Window Sensors vs. Glass Break Sensors: Pros and Cons

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Your first-floor windows can let the sunshine into the room that will brighten and beautify your living space, but almost a quarter of all burglars gain access to a home through windows, usually on the first floor.

Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to secure these potential entry points. Among the two most popular and effective are door/window sensors and glassbreak sensors.

Window Sensors

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

Sliding Window Blocks:

  • These devices are specifically designed to prevent sliding windows from being forcibly opened.

  • When a window is tampered with or forced open, this type of sensor is triggered.

  • Sliding window blocks are typically mounted on the track of the sliding window.

Magnetic Sensors:

  • Magnetic sensors, also known as contact sensors, are the most common type.

  • They detect the separation between a magnetic component (usually placed on the window frame) and its companion sensor piece (which moves with the window).

  • When the sensor detects that it has been separated from the magnet, it triggers an alarm.

Tilt Sensors:

  • These specialized sensors detect when windows are left open and tilted inward.

  • If a window is tilted, the sensor activates an alarm.

  • Tilt sensors are commonly installed on ventilation and airflow windows, such as those found at the top of basements.

  • They often form part of a larger security system and complement other sensors.

  • Additionally, tilt sensors are frequently used for added security on garage doors.

Pros & Cons of Window Sensors

Flexibility is a key advantage, allowing you to tailor these solutions to meet the specific needs of the homeowner. Home security systems can integrate with a wide range of devices, often numbering in the hundreds. This versatility allows magnetic sensors to be deployed beyond doors and windows—they can monitor activity in liquor cabinets, gun safes, or other restricted areas within the home.

The primary drawback of these window sensors lies in their reliance on specific window-opening methods. If, for instance, a home invader bypasses a sliding block sensor by breaking the glass rather than opening the window conventionally, the alarm will not activate.

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.

Glassbreak Sensors

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

  • Glassbreak Sensors: 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 of Glassbreak Sensors

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 drawbacks 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™

Don’t limit your home to just one tier of security. With Brinks Home, you can protect yourself with 24/7 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 professional installers can ensure your system is placed in optimal locations to protect your home, and with the Brinks Home mobile app, you can connect remotely for 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 contact Brinks Home today to speak with a Security Consultant, learn more about home protection, and receive a free quote.

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