Choosing the Best Window and Door Alarms
A property crime happened every 4.4 seconds in 2018. Burglaries happened every 25.7 seconds.
And burglaries overwhelmingly happen at home. Statistics show that 72% of burglaries happen at residential properties.
Is your home protected from the potential for a break-in?
Window and door alarms can help scare away would-be burglars before they enter or scare them away once the alarm sounds. They can work independently or connect with your existing security system.
The sensors use two parts. One mounts to the frame and the other mounts to the window or door.
As long as the two parts sit next to each other, everything is fine. If someone forces their way into your home and the two sensor parts get separated, the system sounds an alarm to alert you of the open door or window.
Not all brands give you the same level of home security. Some are more reliable and resistant to tampering than others, and some sensors offer more robust features for easier use. Doing your research first helps you find an option with the greatest security.
Keep reading to learn 11 things to consider to help you choose the best alarms and improve your home security.
1. Ease of Installation
If you're planning to install the window and door sensor components yourself, consider how easy they are to install. You want them to be installed correctly and securely so they're effective.
Double-sided tape installation is the easiest option because you don't have to use any tools. This is an option if you rent and can't make holes in your window and door frames.
Screwing the sensors into the door and window frames is a more secure option and is still relatively easy to install.
It gets complicated when you use a hardwired system. You have to ensure you wire the system correctly, so it works the right way.
Check the installation directions before purchasing. If you check out the reviews, look for comments on installation to determine the difficulty level.
2. Wireless vs. Hardwired
Door and window contacts that connect with an overall home security system come in wireless and hardwired versions.
Wireless models use batteries as a power source. You'll need to check the system regularly to make sure the batteries aren't running low.
Some models have low-battery indicators for easier monitoring. Others have a button you can press to check the battery.
You can get wireless sensors that don't connect to an alarm system. They offer a simple alert system that sounds an alarm with the window or door opens.
If it connects to your security system, this type uses wireless signals to communicate with the main system. Check the range of the system to ensure the signals can reach the main hub effectively.
A hardwired system is physically wired into the security system. It takes a little more effort to install, but you don't need to worry about replacing batteries to keep it running.
3. Compatibility With Security System
For an existing security system, you may get a limited number of window and door sensors. Basic packages usually don't have enough to cover all doors and windows in your home, so you may want to expand to get enough sensors.
Since 57.5% of burglaries were forced entries in 2017, having all of your windows and doors covered is important. A burglar may choose any of those points to force entry into your home.
Check the compatibility of various sensors to make sure they'll work with your system. Wireless systems need to work on the same frequency to communicate with the system.
4. Decibel Level
The louder the sensor, the more effective it is. A louder alarm will likely scare people away when they try to enter your home because there's a better chance of people hearing it.
The loud alarm draws more attention. You're able to hear it from all parts of the home, so you can tell right away if someone's breaking into your home.
Your neighbors may also be able to hear the alarm better. This can alert them that somethings going on and that they need to call for help.
Review the decibel levels for each monitor you're considering. Some sensors have multiple volume settings to let you control how loud you want it.
5. Setting Options
Look at the different settings or modes on each sensor to determine the flexibility. Some systems have multiple modes for use when your home and away, depending on when you want to monitor.
The alarm mode is the engaged mode where the sensor will sound if the door or window opens or vibrates. This is the mode you'll use when you're away, asleep, or otherwise, want the alarm to monitor your home.
A chime mode option sounds with a simple when the door opens. Think of it like the chimes that go off when you open the door of a store. It alerts you when the door opens.
This option helps you monitor who's going in and out of the house when you're home. You might use this so you know when your kids go outside.
The silent mode is essentially an "off" mode when you don't want monitoring. You can use this when you're home but don't want the chime to sound every time someone leaves.
6. Consider Smart Technology Connectivity
If you have a monitored security system, look for door and window alarm sensors that can connect to the system. Without the connectivity, the alarms will sound at your home, but you don't receive notifications or have the authorities automatically alerted.
When you connect them with your overall system, you can get notifications on your security system app alerting you of an open window or attempted break-in.
Some sensors offer smart technology even without being connected to a system by sending you alerts to your phone. Consider the smart options with the sensors.
7. Size and Visibility
Consider the size of the sensors. Large, bulky sensors are more visible on your windows, which can make them look unattractive.
If you want a sleek appearance with less visible sensors, choose models with slim profiles. They don't stick out as far on your window or door frame, so you won't notice them as much.
They're also less noticeable to intruders. If a burglar can see the sensors, they may try to disable them to get into your home undetected.
You can also get recessed-mount sensors that hide inside the door. This gives the door or window a clean look without the sensor sticking out from it.
Some sensors come in different colors to better blend in with your home's finishes to make them less noticeable.
8. Keypad Availability
Some sensors come with keypads for better control. You can enter your code into the keypad to disarm the sensors.
Some sensors also have a remote control. This also gives you greater control over the system. If you want access to the system without always going to the door or window, choose one with a remote.
9. Tamper Resistance
Some sensors make it more difficult for potential burglars to tamper with them.
Sensors installed with double-sided tape are easy to set up, but they're also easier to tamper with. The adhesive can also loosen over time causing the sensor parts to shift. Excessive heat, humidity, and moisture can make the adhesive loosen even faster.
Sensors that you screw into the frames are more difficult to tamper with. Burglars can't easily remove the sensor parts when they're screwed in place
Look for sensors with anchor screws for the greatest tamper resistance. Some sensors also have covers that protect against tampering. You can also get sensors that sound an alert if it senses that someone is tampering with it.
10. Open Sensor vs. Glass-Break Sensor
For window sensors, there are two types of sensing. It can alert you when the window opens or when the glass breaks. Glass breakage sensors detect the vibrations of the breaking glass.
You can get window sensors that monitor for both types of intrusions.
Check the specifics of the monitors you're considering to make sure they offer. Monitoring for both types of intrusions gives you better overall protection. Since you don't know how a burglar will enter, it's best to monitor for both.
11. Customer Reviews
An effective way to find a quality sensor system is by checking the reviews online. You'll likely find both positive and negative reviews for every sensor you research. It's natural for some people to complain about anything.
Look at the majority of the reviews and ratings to get a true sense of how good it is. If there are only a few negative reviews with hundreds of positive reviews, the system is likely good quality.
Look at the comments for each system. Look for the same issues popping up from multiple customers. This gives you a better sense of the shortcomings of the system.
Choosing Window and Door Alarms
Installing window and door alarms gives you an extra layer of protection for your home. Research the options to find sensors that work well and meet your needs for home security.
Explore our selection of home protection products to choose the best alarms for your doors and windows.
The floor is yours!
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