Window and door sensors are great surveillance systems that will sound an alarm when triggered via pressure. Great for detecting intruders and ensuring the general safety of your property, they are a worthwhile investment. 

However, if someone were to break into your property by smashing a window rather than forcing it open, your window sensor wouldn’t trigger. This is where glass break sensors are useful because they sound an alarm if someone smashes the glass of your window, making intruders flee the property. 

So, if you’re thinking about investing in glass break sensors for your home, it’s a good idea to do some research before you decide to purchase. Read on to discover all you need to know about glass break sensors.

What Does a Glass Break Sensor Do? 

A glass break sensor is a system that detects the sound of shattering glass in your home. They alert you and send a signal to your alarm company as well as your local authority to let them know that there has been a breach in your property’s security

With this type of security system, if a burglar smashes your window to enter your house, the sensor detects the sound waves caused by smashing glass. It then emits an alarm to deter the intruder from continuing with their burglary and immediately inform both you and your local authority that your home has had a break-in.

How Does a Glass Break Sensor Work?

Glass break sensors work by detecting high-pitched frequencies, such as the sound of breaking glass. While these sensors can be very effective, they can sometimes be triggered by other high-pitched noises that may emulate the sound of shattered glass. 

While this is extremely uncommon, it’s sensible to be aware of it, as you can take steps to prevent the alarm from sounding accidentally. Noises to be conscious of include dropping keys, loud, high-pitched ringtones, and the whistling of a kettle.

It’s a good idea to test the sensitivity of your sensors once you’ve installed them. When testing them, it’s recommended you employ your senior security consultant to do the job. This is because if the sensors need to be moved due to triggering areas, they can adjust the location to best suit the system’s needs.

You don’t want your glass break sensor going off every time you turn the television on or make a loud noise in the kitchen.

There are two types of glass break sensors you can invest in: the shock and acoustic systems. Both have their benefits and unique features, allowing you to make an informed decision when choosing the best sensor for your home.

The Shock Glass Sensor

These sensor types work by detecting the vibrations from shattered glass. Focusing on detecting motion over sound, many engineers mount them directly on the window when these systems are installed. 

However, because shock glass systems detect vibrations, they can sometimes be triggered accidentally, sending false alarm signals. From a broken wine glass to a slamming door, it’s essential to bear this in mind when deciding which sensor to go for.        

You should also ensure that the sensor is mounted to the windows and doors you need to secure because a single shock sensor cannot be used for multiple windows.

The Acoustic Glass Break Sensor

These sensor types work by triggering sound wave frequencies and have the capacity to detect shattering glass sounds from up to 20’ away. They also have small microphones installed within their mechanism that allow them to focus their sound detection, specifically on the frequency of breaking glass.

You will need to place an acoustic glass break sensor around windows and glass doors that are easily accessible, with the most common position being on the ground floor.  Sensors at these positions typically targeted as easy intruder access points will not only deter thieves from trying to break in, but they will also trigger the alarm straight away.

In comparison to shock systems, you can use a single acoustic glass sensor for multiple locations.

How Many Glass Break Sensors Should You Install?

Depending on the type of sensor you choose, installing a system on every glass window on your ground floor may not be necessary.

Investing in a single acoustic system will cover multiple windows and glass doors within its vicinity. Depending on the size of the room, a single acoustic sensor could have the capacity to cover every location. 

However, as a general rule, it’s recommended you install at least one sensor system in every room that may be vulnerable to break-ins, including basement and garage windows

Where Should You Place Your Glass Break Sensor?

The placement of your sensor is what determines the security of your property. Your installation professional will always explain why placement is important, with the best locations generally on a wall or ceiling close to the window or glass door. Essentially, as long as the sensor is within 20’ of the windows or doors, it can detect the high-frequencies. 

Heavy blinds or curtains may affect the effectiveness of the sensor, as they can muffle the sounds of shattering glass. If you need to install a system by a window draped with heavy curtains, ignore the 20’ rule and install it as close as possible to the location. 

The Benefits of Glass Break Sensors

Glass break sensors offer unique features that can supplement your current home security system, and provide benefits that other elements of the system can’t, including:

  • They don’t require the door or window to open fully before triggering the sensor and alarm, meaning that you can prevent someone from entering your house instead of alerting you after the intruder is already inside
  • The function with sliding doors which most motion detectors are not compatible with
  • They aren’t triggered by pets or movement inside your home like a motion sensor, allowing you to move about your home at night without switching off the alarm system
  • They can be used for more than just your home’s exterior doors and windows; glass break sensors can be placed on trophy cases and other glass-fronted storage cabinets for valuables.

Glass Break Sensors – Are They Worth It?

When it comes to determining whether you want to invest in a glass break sensor, you need to consider your home’s layout and your current home security system. Glass break sensors are an excellent supplement to a system that already features security cameras and alarms.

As long as you employ professional technicians to install it, choose the best system for you, and take note of the placement recommendations and potential trigger sounds, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your home is protected from potential glass shattering break-ins.   

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