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Contact sensors for doors and windows – some things you should know

An overview of the basics involving door and window contact sensors and how they work with your home security system

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Protecting your home from intruders is becoming easier as home security system prices slowly fall. The improved affordability also allows a homeowner to add important features to a security system, including contact sensors for doors and windows. These simple and affordable sensors ensure no one can slide in through a first-story window or an exterior door without triggering your alarm system.

window sensorsContact sensors are fairly simple pieces of security equipment. Most models include two magnetic strips that trigger an alarm when they are separated. Once you have these sensors installed on a door or window, you will know if someone forces them open to gain entry into the home.These alarms work best when they are integrated into a complete home security system, ensuring that either you or the appropriate authorities are notified as soon as unauthorized entry is detected. If the sensors are integrated into the system, they can be turned on and off as the system is armed and disarmed, which allows you to open your doors and windows without triggering the alarms.

Independent contact sensors can also provide security inside each room. Many homeowners install a simple freestanding alarm on their gun cabinets, jewelry chests and other storage containers, as a loud alarm will alert you if an intruder or a curious child has gained access to a restricted area.

If you are concerned about a family member wandering away due to sleepwalking or dementia, contact sensors can warn you if somebody exits the home while everyone else is asleep. You can even install small sensors on cabinets filled with hazardous chemicals or power tools to keep young children safe.

While contact sensors are helpful for detecting a forced entry, they do have some shortcomings. An intruder who breaks a window to enter may not set off this type of alarm if the sensor's two components window contact sensorremain intact. Many homeowners only install these sensors on a few select windows and doors, leaving the rest of the openings unprotected. A savvy intruder can look for signs of a contact sensor and pick an entryway that doesn't have one.

Contact sensors work best when combined with other security equipment such as motion sensors and cameras.

Some sensors are more sensitive than others. The best models are feature horizontal or vertical orientation, ensuring they will fit any window or door.

Reply! has more information on a broad range of home security systems providers who use contact sensors in their systems (include link to the home security providers hub article here.) If you’re interested in putting a home security system with contact sensors to work for you, Reply! can immediately connect you to local professionals who can assist you.

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