What is the purpose of a door contact?
As one of the most commonly seen aspects of a modern security system, door contacts fulfill a simple but crucial purpose. Door contacts are sensors that allow your security system to be aware whenever a door is closed or open. This may sound a bit plain, especially when compared to more complex pieces of security hardware, but ensuring a security system can do the basic things, and can do them well, is important. Door contacts are a fundamental part of any security system. Door contacts typically exist for two major reasons. For one, they exist to sound the alarm when armed; this can quickly alert you via an internet enabled device, such as a notification to your smart phone that a door has been opened, and it will inform the monitoring station that there has been an entry to your home. The other helpful purpose of a door contact is tracking the entry point of intruders; knowing how they entered a home can be just as helpful in the grand scheme of things, especially when informing the authorities about this break-in.
How does a door contact work?
Door contacts are made up of two parts: a reed switch sensor and a magnet. The sensor is installed on or inside the door frame, and the magnet is mounted on or inside the door itself, in such a way the two are close enough to arm. When the magnet is within range of the reed switch sensor, the reed switch’s internal circuit remains closed. When the door is opened, the magnet and the sensor become separated. This causes the reed switch to be released, opening the circuit and the sensor will send an alert to your alarm system the door has been opened. From there, the alarm will be set off, and your system’s monitoring station will immediately be informed about the entry. Some alarm systems can even send a notification directly to you upon a door contact being set off, granting you even further information when a door has been opened in your home when your system is armed.
How do you properly place a door contact during install?
When installing a door contact sensor to your door, it’s important to know where one should place the magnet, and where one should place the actual sensor. Install the sensor contact on the door frame, and mount the magnet on the moving part of the door. This is to ensure the sensor and the magnet remain in close proximity with one another. Additionally, it’s to keep the more valuable piece of the equipment, the sensor, safe. The sensor being mounted to the door could cause damage if slammed or shut incorrectly. Magnets are much more costly to replace and less fragile, thus they should go on the door. In order for your door contact to properly work, ensure that the door contact is within half an inch of the magnet when the door is closed.
Proper placement doesn’t only apply to installing the sensor on the door properly, but also to where you choose to place these sensors throughout the house. Consider covering every entry point of your home with door contact sensors – front doors, side doors, basement doors, and doors on attached garages. You never know which entry point a potential intruder could use, so the best course of action is to ensure that every single point of entry is protected by a door contact.
How do I deal with a false alarm?
False alarms are a frustrating part of any security system. Thankfully, such a pervasive piece of security equipment does not deal with false alarms as much as other pieces of equipment. Typically, weather will be the leading cause of depreciation of the magnet and sensor, with certain types of weather causing the door and the frame to be slightly pulled apart, causing the gap between sensor and magnet being too large to sense a connection. Thankfully, service technicians are well versed in this possibility, and know exactly what to do, typically repairing the door frame to solve the issue, or moving the contact sensor in closer to the magnet.
Why you should include a door contact in a security system
When monitoring your home, the best solutions can also be the easiest ones. Door sensors provide security in a very simple way: by alerting you whenever a door is opened when the system is armed, and setting off the alarm if the system isn’t disarmed within a certain amount of time. This simple device is affordable and easy to install, making it an easy addition to any home security system. Most intruders are going to enter through a door – whether by breaking in or taking advantage of an unlocked door, a door is the easiest point of access for a home; if it wasn’t, we wouldn’t use them to enter and exit our homes!
By including door contacts in your security system, you can guarantee alerts when a door is opened when you aren’t around. When someone enters your home without being invited, you want to be informed. And thanks to door contact sensors, you have a quick, easy way to monitor who enters and exits your home. Without door contacts, it’s much easier for intruders to enter your home without your security system being aware they’ve entered. Connecting this to an alarm will frighten off criminals and will immediately inform you and your monitoring station of the break-in, giving you the information you need. Door contacts are one of the simplest pieces of a security system – a sensor that tells you when a door is opened – but also one of the most important when preventing and putting a stop to break-ins.