window alarm system

Securing your home with a window alarm

Published: March 12, 2024 by  Marguerite Cotter

According to statistics from the Gardai, burglars commonly target back doors (26%), back windows (24%) and front windows (8%), with one in five cases involving a burglar getting access through an unsecured door or window.

Its important to secure all of entry points especially windows with a suitable alarm system. In this article we review what type of detector you should choose for a window alarm, How does these home security device work and how they can be installed.

Burglary: how to strengthen your windows?

Do you live in a ground floor apartment or in a single-storey house? Windows, like doors, are vulnerable points that must be protected against burglary. Be aware that it only takes 10 seconds to force open an unsecured window.

A window alarm system, consisting of sensor detectors and cameras, will be ideal for deterring, alerting the neighbours and notifying the authorities as soon as possible in the event of an intrusion.

Close windows

Sounds obvious? However, an open window is one of the most common ways to get into a home without breaking in way to break into the home without breaking in, and sometimes this intrusion goes unnoticed. This is often the case during burglaries where the occupants are at home.

Using roller shutters or electric blinds

While you're away and at night, external shutters can add an extra obstacle that is a great deterrent to thieves. Roller shutters are more difficult to force open. These components are more popular in Europe than in Ireland where they are more commonly associated with protecting windows of businesses rather than residentials. However, they can be a good option for holiday or second homes which may be unoccupied for longer periods of time.

Electric blinds can also be used to make it look like the home is occupied while you are away. Automation devices can allow you to program auto open and shut times making it less obvious at night particularly if you’re not home.

Choosing burglar-proof glazing

You can also prevent intruders from breaking your window with security glass, also known as burglar-proof glass. Made of laminated glass, it has a strong resistance to attempts at breaking the window with an obstacle. Even choosing a stronger pane of glass for a window can make it harder for burglars. They will know they will need to really smash the window to get in and may fear the noise could attract attention from the neighbours.

Apply a deterrent sticker

If you have an alarm system installed, it’s a good idea to visually let others know through a mounted exterior bellbox or putting alarm stickers on your window. This will act as a deterrent to potential burglars who will know the home is protected by an alarm.

As an example, our research has shown you're 4 times less likely to be burgled with a PhoneWatch alarm compared to having no alarm based on the national burglary rate. Need to secure your doors and windows? Request a personalized quote from PhoneWatch for the implementation of an alarm system adapted to your homes needs.

How do window alarms work?

The window alarm is a security device that triggers the alarm system to sound emitting a loud audible signal when the window is touched, or the glass is broken. This helps alert occupants and the neighbours, as well as deterring intruders from continuing their attempts to breach the home, thus preventing any further burglary or damage.

The alarm system detects intruders during their attempted burglary, for example by using opening and shock detectors or battery-operated glass breakage detectors. This is called a perimeter alarm (acts as a protective barrier to secure a perimeter).

These window detectors are often connected to a wired or wireless home alarm panel, and controlled through a remote control or a dedicated smartphone app. For increased security at all times, many occupants prefer to use a  home alarm company for the installation and remote monitoring of their home 24/7.

Wired alarm or wireless alarm sensors: what to choose for your windows?

There are two main types of window alarms on the home and apartment security market today: wired and wireless. Which one should you choose for your home? Lets go through the pros and cons of each.

Wired Window Alarm

The historical device is the wired alarm. As the name suggests, it connects all safety devices to the control panel via wiring, which usually runs through the wall or joinery for aesthetic reasons. As this installation is quite expensive and requires work, it is rather recommended during construction or renovation.

Wireless Window Alarm

The wireless home alarm is the popular today in Ireland, and for good reason! Simple and quick to set up, it's also the most affordable in terms of price. In this case, the detectors and cameras connect to the alarm box via radio waves, without carrying out any work. It's also easier to change the alarm system by adding or removing certain products, or to take everything with you when moving.

What type of detector should I install for a window alarm?

When we talk about a window alarm, we most common solution is a contact and shock detector which goes off as soon as the window is touched or opened.

The opening detector

The opening detector is one of the perimeter alarms: they monitor access to the interior of the home, usually a door or window.

The most common of the opening detectors is the magnetic sensor. It consists of two magnetic elements, one fixed on a fixed support (wall, doorframe, etc.) and the other on the movable part (door, window, sliding shutter, gate, etc.). If the exit is opened, the ignition stops, which triggers the audible alarm and possibly sends an alert to the owners or the monitoring centre, depending on the alarm system chosen.

The Shock Detector

Often the shock detector is integrated into the opening detector as one complete device. The singular detector detects vibrations on a surface, such as a fixed window that a person is trying to break.

At PhoneWatch, the contact and shock detector integrates the opening detector as one singular devive. This allows the homeowner to know if a window is opening or closed while also triggering if the window is touched while the alarm system is armed.

The glass breakage detector

Only useful for glass windows or doors, the  glass breakage detector focuses on noise over a wide coverage. As soon as it hears the sound of broken glass, or notices a sudden change in pressure, he immediately triggers the window alarm. It is an additional security that can cover several openings at the same time.

The Motion Detector

Very often, a motion detector will complement an alarm system that would only be composed of opening or contact detectors. Here, the goal is to cover a volume in a room in order to spot any strange presence or movement.

If the opening sensor focuses on the window in question, the motion detector can monitor multiple access points at once. Usually, it is also used in hallways or in outdoor aisles. See one of our blogs on how motion detectors work.

At PhoneWatch, customers have a choice of 2 different motion detectors in our alarm system – PIR Motion detector and PIR Camera motion detector. They key different between the two is the possibility of having a camera which takes images when motion is detected while the alarm is armed and triggers the alarm. This picture is then sent to the homeowners PhoneWatch smartphone app via a notification and the PhoneWatch alarm receiving centre for verification. PhoneWatch will then contact the homeowner warning them of the activation and verifying if it was an intrusion and/or allowing rapid contact of emergency services if an intruder is observed.

What are the advantages of window alarm sensors?

For total safety, the ideal window alarm combines the different types of sensors and detectors (opening, shock, movement, glass breakage, etc.). Each component focuses on a particular area, whether inside, outside or around the edges of the building.

A window alarm will mainly benefit from having opening and shock detectors, which make it possible to deter burglars before intrusion into the home. Here are the reasons:

  • They can be activated even if you are present in the home, especially at night while sleeping, since they only detect the opening of an exit. A motion detector, on the other hand, would prevent you from moving around your house or apartment;
  • No pet can trigger the door or window alarm and create a false alarm, while a motion detector can and should be set up for it;
  • They make it possible to know precisely where the intruders have passed, especially in the case where the window latch had not been locked or closed properly and there is no trace of a break-in
  • They are easy to set up, discreet and connected to your alarm centre.

For more security on the window alarm, you will pair these opening detectors with motion and glass breakage detectors.

A company that specializes in home security will be able to analyze your home and tell you the best possible configuration, based on your needs and budget. PhoneWatch are Ireland’s most popular home security system protecting over 119,000 homes every day and you can trust us to build an alarm system to keep you and your family safe.

Install your alarm system with PhoneWatch!

Do you want to install a wireless window alarm in your house or apartment? For optimal security, go through an alarm and remote monitoring professional like PhoneWatch and take advantage of the protection of our shock and opening detector. Our experts will be happy to assist you in the installation of your alarm system from A to Z.

Which doors and windows should be protected as a priority in your home? Which detectors should you choose? How to find the most suitable equipment at the best price? We take care of the protection of your house or apartment at any time of the day or night, even while you are away. Our alarm system comes with 24/7 remote monitoring of activations at our alarm receiving centre in Dublin, in addition to deterring intruders and alerting occupants. We react within seconds and call the Gardai or emergency services as soon as possible if necessary.

PhoneWatch work with you to offer you the most suitable alarm system for your homes needs. Choose a tailor-made protection. Get a free quote without obligation, our teams are at your disposal to support you!

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