Window Alarms for Your DIY Security System

1153204_93994352Window alarms make up an incredibly important part of any DIY security system, and they stand second only to door alarms. Your front door, side door, or back door will inevitably be the first attempted point of entry for any burglar, but if your door has been properly outfitted with heavy duty locks, alarms, or other security measures, your burglar will quickly give up and turn to an alternative solution. Usually the second place a burglar will attempt to enter through is a window, which means that you need to have your windows outfitted just as much as your doors. Here we’ll go over a few of your options for easy-to-install window alarms.


One of the most basic window alarms out there is a window contact. This kind of device can be manually installed to most windows and doors, and it acts as a very basic alarm. This device comprises an electric circuit, and when it is armed, electricity is running through it. The circuit can either be closed or open, but typically closed circuit alarms are more reliable. In a closed circuit contact, the circuit is closed and electricity is allowed to run freely through it. The contact is made up of two parts, one attached to the window itself and the other attached to the sill. When the window is closed, the two parts touch. In a closed circuit contact, in one part there is an open switch, and in the other part is a strong magnet. When the two are touching (when the window is closed), the magnet portion pulls the switch shut and electricity is allowed to run through the circuit freely. If the window is opened while the device is armed, the switch is pulled away from the magnet, breaking the circuit, and sounding the alarm.

Open circuit contacts function in an opposite manner. In an open circuit contact, the magnet pulls the switch open, keeping the circuit broken. When the window is opened, the switch pulls away from the magnet and closes, allowing electricity to flow freely while sounding the alarm. The reason why closed circuit contacts are better is because open circuit contact alarms can be easily stopped by simply cutting the wires to break the circuit.

Glass Break Sensors

The other important kind of alarm you should have for your windows is a glass-break sensor. These can come in many different forms, and some of them are better or more accurate than others. It used to be that the only kind of precaution against a broken window was to adhere small metal strips to the window that formed a circuit much like a window contact. When the glass was broken, the circuit would break as well, sounding the alarm. 82172836However, this kind of precaution was difficult to use and is now used far less than other more advanced methods.

Some glass break sensors are small and can be placed on the side or in the corner of the window pane. This device will monitor the vibrations of the glass and will trigger an alarm if the vibrations exceed certain levels. The downfall of this device is that it can be prone to false alarms due to loud noises or environmental factors, such as strong winds or tremors.

Some of the most recent glass break sensors made available are acoustic. They eliminate the false alarms of their earlier counterparts because they are calibrated to react only to the particular frequency of breaking glass. Some of them are even programmed to only sound the alarm when they detect the telltale sound of someone first making a blow to the glass before it breaks.

Don’t let the windows in your home go undefended! Keep burglars out of these potential entryways by fortifying them with the proper alarms and sensors.