Home security can be confusing…if you let it. Flatten the learning curve considerably with information on home security sensors.PIR 2

A home security system is made up of several components working together to provide the overall security you, as the homeowner, desire. One of the key components are the sensors that trigger the system, which in turn alerts you to a problem.

The brain of the system is the central control panel or keypad. When triggered, it will provide audible (siren) and possibly visible (flashing strobe) alerts or may, if so designed,security-system-control-panel-180 place a phone call to a pre-programmed number (your cell phone, the police department, etc.). It is the job of the sensors to tell the brain that the alerts should be activated and when they should be activated.

Most sensors are intended to provide immediate alerts when triggered. Some are delayed. For instance, the main door used for entry into the house will have a delayed trigger allowing family members time to disable the alarm when entering the home. The number of delayed sensors should be kept to a minimum because they can work in the burglar’s favour too.

The common sensors are of several types.

  • Door sensor
  • Window sensor
  • Motion sensor
  • Carbon monoxide detector
  • Smoke detector

Door Sensor

These sensors create a circuit when the door is closed. One part is attached to the door and one part is installed on the door frame. The circuit is broken when the door is opened and the alarm is triggered. Some systems allow for these sensors to be set to give a chime at anytime the door is opened during routine use in addition to the alarm when the system is set to do so.

Window Sensor

These work on the very same principle as the door sensor. An alternative is an impact sensor (also called a glass break sensor) that is triggered by impact to the window.

Motion Sensor

These sensors are able to detect movement and/or body heat. They can be set in interior rooms of the home or at exterior entry points. motion-detector-150There is the capability of adjusting sensitivity of these devices so that small house pets won’t trigger the system. Delays are commonly used with these sensors to allow time to disable the alarm for regular entry into the home or a family member up moving about the house at night.

Carbon Monoxide Detector

These sensors detect a build up of toxic gases, particularly carbon monoxide. These should be used where gas powered appliances are present. Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless… and deadly.

Smoke Detector

Many homes are already equipped with independent, battery-operated smoke detectors. smoke-detector-150As a part of a home security system, these devices not only alert the occupants of the home of the presence of smokeFind Article, but can also be programmed to automatically call the local fire department when triggered.


Don’t be confused by home security, quickly understand how a home security system works.

Cut Through the Confusion: Understanding Home Security Sensors, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

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