What is the purpose of a glass break detector in a security system?

With window and door sensors already being a ubiquitous part of any security system, many security system owners can find themselves wondering what the point is in glass break detectors. Between motion sensors, window and door sensors, and other pieces of security hardware, the use of these glass break sensors can seem a little excessive. However, the peace of mind they can provide when working in tandem with other pieces of your security system cannot be denied. Although standard door and window sensors are bread and butter pieces of any security system, a glass break protector ensures that potential burglars don’t have a third option for entering your home undetected by your security system.

As the name implies, a glass break detector will detect glass being broken in areas of your home. This can be incredibly worthwhile – determined burglars, after all, upon finding locked doors and windows typically wouldn’t hesitate to make a quick smash to nearby glass to gain entry to your home. Door and window sensors only work when the magnet and the switch on the window are separated – the window opening and the circuit breaking is what triggers the alarm. When a burglar then avoids this method of entry and instead opts to break the glass, chances are, the magnet and switch aren’t being separated, allowing for entry that could be unnoticed by your system. By having a glass break detector, you have an added preventative from the potential smash and grab technique many burglars use – an added deterrence.

How does a glass break detector work?

When a glass break detector is triggered by the breaking of glass, it communicates with your security system to set off your home’s alarm. These devices can detect glass being broken in one of two ways: acoustic detectors, which listen for the sound of breaking glass, and shock detectors, which feel for the vibrations of breaking glass.

Acoustic Glass Break Sensors

When a piece of glass is broken or shatters, it makes a distinct sound that emits a noticeable audio frequency. These acoustic glass break sensors actively listen for this frequency, and when this frequency is detected, will trigger the alarm. A major benefit of these acoustic glass break sensors is the ability to have a single sensor work for multiple windows or glass doors.

Shock Glass Break Sensors

Additionally, there are unique vibrations when a window is broken, which a shock detector exists to actively “feel” for. When a window is broken, it’ll detect the vibration and trigger the alarm. Shock glass break detectors require being installed individually on windows and doors in order to detect the vibration.

Both of these devices aren’t without flaws, however. There are certain sounds that an acoustic glass break detector can confuse for the frequency that broken glass produces — dropping a glass, the sound of breaking glass on the television, and even certain birds chirping. However, as technology continues improving, acoustic glass break sensors continue to be more picky when detecting sounds, preventing these issues. Similarly, shock glass break sensors have the flaw of requiring multiple units to cover all windows, and can be triggered by accident by any shock or vibration against a window. As a result, it’s important to keep these risks in mind when purchasing a glass break detector.

How should a glass break detector be placed during install?

When setting up your glass break detectors, there are numerous things to keep in mind while seeking the perfect places to install them. For starters, ensure your most easily accessible windows are covered. Burglars prefer the easiest methods for the purposes of quick entry and quick getaways, so ensuring that the easiest windows they could use for a break-in as protected is of the utmost importance. Depending on your glass break detector, how you place them will differ. For shock sensors, installing them on each window you want defended is the best way to set them up. Acoustic detectors, on the other hand, have a range of about 20 feet, allowing for more wiggle room during install. Try to get as many windows and glass doors in range of a single one to maximize the effectiveness in an area.

Why should you include glass break detectors in your security system?

When deciding on components in a security system, one should always be preparing for the worst. Home invaders, when they want to burglarize a home, will do a lot to get in – not deterred by just locks on your doors and windows, most burglars will literally break into your home, by means of forced entry, most typically, a quick smash to the windows to gain entry. While normal door and window sensors will do a lot for you in the way of preventing forced entry from doors and windows being opened in the expected ways, only glass break detectors can ensure that when forced entry involves breaking glass to get in. By triggering the alarm at the notice of glass being broken, you can keep your home safer.

Glass break detectors can’t replace the essentials like door and window sensors and motion sensors, but they can provide an excellent safety net in the event of burglars breaking glass windows and door in order to enter your home. Without them, it’s entirely possible you won’t be informed of the break in before it’s too late. Although false alarms are possible as all security equipment is prone to, the events in which these sensors can emit false alarms are thankfully much less likely to occur when compared to false alarms coming from motion sensors. Having glass break sensors is an excellent upgrade to a security system, ensuring that any means of entry – even unintended ones – are covered by your security system.