Home Security Door Sensors

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 Security Door Contacts

Your home security system is typically comprised of a control panel, an audible device such as a siren, motion detectors and magnetic reed contacts. The perimeter of your home is the largest area that needs protection. This is where all of your doors and windows are located and this is obviously the place where you need stop a thief. There are a variety of home security devices that are used to protect the perimeter of your home but the most widely used is the door and window sensor. When any of these devices are activated the system is triggered and the alarm sounds. Since these devices are the most widely used it makes sense to consider what type of senor that you want to use.

Magnetic Door Sensor

This type of sensor is comprised of a reed switch mounted inside of a plastic case and a magnet that is also mounted inside a plastic case. There are two types of switches. There is a normally open and a normally closed type of switch.

Surface Mount Door Contacts

These types of contacts have the switch mounted on the stationary part of the frame and the magnet is located on the movable part of the door or window. In some cases you can mount the switch on the movable part of the door or window because it is a better location and it will work fine but the best case and general rule of thumb is to mount the magnet on the movable part of the opening. When you use this type of security contact there will be wires exposed but if done correctly it can be kept to a minimum.

Recessed Door Contacts

These types of contacts are hidden from view because they are drilled and installed inside the frame. Burglars cannot see that there is a contact or anyone else for that matter. It is difficult to bypass security contacts because if the wires are cut it sends a signal to the control panel the same as if the window or door were opened. There are some cases if the contact location is known of being able to hold a strong magnet outside the door or window and bypassing the security zone. If this is done then that is where an interior motion detector is a necessary backup to the perimeter security.

Wireless Door Sensor

The basics of a wireless contact are the same as with a hard wired type of sensor. The only difference is the wireless transmitter that communicates with the control panel. Both the surface and recessed types of door sensors are available. Many wireless door contacts have the ability to integrate with non-wireless sensors. This is often desirable because these contacts are smaller and the larger wireless switch can be located out of sight.

Roller Ball Door Sensors

This type of switch does not use a magnet to operate the switch so in some cases where it is difficult to locate a magnet next to the switch you can use the roller ball type. The ball is connected to an internal switch and when it is depressed the contact closes. When the door or window is opened the control panel detects this and alerts you.

Garage Door Contacts

This type of contact is specifically designed for garage doors. They can be used for a type hinged garage door or a rollup type of door. The contact is made more heavy duty than other contacts. The wiring from the switch is enclosed in an armor cable. This is necessary because the contact is typically mounted in the cement floor of the garage and can be subject to more abuse. The magnet is mounted on a large angle bracket which allows it to be located on the door of the garage. The switch and magnet are a wide gap which means that the door needs to be opened further than other contacts in order to trigger the alarm. This does not defeat the security of the system but is necessary to compensate for the large surface area of the garage door which is subject to more movement.

Door Protection

The front and rear doors are the primary points of entry for burglars so they are always protected with a security system. It is best to protect every opening of the home but this can be costly. If you do not have a security system there are other types of door protection that can be used.

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