Everything you should know about a glass break sensor

What is a glass break detector?

A glass door sensor or a glass door detector is a device that will trigger an alarm in case an intruder is trying to open a door or window at your home or office. A window break alarm provides another type of protection, sounding an alarm should someone tries to break into your property by smashing a window. It may sound as no big difference but it actually is since a glass door sensor will not activate if the intruder is breaking the glass instead of opening the window.

How does a glass break detector work?

A glass break sensor provides additional layer of security by monitoring sound and/or vibrations. These devices are being activated by shock waves or sounds originating from glass smashing.

glass break detector
A glass break detector for home window door security system

A glass break detector best suits properties with large windows and/or sliding doors. They have limited range, which usually requires installation of more than one sensor to secure a window.

Those are unsophisticated devices that respond to shock waves and vibrations and you can install them yourselves, if you wish.

The above video shows how to install a sensor that monitors sounds around the surface of the glass and triggers an alarm in case of detecting sound frequencies produced by breaking glass. As a rule, thus type of detectors produce fewer false alarms because the shock sensors that are monitoring for the vibrations of breaking glass can also detect shock waves from the nearby surrounding. In contrast to acoustic sensors, shock wave detectors are mounted directly on the glass of windows and doors.

Glass break detectors vs motion sensors

You can leave your glass break detectors armed all the time, which is not the case with motion sensors. Obviously, you will need to switch off motions sensors while at home or at office. This way, the chance is you might occasionally fail to activate the motion detectors, leaving your property unprotected.

infrared motion sensor
An infrared motion sensor you can use to secure both your home and office.

You get enhanced security using both motion sensors and glass break sensors. Security experts suggest using motion sensors before glass break detectors and securing locations that are hard to secure using a glass break sensor. Those may include your rooftop or windowless basement. In both cases, an intruder can make a hole to penetrate your property. These are not common methods to break into the average home but are options you should consider.

Another factor to take into account is that you should disarm motion sensors when you are at home during the evenings and at sleep. This leaves your home largely unprotected if your home security system does not feature glass break detectors, window break alarms, and door break/open alarm.

Advanced features of top glass break sensors

Opting for the cheapest available option is not the good choice to protect against intrusion into your real property. You should make sure your device features at least a few of the below characteristics, suggested by experts:

·         Narrowband microphones that are prone to false alarms. Cheaper option.

·         Broadband microphones that analyze sound on more than one level, resulting in more accurate monitoring.

·         Microphone plus microprocessor will analyzes the frequency, intensity, and timing of intrusion sounds and will detect even “soft breaks” which might otherwise go undetected. This dual technology produces minimum false alarms and is more secure.

·         A broad range glass break sensor that can protect glass up to 30 feet away.

·         Mounting on ceilings reduces the chance the signal to be obstructed by furniture or other obstacles.

·         Low energy consumption for extended sensor life.

·         Indicators for sensor testing and low battery.

Why Install Glass Break Detectors

The Electronic Security Association (ESA) summarizes the protective measures provided by home and business alarm systems the following way. Shock sensors are able to detect an intruder that is forcing his way through a wall, roof, window, or another area of your premises. Motion sensors detect movement nearby your property and in-doors while glass break detectors are listening for the sound of breaking glass or shock waves generated by a broken window.

Having additional layers of protection is always advisable while you can find a good number of reliable devices that will not break the bank. To conclude, while motion detectors are very good at protecting your property while unattended, by installing a glass break and window break alarm you get protection also when at home or at work.

Related and useful articles you might be interested:

  1. Essential Components of Access Control

  2. Introduction to Access Control

  3. Hardware and Software Integrations with Kisi

Download the Access Control Guide

Get this full guide in PDF format, plus other great security content from Kisi. We're offering this guide as a free download. You will also be signed up to get content from the Kisi blog.

Download Guide