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Alarm System Components – Part 2

Continuing with our series of Alarm System components, today we’ll touch upon another type of perimeter safety. Besides the typical door and window sensors, there is another type of protection you can add to windows in your home. These are known as glassbreak detectors (or sensors) that, just as their name suggests, senses when a window has been shattered by an intruder.

Some glassbreak detectors use an “omnidirectional” microphone to detect the sound of breaking glass. Others detect vibrations or shock waves that are caused by breaking windows, or a door being forced open. The best glassbreak sensors combine these elements, to reduce false alarms caused by perfectly innocent occurrences, such as the sound of breaking glass heard on a radio, or a dropped dinner plate or drinking glass.

You should insist on having a unit installed that:

  1. Employs both of these methods;
  2. Is able to detect sound up to 25 feet away;
  3. Is effective with plate, laminated, wired or tempered glass.

If you have only one window (that doesn’t open) in a room you wish to protect, a “button” or “bug” glassbreak sensor is a more economical option. It is a small shockwave sensor that is placed on the window itself, or at the very least, close to it. They can be less than half the cost of a dual technology glassbreak sensor.

Some installers may have a portable unit that simulates the sound of glass breaking, to test any glassbreak sensors they have installed. You may want to ask the installer for a demonstration.

1 comment to Alarm System Components – Part 2

  • dpayne

    Thank you very much for the article. One recommendation that I would give is to look beyond simply using audio as a glass break sensor. An audio system can be used to protect your entire home and can be a great way to reduce false alarms. With an audio system, security monitors have the ability to listen in live to what is going on in your home after the audio sensor has been tripped. Once the operator is listening in, they will have the ability to determine what is going on in your home and they can dispatch the police if they needed. With this system, security monitors will have a good understanding of what is taking place inside your facility and can confidently tell the police that someone has broken in.

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