How Does A Burglar Alarm Use Sensors?

February 8th, 2021

A burglar alarm has different components: the main control panel and the alarm box. The latter covers the sensors and the siren. Basically, the control panel is the “brain” of the system. It receives information from the sensors, processes them, and makes a decision on what to do next—like sounding a siren, but how does a burglar alarm use sensors?

Actually, sensors used in burglar alarms are monitoring devices. Some of them are mechanical while some of them operate electronically. Perhaps the most popular burglar alarm sensor you can find in all sorts of alarm devices is the door/window sensor.

Door/window sensors are usually mechanical in operation. They utilize a magnet to make or break a contact within the sensors to sense whether a door or window moved (opened or closed). The control panel of the burglar alarm monitors the signals coming from the sensors to determine whether a contact is made or broken. However, some sensors are classified as entry/exit door sensors. A sensor like this allows the homeowner to get inside and disarm the alarm without needing to set the siren off.

Another kind of alarm sensor is the one called passive infrared sensor or PIR. This kind of sensor detects the movement happening within an area by monitoring the changes in temperature (heat) in front of it. It gets triggered if a sudden change in heat occurs like when someone touches, walks or stands in front of it. This kind of sensor does not sense a gradual alteration of the temperature so it will not turn the alarm on when there is a steady change of ambient temperature.

Other forms of sensors work by detecting shocks. They are directly installed onto a door or window and are expected to go off when someone attempts to smash into the house. They detect the vibration and this is what sets the alarm off.

Other burglar alarm systems used in home security have additional safety sensors like carbon monoxide or smoke detection. They are great at detecting fire and are absolutely well worth it because they can help save lives. As some security systems can automatically dispatch firemen, police, and rescuers upon the detection of a breach in security, lives can be spared.

Anyway, when choosing the kind of sensors that make up your home security system, your first priority is to set your expectations. Ask yourself what you want to achieve. Consider the area that you live in as well as the lifestyle that you have. Do you live in an apartment building? Do you travel a lot? These things are important so you can choose the right devices for you. You can learn more about how does a burglar alarm use sensors and how they actually work from professionals. You can consult with a security company and talk about your options. Installing an alarm system in your home is not the cheapest thing on earth. You surely would want to get your money’s worth. Besides, who would not want to be secured these days?

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With 16 years of experience in law enforcement, Tim Truby, CEO, is fully certified in video surveillance and training.

  • Certified Advanced Crime Prevention Specialist
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  • California POST Certification in Specialized Surveillance Equipment
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