Window Sensors vs. Glass Break Sensors: Pros and Cons


August 31, 2020

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31% of all break-ins occur  when a burglar gains entrance though a first-floor window. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to secure these potential entry points. Among the two most popular and effective are  Window Sensors  and  Glass Break Sensors. 

Window Sensors 

Window sensors come in a variety of types. They include: 

  • Sliding Window Blocks: These are designed to prevent sliding windows from being opened forcefully. When a window is opened by force, this type of sensor will be triggered. They are typically mounted in the track of a sliding window. 

  • Magnetic Sensors: These sensors detect the breakage of a magnetic connection within the sensor. When the sensor is separated from the magnet, it triggers an alarm. 

  • Tilt Sensors: These sensors are designed to trigger an alarm when a window is left open. They are typically only part of a two-part system, with the complementary piece being one of the two sensors mentioned above. 

Pros & Cons 

The advantages of these devices are that they can cover a variety of situations to best suit the needs of the homeowner. The main disadvantage of these window sensors is they only work if the window is opened in the way that the sensor is designed to protect against. If, for example, a sliding block sensor is bypassed by a home invader who breaks the glass instead of opening the window normally, then the alarm will not be triggered. 

For homeowners who are at home and confident that the breaking of a window would wake them in the night, these may be sufficient. However, if you are going on vacation or are away from home for any reason, a criminal could break in and remain undetected simply by breaking the glass. 

Glass Break Sensors 

Glass break sensors are designed to trigger an alarm when the glass is broken. These come in two main types: 

  • Glass Break Detectors: These systems can set off an alarm when they detect the sound of breaking glass. They can cover whole rooms with a single sensor. 

  • Shock Sensors: These security systems can trigger an alarm when something physically disrupts the sensor by the breaking of the glass. Typically, they have an electrical wire taped to the window. When the glass is broken, it breaks an electrical circuit which triggers an alarm. 

Pros & Cons 

The benefit of these systems is that they guard against a type of illegal entry that ordinary window sensors do not. What’s more, the simple opening of a window does not necessarily indicate that a crime is being committed. The breaking of a window, on the other hand, is much more likely to be an actual break-in by a burglar or home invader. 

The disadvantage of glass break detectors is that the window must break for an alarm to trigger.  In cases where a home invader is especially aggressive, this may not be enough, so you might want to cover your bases by keeping both types of sensors in your arsenal. Plus, most experts agree the best way to  overcome the draw backs  of these two types of systems is to install both kinds of window alarms. When your windows are protected against breaking glass and other forms of entry, you can rest easy knowing that your home is safe. 

Go the extra mile in home safety by investing in a home monitoring service. Professional monitoring providers will not only verify break-ins, but they can also alert the authorities should your home fall prey to burglars. 

Find Complete Interior and Exterior Protection with Brinks Home Security ™  

Don’t limit your home to just one tier of security. With Brinks Home, you can protect yourself with 24/7/365 professionally monitored systems. These systems include glass break sensors and window sensors that are easy-to-install, easy to move and can closely guard the interior of your home. Our DIY equipment saves you money and keeps you in complete control of your system. That’s why we offer customizable packages you can tailor to your family’s needs. If you have questions about your home security, our award-winning team of security experts is available to answer your questions. You can reach us via chat or phone call. 

To learn more about home protection, contact Brinks Home today for a  free quote. 

 Lauren Slade is a Dallas-based writer and editor.

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