat is detected. Humans, animals and vehicles, give off heat.   The sensor is designed to compare changing heat energy levels to detect the presence of an object and subsequently sound an alarm.

Magnetic Probe: This type of driveway sensor uses a magnetic coil to detect moving metals within its predefined range. This will be activated only when a vehicle comes within the parameter. It is generally more expensive than passive infrared sensors.

Rubber Hose: This sensor is designed to work through the use of pressure. When pressure is applied to the hose, the air in it is pumped and it subsequently sounds the alarm. A rubber hose sensor is easier to install and ideal for locations that might be prone to false alarms due to animal movement. In addition, it looks like any other hose, casually lying on the driveway. Most hose sensors come with a pause option, allowing you to temporarily disarm the alarm when you are expecting guests.

The type of sensor that you would actually need, once again, will be determined by your security needs. Wireless passive infrared sensors are, however, the most common type sold in the market.

Why should you get a driveway sensor?

Here are a few reasons why you need a driveway sensor system:

  • Most people tend to ignore their driveway when it comes to home security systems, making it a very attractive prospect for burglars.

  • These sensors are usually waterproof and weather resistant.

  • They can be connected to a large number of sensors. So no matter how long your driveway is, it could be entirely covered.

  • According to the FBI, an estimated total of 721,053 motor vehicles were stolen nationwide in 2012.

  • Vehicle theft is a growing trend, with an increase of 0.6% in 2012 as compared to 2011 figures. (FBI)

You may be at risk. The garage entrance to the house is usually left unguarded. Once the burglar gets through your driveway, it may be a walk in the part for him. Total property stolen during 2012 was slightly over $13 billion, according to the FBI. Out of this, only 20.5 percent was recovered. Instead of damage control, it makes more sense to defend your home in the first place.


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