Window Alarms

According to the Bureau of Justice statistics, the most common method of entry used in crimes involving illegal entry as opposed to forcible entry, is through open doors and windows. Windows come in a range of shapes, styles and sizes: all of which determine how the window is designed to open. Some of the most common types include:

  • Double-hung windows - designed to open and close vertically, they consist of two portions of glass in a wooden frame one of which slides over the other.

  • Casement windows - these are typically controlled by a small pivot hinged at one end and swing open outwards.

  • Fixed windows - the glass is fixed in a frame and does not open.

  • Awning¬†windows - open outwards with the bottom part of the glass.

  • Sliding windows - consist of two pieces of glass, one of which slides on a track in front or behind the other piece.

Apart from ensuring that all windows remain locked, you can further secure your home by using window and door alarms which are designed to alert you when an intruder attempts to break in.

Types of Window Sensors

Various sensors can be used to secure your windows. Here are some of the popular ones:

  • Magnetic Switch Sensors

    These come in two forms; surface mounted and recessed. Both of them are designed to perform the same function, which is to detect attempts to open the window, but are installed quite differently. The surface mounted model comes in a couple of plastic casings, one of which holds a reed switch that is magnetically activated and the other, a magnet. The former is attached to the window frame and the letter to the window, so that they are both adjacent to each other when the window is closed. This creates a magnetic field which keeps the circuit intact, when the window is opened and the two parts no longer remain adjacent, the circuit is broken and the system is alerted. Recessed magnetic switch sensors are small in size, placed on the inside of the window frame and hidden from view; hence prove to be more useful as the intruder or burglar does not get to know beforehand that a security system is in place.

  • Glass-break Shock Sensor

    This is attached to the glass of the windows with a tape or a suction device and is designed to detect vibrations in the glass when the window is struck or tampered with. The sensitivity settings of these detectors can be adjusted depending upon your needs.

  • Glass-break Detector

    This is designed to detect the sound of breaking glass and then alert the residents by triggering an alarm. A glass-break detector does not have to be placed on every window; it is typically designed to cover a larger area with multiple windows. It uses acoustic technology which enables it to detect the specific frequency of breaking glass.

Maintenance of Your Window Alarms

As in the case of any security system, it is important to ensure that your window alarms and sensors are fully functional at all times. Here are a few maintenance tips that you can make use of.

  • Although your control panel is designed to notify you when any of the sensors are not operating properly, but it is recommended that you check them on a weekly basis so that you can detect problems in time and take corrective measures.

  • Adhesives tend to lose strength with time; this happens rather faster if your house is located in a high humidity area. So if your sensor starts slipping from its position, it will not only increase the chances of it not working in the event of a break-in, but also increases the probability of false alarms. This can be avoided by renewing the tapes or adhesives used to fasten the sensors in their positions.

  • Conduct physical inspection of sensors for signs of wear and tear from time to time.

  • If something accidentally hits the sensor forcefully, it can be damaged and consequently its functions can be affected. Make sure to check it is functioning properly.

  • Make sure that you regularly check your control panel for error notifications.

  • Regular battery checks are absolutely necessary.

An important point to note in the end is the care a home security system requires. These components need to be regularly checked in order to make sure you and your family are protected at all times.



Q:Are window security systems and alarm monitoring worth it?

A:A study conducted by Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice revealed that alarm systems installed in homes help deter burglaries. Installing in an alarm system can go a long way in protecting your home and family. But the effectiveness of a system will depend upon other factors as well such as: placement of sensors around the house, size of your home, and the security company you have chosen.

Q:Can I set my window alarm with a pet left outside?

A:A window alarm will detect any break-in or forceful entry through the window. Normally, an alarm system is designed to detect any kind of motion which may be caused by pets, and will trigger the alarm. If you have opted for a pet-friendly alarm system, you don't have to worry about pets tripping the alarm.

Q:Do window alarms prevent break-ins?

A:Window alarms are designed to detect break-ins or intrusions through this point of entry. Burglars trying to break-in a house through the window will cause the alarm to trip. According to studies, alarm systems help deter burglars. But not all break-ins occur through windows, securing other points of entry around the house is equally important.

Q:What should I check when the window alarm system has been installed?

A:Once you have installed a window alarm system, it is important that you check the system to see if it runs properly. Make sure all the wires are connected to the main control panel. If you are installing a wireless system, the receiver should be appropriately placed where signals are not obstructed by any object. If the system does not function as expected, call for professional assistance or help.

Q:Will a window alarm give me total security?

A:Securing the windows of your house can help lower the risk of crime. But burglars can use different points of entry to break-in such as the garage doors. To ensure safety and total security, it is important you secure all perimeters of your home. You can consider installing door alarms and motion sensors around the house for maximum coverage.

Q:Will my window alarm system function in the event of a power outage?

A:Yes, your window alarm system will function in the event of a power outage. The system has a built-in backup battery that supplies power if no commercial power is available. But backup power is limited and may only function for a limited number of hours. You can get more information about backup battery from your home security company.

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