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7 Types of Sensors Home Security Systems Used to Detect Burglars

7 Types of Sensors Home Security Systems Used to Detect Burglars

Sep 28th 2018

Planning to install a full-scale security system for your home or business?

Who wouldn't? Despite the modern technologies used for home security, the number of burglary cases is still high. Still, the number of cases would be higher without these technologies.

Thankfully, most of these modern security systems are practical and affordable for homeowners. They'll be able to provide you with a sense of security as they ward off intruders by using different types of sensors.

What is a sensor and how do they work? There are many of them, but let's review them one by one.

Types of Motion Sensors

A popular type of an intruder detector is a motion sensor, which sets itself off when there's a movement in the area it covers. There are different kinds, however, and they each use different methods to detect motion.

Let's take a closer look at each kind of sensors.

1. Passive Infrared Sensors

This sensors type is passive in a way that it doesn't radiate its own energy. Instead, it detects the infrared light radiating from objects. This way, it can detect whenever there's a human or another living being in its field of view.

How so? Well, warm bodies emit IR radiation.

If there's an intruder, the pyroelectric sensor reacts to the IR radiation by emitting electricity. This then activates the alarm.

It's a good choice for many as it's pretty economical, easy to install, and has a wide field of view. It's a basic product that can detect whenever someone enters or leaves the area, and it doesn't pass through glass panes; animals outside your house won't set it off. It might also mean that it won't detect someone stealing your package in the front door, though.

However, it won't be able to determine the exact location of the object. Your pets might also set it off.

2. Tomographic Motion Detector

This is a relatively new form of security technology. It detects movement in an area through the use of a mesh network of radio waves.

This detection system doesn't involve only one or two components. It has nodes, which you'll put around the areas you want to secure. These nodes then communicate via radio waves.

This allows the system to detect movement through any disturbances in the mesh network.

This also provides several advantages. You can hide them from view since they don't need to "see" the area, and they can create a network covering up to 5,000 sq. ft.

Put them all over your apartment, as they'll be able to pass through walls and obstructions. They use radio waves on the 2.4Ghz band, similar to the ones that wireless networks use.

3. Microwave Detectors

Another type of sensor that detects motion is a microwave detector that emits radiation. Don't worry, though, they're practically harmless. In fact, more people prefer this type.

This one also creates a field between the transmitter and the receiver, but it uses electromagnetic waves. Similar to a tomographic motion detector, any disturbances in the detection zone set off the alarm.

Microwave sensors have a long range, about 400 to 1,500 sq. ft. They can detect motion through walls and around corners, but because of this, they're prone to false alarms.

Your pets and car can trigger the alarm. It can even detect large insects. The RF field doesn't also penetrate metals, creating a dead zone behind metal objects.

4. Ultrasonic Detectors

These sensors use echolocation to detect motion. It's similar to the ones that bats use to "see."

This is a highly sensitive type of motion detector; it's even more sensitive than microwaves and PIRs. This means that it's also highly prone to false alarms. Your pets may also be able to hear the sound waves that ultrasonic sensors emit, which can irritate them.

They are, however, great for offices and other indoor spaces that contain a lot of obstructions. Ultrasonic sensors don't have an issue of dead zones in their area of coverage.

5. Photoelectric Beams

This is also another type of motion detector, but it doesn't work similarly to the others. For one, it doesn't have a coverage area. It only forms a fence, which triggers the alarm if broken.

It consists of two separate parts that form a sort of a fence made of IR beams. When someone steps into the beams, between the two parts, they trigger the alarm.

They're great for outside use, but make sure you choose the models that can withstand any weather condition. Intruders can set off the alarm even before they break into your home, minimizing injuries and damage to your property.

Other Types of Sensors

There are other security systems that don't rely on motion to detect an intruder. Let's see what they are.

6. Glass Break Detectors

Should a burglar decide to break a glass pane or two to gain access to your home, this type of home security system will be able to detect it.

When a glass breaks, it generates various bands of frequencies, including ultrasonic and infrared. These are what a glass break detectors look for.

They have an audio microphone to detect the sound of glass breaking. When they pick up the right frequencies, they set off the alarm.

Place it beside windows and doors. If you have a room full of windows, place one in the middle instead. Make sure they're within the detector's working radius, though.

7. Magnetic Switches

Magnetic switches are also for doors and windows. In this case, they sound the alarm when someone (or something) opens the doors and windows.

This system has 2 components: one attaches to the door or window itself, while the other one attaches to the frame. They should be right beside each other in order for them to work.

When a door or window opens, it separates the 2 components. This is the trigger for the alarm.

Get the Right Security System for Your Property

In order to get maximum security, you can always mix and match different types of sensors. What matters most is that you get high-quality products that are durable. Check out our selection of sensors today, or visit our blog to learn more.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us today!