It’s estimated that 23% of burglars gain entry to a home by using a first-floor window. Installing window sensors can alert you to any unauthorized access. If your window sensors are equipped with an audible alarm, they may even be effective at scaring off potential burglars. Here is a quick step-by-step guide to installing window sensors.
What Are Window Sensors?
A window sensor is usually a small device that consists of two parts. One of these parts is attached to the window, while the other is attached to the frame. A window sensor either operates by using passive infrared technology (PIR), or a simple magnetic connection between the two sections of the sensor. When the connection is broken, the sensor is triggered. This install guide is designed for magnetic sensors.
Step 1 – Ready Your Materials
You may be installing a stand-alone window sensor, or one that is designed to be integrated into your monitored home security system. Before you begin, first map out the windows in your home that are most accessible to burglars. Be sure that you ready enough sensors to cover all of these windows. Depending on the design of the sensors, you may need adhesive, double-sided tape, screws, a screwdriver, connective wiring or other materials.
Step 2 – Plan Your Placement
Ideally, a window sensor is most effective when installed 6 or 7 inches from the bottom of the window. If they open outward, it’s important that you place the sensor contact points on the part of the frame closest to the side that has the hinges. Be sure that both the sensor contact points are aligned correctly, as stated on the directions that came with your sensor.
Step 3 – Installing Wiring
If your sensor is designed to work with a monitored home security system, and your system isn’t wireless, you will need to make sure that the sensor is securely connected to the control panel. Depending on the layout of your house, this installation may be slightly difficult. In an ideal situation, you should run the wiring internally through the walls of your house. If this isn’t possible, you can run the wire down the frame, and run it along the corner of the floor. Extend the wiring until you reach the control panel. Most hard-wired security control panels have designated port(s) where you can attach the wiring for your window sensors.
If you have a wireless home security system, you will most likely need to program the sensors directly into the control panel. Some wireless home security systems come with charts to help you to properly sync the sensors with the control panel. A wireless window sensor may also come with a separate transmitter.
Step 4 – Maintaining the System
It’s extremely important that you let your family or other members of your household know which windows have been installed with a sensor. Be sure that the sensors maintain a good connection, and keep a strong attachment to the window and frame. Try to avoid ever triggering the sensors by opening the windows when the system is armed.
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This post is originally authored at the home security blog at family + home security.