17 Dec 2017
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Technology has introduced home security innovations that you couldn't have imagined a decade earlier. Today, you can monitor your home from the office through video feeds sent to your laptop or smartphone. You can set up a monitoring service that automatically alerts authorities in the event of breach or emergency events. New security devices are brought to the market to cope with new threats and changing needs. One of these innovations is the alarm contact.
Alarm contacts are installed on doors and windows to monitor home invasions. When a closure is opened, the door or window sensor triggers the alarm. There are other models of window contacts that do more than alert you of an intrusion. Some would send real-time alerts via a handheld device and specifically identify the door or window opened. Others would activate installed security equipment such as porch lights. There are also alarm contacts that can automatically turn off the thermostat when a door or window is left open to help save on energy.
Here's a guide on door sensor or window contacts.
Wireless or wired?
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There are two basic types of alarm contacts for windows and doors: wireless contacts and hardwired systems. The former, though a bit more expensive, can be easily installed and transferred from one location to another. Wireless sensors are preferred by DIY-ers (Do It Yourselfers). The latter hardwired contacts are generally more affordable, yet would require more time and effort to set up. The complicated installation on traditional cabled systems can be a turn off. In most instances, it would require basic knowledge on electronics. The new models of alarm contacts feature both wireless and hardwired capabilities, giving the user the option to choose which is more suitable.
Why go for a hardwired alarm system?
Despite the availability of mess-free (at least during installation) wireless alarm systems, why do people still opt for hardwired alarms?
First, the equipment for cabled alarm systems are more affordable and require less maintenance. A wireless system requires alarm panels and wireless sensors, which can be costly. A hardwired system doesn't run on batteries like a wireless system. A battery replacement means additional expenses.
Second, hardwired alarm systems can give better protection in the event of an intrusion. How? The alarm panel, housed inside a heavy-duty metal casing, can be installed in a hidden place in your house. So when a burglar damages the keypad, the alarm system can still function. This is in contrast with an all-in-one wireless system that features a keypad attached to an alarm panel. Once the keypad is damaged, the entire system shuts down.
Third, you don't have to worry about signal problems with a hardwired alarm system. Wireless connectivity can be troublesome at times especially in a large space with long range transmission distance. No such issue occurs in a cabled system except in extreme cases.
Best alarm contacts for hardwired systems
For hardwired systems, there are two types of alarm contacts that you can use for various installations, the recessed and surface mount contacts. On one hand, a recessed contact can be installed by drilling a hole into the door and door jamb. You can also set it up on the window and window sill. On the other hand, a surface mount contact can be installed using adhesive tape or screws. Simply mount the contact on your door or window and you're all set.
Recessed contact switches
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At Alarm System Store, you can choose between a magnetic and mechanical plunger recessed contact switches. Both are not visible when the door or window is closed. Here are choices you should look into:
1. TANE BT38X18DM Rare Earth Magnets 10 Pack – These magnets can be installed into recessed contacts without needing to be recessed. Each comes with double-sided adhesive and a screw for easy mounting. (Price: $22.75)
2. TANE 22TCBR ¾" Rollerball Door or Window Contact – This switch does away with magnets. It features a button that pops out and opens the circuit whenever your door or window is open. This perfectly suits tight spaces. (Price: $4.50)
3. TANE STB38TCBR 3/8" Recessed Brown Contact – This recessed contact remains hidden when installed on doors and windows. Its pieces, the reed switch and magnet, are 3/8" in diameter. (Price: $4.00)
Surface mount contact switches
Alarm System Store offers various choices of surface mount contact switches. These are easier to use compared to recessed contacts and can be too small to be visible when installed on doors and windows.
1. GRI VS06BR Window Venting Brown Contact – This contact gives you protection while allowing cool breeze without triggering the alarm. It features a magnet that permits the window to be opened up to 6". (Price: $15.95)
2. TANE PILL TC Mini Surface Mount Brown Contact – Surface mount contacts can be concealed as their recessed counterparts. The TANE PILLs are too small to be noticeable. They can be installed on a window without needing to drill on its surface. (Price: $4.25)
3. TANE 60QCBR Mini Surface Mount Brown Contact – This contact can be installed on doors, windows, dressers, and other openings in your home. Each contact features a reed switch that opens the circuit and a separate magnet. When the door or window is opened, the reed switch and magnet are set apart, triggering an alarm in your security system. (Price: $4.00)
At the end of the day, it doesn't matter whether you're opting for either a wireless or hardwired alarm system. What matters is that your home and loved ones are well-protected against intruders and natural disasters. Alarm contacts can also detect smoke, heat, and gas and carbon monoxide. There are even contacts that notify you when your fridge is left open and your food might be defrosting. You'll be surprised at the exciting innovations on home security! Before making a purchase on any home security equipment, do your research on each product, its features, and warranty. Don't hesitate to seek guidance from security specialists.