Home alarm systems come with a variety of hardware. Two of the mainstays of home alarm packages are motion detectors and entry contacts. Both provide a valuable service and together add increased security to a home security system, but independently which provides more value?
To answer this question we need to understand what each piece of equipment does. A motion detector (also called a motion sensor) is placed inside the home and when activated detects movement within a targeted area. They cannot be bypassed.
Entry contacts are placed on various doors or windows in the home. One part of the contact is on the frame, and the other is placed on the door or window. They provide two functions. The first, and most glamorous, is when the contact is separated it can be programmed to instantly trigger the alarm system (this is when the system is armed). The other and more practical function are when the alarm is armed if a contact is separated, it provides a delay before the alarm is activated. This delay allows the homeowner to go to their keypad and disarm the system.
The difference between the effectiveness of the contacts and the motion detector is that the contacts can be bypassed. For example, if the contact is placed on a window, a burglar can simply cut the glass. This then provides an entrance into the home without the contact being separated, thus not activating the system.
To protect your home and your family the best, get an alarm system that uses motion detectors AND entry contacts.
Don’t be fooled though into a system that will give you 15 contacts and no motion detector. In that case quantity is not quality. Certain companies will offer an abundance of door/window contacts in lieu of motion detectors because the cost of contacts is far less to them then a detector is. They can them woo the customer with lots of equipment, while not truly providing ultimate protection.
So, remember to think protection when buying a home alarm system. Make sure to get an alarm that has both motion detectors and entry contacts. Make sure you own the system as opposed to a lease or rental. And remember, never sign a contract with an alarm company, so this way if you’re unhappy with the service you’re receiving you can go elsewhere.
You’re looking for an alarm system and a company just quoted you on a ton of equipment. Let me guess, they told you that you need every single door and window covered with a door/window contact?
Yes, folks, I know what you’re thinking, I can read minds. The truth is that every single big box company will try and squeeze every penny out of you knowing well enough that you actually don’t need all that equipment.
But how is that possible? How can I possible secure my home if I don’t have a peripheral covering ever entrance point? The answer to that question is simple; you can protect your home best through the use of motion detectors.
A motion detector covers a lot more ground than a door contact.
Let’s break this down for all of you. If you put a contact on your window and someone cuts the glass and enters, the contact will never go off because the seal will not have been broken. You run the risk of these peripherals on the windows and doors being easily by-passed. Your alarm company will then say, get a glass break detector, so that way if the glass is broken the detector will sound. Well, guess, a burglar could just duct take the window, smash it, then take it off, and the glass break detector won’t pick up a thing!
There is no way to bypass a motion detector!
If you have a motion detector once the intruder works his/her way through the home they are going to be passing through an area that has a high traffic volume. This is where a motion detector will be the most useful. The intruder has nowhere to go, once they enter into that area the alarm is going to sound. If you are smart enough to find a company that offers two-way voice monitoring well than that’s even better because that will prompt automatically.
Adding all that equipment can be very costly as well, think about how many doors and windows you have in your house. It adds up, especially when you have to start replacing batteries for all those sensors. Typically a motion detector can cover an area of 150 feet, this is a very large range so one maybe two motions detectors at most may be needed. I would suggest that if you really want a door contact, throw one on your back door and your front door.
When a company starts telling you that you should be putting contacts on your windows upstairs that should trigger a red flag. Think about it for a second, how are the intruders going to get into your windows from upstairs? Do you really think they are going to get a ladder and try to break in that way? I really hope you don’t think that could be an option. Intruders will always try and enter into your home from the bottom floor so what’s the point in spending all that money for the upstairs because they will never go off. You want to make sure you have the motion detector covering the bottom floor so if the intruder tries to go anywhere in the house including upstairs the motion detector will be tripped and the live two-voice monitoring will come on. By that time the intruder will know he doesn’t have any time to spare so they will try and get out as fast as possible.
So when you start calling these big companies like Rogers Smart Home Monitoring, ADT, Protectron, CPI, Comcast Xfinity and Vivint don’t let them bully you around and tell you that you need all this equipment. Better yet, think protection and find a company that truly knows something about securing homes and call them, do your research!