All alarm system designs have certain components in common, which we refer to as the BASE SYSTEM. This usually consists of the following:
The brains of the system, usually installed in an out-of-the-way location, such as the furnace room.
For arming and disarming your system, and for activating a panic alarm
To chase the intruder away!
To run the system for at least ten hours in the event of power failure.
To activate the alarm if a door is violated (Denver police say about 75% of break-in’s occur through doors)
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The best feature of this design, is that with sensors on all accessible windows, as well as doors, the alarm user can be anywhere within the structure with the system totally armed.
There are several technologies for detecting window entry: CONTACT SWITCH SENSORS cause the alarm to activate if a window is opened, SECURITY SCREENS cause the alarm to activate should the screen be removed or the mesh cut (these provide for great ventilation). It is not uncommon for an alarm system to use a combination of both kinds of window sensors. Screens are most popular with ground floor bedroom windows, and/or in houses with evaporative cooling.
We program security screens so that they are always “armed”, even when the system is not turned on. This way, if a window has been left open at a time when the system would not generally be on, and someone should attempt to enter through a security screen, the alarm would sound even if the system is disarmed.
A third method of dealing with window entry is with GLASS BREAK SENSORS. These are a good approach with large expanses of fixed glass panes. A concern we have is that if one is relying on such a sensor to detect glass breakage of operable windows, and a window in unlocked (or wide open!), no glass need be broken to gain entry.
The down side of this design is that it is often more costly than a design that deals with window entry with the use of motion sensors.
MOTION SENSOR DESIGN
The alternate way to detect window entry is with one or more MOTION SENSORS. This design is best for use when the house is empty, and/or at night if all bedrooms are on the second floor. These sensors are compatible with any combination of pets up to 85 pounds. The coverage area of these sensors is 45 feet in distance, with a 90 degrees span.
The best feature of this design is that it generally costs less than a perimeter design system, especially if a house has many windows. Additionally, if there is a risk of an intruder simply stepping through a large, broken pane of glass without actually opening a door or window, a motion detector will detect such entry.