What is the purpose of a window contact?
While taking advantage of an unlocked door is the most common way for intruders to enter your home, it certainly isn’t the only way. Shortly behind the 34% of burglars who enter through the front door, 23% of burglars will take advantage of a first floor window as a means of entry to a home. Keeping your doors protected and monitored simply isn’t enough in the world of home security – with nearly a quarter of all burglaries originating from sneaking in through a window, ensuring your ground floor windows are protected is key. Thankfully, windows are among the easiest entrances to properly safeguard against burglars.
Window contacts, also known as window sensors, were invented with this in mind. By having window contacts installed on your windows, you can be alerted instantly when a window is opened, and can be set up to set off alarms and inform your monitoring center as soon as this is detected, allowing the authorities to be alerted quickly. Window contacts provide a major backbone for any security system, keeping one of the most common entrances to your home protected from any intruders.
How does a window contact work?
Window contact sensors are made up of two major parts; a smaller piece, which is the magnet, and a larger piece, which is the sensor. The sensor is placed on the window frame, and the magnet is placed on the moving part of the window. These two parts are placed as such in order to guarantee they maintain proximity to one another; the magnet has to be very close to the sensor in order for this to work.
The proximity between sensor and magnet is key for maintaining the metal reed switch inside the sensor. The window contact works when the window is opened. Once the magnet is separated from the sensor, the metal reed switch inside the sensor will be released. When this switch is released, the system will be informed that window has been opened, and will perform as programmed, whether that involves activating an alarm, alerting you via notification, or informing your monitoring station directly.
How do you properly place a window contact during install?
When installing your window contacts, it’s important to take inventory of all windows you intend to safeguard. A window contact will only work on one window, so you’ll need a contact for each window you plan on protecting. Place the contact on the window frame on the inside of the home, and the magnet on the moving part of the window, also on the inside, in such a way they are in close proximity to one another. The reason we install them in this way is to better protect each part of the unit. The sensor is a much more delicate, expensive piece of equipment to replace, so placing it on the part of the window that doesn’t move helps protect it. If it were on the window, the contact could break when a window is slammed or rattled.
You can never be certain which window an intruder will want to use, which is why protecting all of your windows is important. Ground floor windows should be your priority, but keep an eye out for easy to miss windows that could be taken advantage of! Basement windows may need monitoring as well, especially finished basements. Additionally, while only 2% of burglaries occurred due to intruders entering through the second floor window, you should still consider installing sensors on these windows. After all, it would only take a ladder to climb right through. Consider professional installation of your window contacts, as a security tech can best decide which windows should be safeguarded against intruders.
Why you should include a window contact in a security system
Protecting your home shouldn’t be limited to only the easiest points of entry. When safeguarding your home from intruders, one should consider every point of entry, not just the doors. While keeping your doors protected will provide security from a majority of break-ins, this can still leave your windows wide open to intruders. Window contacts are among the simplest ways of protecting your home, by just keeping you informed of when a window is opened or closed, allowing you the most information to take further steps. Essentially, window contacts, when used alongside door contacts, grants your home a massive security perimeter, in which any point of entry used will not go unnoticed.
Additionally, window contacts can help keep you aware of other potential dangers around the house. For example, those with children who may have a curfew know the dangers of those children sneaking out of the house. Installing window sensors can help to keep you informed of any attempts to sneak out, or back in, through a window. As well as this, most window sensors give you a timestamp of when the window was opened, giving you even more information that can be passed along to authorities and insurance companies when figuring out when a break-in took place.
Window contacts detect when somebody enters your home through a window while your system is armed. If you program your window contacts to set off your alarm while in away mode, you can even use these as a deterrent, as few burglars will stick around during a loud alarm going off – most know that a monitoring station is being alerted, and the alarms will likely draw the attention of anybody around. However, it’s important to remember the limitations of window contacts. The largest limitation is how window contacts won’t trigger if the window is smashed and entry is gained that way – they only work if the window is physically opened. As a result, it’s widely recommended to bolster your window security by also installing glass break detectors, in order to ensure that any means of entry through the window is noticed by your security system. Window contacts provide an excellent backbone for any security system, and should be among the first pieces of equipment considered when you want to protect your home from intruders.