Home Security Door Sensors: How do they work?

Do you know where most homes’ weakest points are? The entrances or exits, if unsecured, are as good as a big welcome sign to an intruder. Considering you probably don’t want to welcome intruders to come steal anything they can carry off, it may be in your best interest to hire a professional home alarm company to install a security system that includes door and window sensors. If you have small children who have learned how to open doors, sensors may come in handy to alert you to their curiosity. Let’s take a look at how door sensors work and how you can benefit from adding them to your home security.

Most door sensors that a home alarm installer will use have a “reed switch.” The reed switch was invented in the Bell Telephone Laboratories in 1936 and quickly became very popular. This type of switch is used in various items including laptops (to let the computer know when to go into hibernation mode), car gears, bicycles tires, door and window sensors, and much more. The reed switch is operated by a magnetic field causing the reeds to come together which creates an electrical circuit. The reed switch in a door sensor has an active electrical circuit when the door is closed. The sensor has two parts, one part is placed on the door frame, the other on the door itself. One part will have the electric connectors, the other will have a magnet. Opening the door will pull the magnet away from the connectors which will break the circuit, and send a signal to alert you of the breach.

You have a large variety of sensors to choose from. There are wireless ones if you don’t want any wires. And let’s face it, who want’s wires hanging all over the place? You can get them recessed if you don’t want to see them. This also comes in handy if you don’t want any burglars to see them either.  You can even get them painted so they match your wall color. This I think is a cool concept if you are big on interior design. And based on the type that you get installed they will provide you with different features. Any sensor you choose should have the basic alarm when the circuit is broken. It should also alert you to the location of that sensor when it goes off. Most of the time you can get this information delivered straight to your smartphone. This gives you real-time access to your home security.

There are a number of uses for door sensors in and around the home. The biggest reason, of course, is safety. Having door sensors monitored by a home alarm company will provide your home with professional protection while you are sleeping or away. The constant monitoring that home alarm companies offer could be the security and peace of mind you want. If your door sensor triggers an alarm while you are away or sleeping, it will alert the alarm company. The home alarm company will then try and reach you to make sure you are okay, and if emergency services are required. If you are unable to answer the home alarm company will call for police to be dispatched to your home to check everything out.

Door sensors will also work to alert you of children getting into places they shouldn’t be. For instance, if they know how to unlock and open the door your children could be outside without your knowledge. The garage or pool could be dangerous to a young child. By placing a door sensor to alert you of potentially dangerous situations, it allows you to act before anyone gets too far. You could also add the sensors to gun cabinets which will add an extra layer of security between your guns and unauthorized use. Sensors on liquor cabinets is also a big one if you have teens you need to keep out. You can also add them to rooms you want to stay off limits. Some of the sensors can send you a silent alarm and these areas might be the time to use that feature.

Your door sensor can also double as a doorbell, letting you know if someone is getting home from school or coming in from playing. If the alarm system is off you can still have the door sensor set to “chime” when the electrical current is disrupted. This can be especially useful if you live in a large house with multiple doors to the outside. In addition to having door sensors installed, you can also ask for your alarm company to install window sensors. Window sensors come in several options and some of them will allow for you to still have your windows open in the spring time for fresh air. This style of a sensor will have two magnetized locations. One will by in the closed and locked position of the window, and the other will be six inches or so up on the frame. Thus allowing for you to open your windows and still keep them secured. If you have your windows and doors monitored, you have covered all access points to your house.

Door sensors can also protect your outdoor buildings as well. There are many styles of sensors that can be installed. Selecting ones that can protect your house as well as any sheds or exterior buildings is a smart choice. Tools can be expensive to purchase the first time. A grill or riding lawn mower will easily run you a few hundred dollars. Protecting them should be the same as protecting things that you keep in the house.

Making sure your entire house, gates, and exterior buildings have sensors on them can be a tricky thing. Hiring a professional alarm installation company will help alleviate the stress and worry of making sure you have everything properly set up. Home security door sensors are one of the best inventions of the 1930’s. We can thank W. B. Ellwood for inventing the reed switch and helping to enhance the security in our homes.

photo credit: XT Inc. Grand Venetian via photopin (license)