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What are the Different Types of Home Security Sensors?

By T. L. Childree
Updated May 16, 2024
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In order to make your home as secure as possible, you will probably need to utilize a variety of different sensors. There are several types of home security sensors available for use, such as door sensors, window sensors, glass-breaking sensors, motion sensors, and driveway alarms. Some of these sensors may also be used for safety purposes as well.

Door and window sensors both have the same basic principal of operation. A simple closed electrical circuit is formed when the door or window is in a shut position. If the door or window is opened, the circuit is broken and an alarm is triggered. There are different mounting options available when using this type of sensor. A hard-wired sensor may be permanently mounted inside of the window or doorframe, or a wireless type sensor may be placed on the outside of the frame. This type of sensor may be installed on garage doors as well.

In addition to traditional circuit-type sensors, a glass-breaking sensor may also be installed for added window security. These home security sensors are available in both seismic and acoustic models. Breaking glass typically produces a wide range of sound frequencies that not only travel through glass, but also through the walls and ceiling of the room itself. Seismic sensors are mounted directly to a glass pane to detect these frequencies and set of an alarm. Acoustic sensors are usually installed near a window to detect any sound frequencies produced by breaking glass. A single acoustic sensor can sometimes be used to protect all of the windows in a small home or building.

Motion detectors are the most commonly used outdoor home security sensors, although they are often used indoors as well. When used inside of a home or building, they typically provide some type of time delay mechanism prior to activating an alarm. This delayed reaction is needed to allow a person enough time to deactivate the security system after entering the building. Motion detectors are often equipped to discern between small animals and human beings in order to prevent false alarms. In some cases, a motion detector may also be used to control indoor or outdoor lighting for safety as well as security purposes.

Like motion detectors, driveway alarms are often used for several different purposes. These simple home security sensors can be positioned to alert you when someone approaches your automobile, recreational vehicle, or boat. They may also be used to protect a garage, tool shed, summerhouse, or other outdoor building from intruders. Additionally, this type of alarm may be used to alert you if an unattended child goes near your swimming pool.

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