When protecting your home with a security system, you will be placing sensors in the home that monitor for intrusion activity such as opening doors and intrusion through windows. This signal is sent to the control panel, which then can communicate to your monitoring station. It is common for this portion of the system to have some redundancies. The vulnerabilities in a home is all entry points through common man-doors and any ground floor accessible windows. These are any windows that someone can reach from outside the home without a ladder. Although someone can get into your home with a ladder through an upstairs window, this is rather unlikely for residential communities. Intruders do not want be seen placing a ladder against your home. Even if they were to climb through the upstairs, they would typically have to come back out of one of the armed doors to get out with any large items. If this is a concern of yours, feel free to proceed to arming the upper-levels of the home also.
Arming Your Design
To design your system the safest, place a door sensor on all interior doors of the home at the very least. Interior doors would include the door inside of a garage that leads into the living space, which is more necessary than the exterior garage door that leads to the outside from the garage. Again, if arming the garage is important to you then do so, but at very least secure the doors that lead directly into the home. For example, if you have a front door, back door, sliding glass door, a door that leads into garage from outside, and the door that leads into the house from the garage; get at least four (4) door sensors for the five (5) doors.
When arming your windows, this is where your personal system design will differ from say, a neighbor’s system design with the same exact home. It is best to design this based on your lifestyle and use of windows. It has been known that window sensors are placed on windows to prevent someone from sliding a window open. However, a window sensor on your window alone doesn’t necessarily protect your home. If the intruder were to simply break the glass out of the window, they could gain entry inside without ever sliding the window open; which means the window sensor would have never activated the alarm.
You would have to back up all the window sensors with a glass break sensor in the area to make sure no one is breaking out the glass to enter the home. If you are purchasing all of your sensors, the method of buying a window sensor for every window, and backing them up with glass break sensors can become very costly. However, if you do not have large pets roaming in your house at the time in which you’re arming your system, typically a motion sensor is a better choice to rely on to protect from entry through windows. One motion sensor generally covers approximately an entire 1,000 square foot area and can be placed in a section of the home that has multiple windows.
This is much more effective because whether the burglar is getting in by sliding or prying the window open, or by breaking the glass and climbing through; the motion sensor is going to pick up the motion based off of warm body heat and still activate the alarm. If you do have a larger pet (over 40 lbs) then it is likely they will set the motion sensor off by simply walking past it. If that is your scenario, resorting back to the original window strategy of window sensors and glass break sensors is probably better for you. If you have pets and are still looking to be cost-effective in your system design, one strategy is to use primarily glass break sensors and ensure that your windows are physically locked. It is unlikely that the intruder is going to pry the locked window open, considering 90% of break-ins happen through a door.
However, it is not impossible for a locked window to be pried open so that the intruder can get inside and bypass the glass break sensors. Companies like Protect America have equipment that not only detects the sliding of the window, but also detects the sound of shattering glass in the same sensor, which helps with potential equipment cost significantly.