Every monitored home alarm system starts with the door/window sensor. In fact, during 20+ years in the alarm industry, I have never seen a system without one (here’s a link to designing the right system for your home). The technology goes back almost a hundred years, and over a hundred million of these devices are in use, with over a million more installed every year, just in US homes. There’s an excellent reason why this device is the core of any good alarm system: intruders invariably try to enter through a door first. Burglary entry stats look like this:
- 34% of burglars enter through the front door
- 26% enter through a back or basement door
- 9% enter through the garage
That’s almost three quarters of all burglaries starting with a door – now you see why the layout of every good home alarm system starts with exterior doors (Note: don’t forget the door from the garage into the house!). The intruder wants an easy entry- and a fast and easy exit, ideally with an armload of your stuff.
How the Door/Window Sensor Works
The standard door sensor is a magnetic reed switch and consists of two small parts: one part mounts on the top of the door frame (on the opposite side from the hinge), and the smaller part (the magnet) is placed in close proximity on the door itself. When the door is shut, the two pieces are within a half inch of each other, and your alarm system can be armed. When the door opens, and the pieces are separated, that triggers the alarm. It’s simple, and it works like a charm. Most door sensors being installed today are wireless, which means no messy wiring, and the good wireless ones are smaller than your thumb. There are even wireless recessed sensors if you don’t want to see the sensors at all. Here are some more telling stats:
- 12% of burglaries occur through an unlocked door.
- 41% of burglaries in homes with alarm systems occur when the security system is not turned on.
So, just having an alarm system is not enough! Lock those doors and windows, and arm your system at night, as well as when you are away. Of course, with FrontPoint’s interactive, wireless home security system you can do this remotely from your iPhone – but that’s a blog topic for another day!