Is a window security alarm necessary? Besides unemployment, the current recession has meant an increase in property crimes. Residential and commercial burglaries and even home invasions are on the rise. The average house may have only two or three doors, but will have a dozen or more entrances – many of which are poorly lit or obscured by bushes or trees. Few thieves are brazen enough to enter through a door unless it is left unlocked. Cutting or breaking thin window glass and entering through this portal is far more common. A proper window security alarm may go a long way in scaring off a potential burglar and protecting both your family and your possessions.

No security system is 100% effective but a door and window alarm system should definitely be part of any basic home security system. The efficiency of a window alarm will benefit by keeping the view of the windows unobstructed by trees or bushes and the outside perimeter well lit. The complicated window alarms of years gone by are only a distant memory. The earliest alarms relied on foil pressure tape and extensive wiring that made the cost of these too expensive for most residential applications. Today there are many cheap window alarms available that are easy to install and very effective in scaring away a potential thief.

There are two basic types of window security alarms on the open market: sensor types and motion types. The difference is how they operate. Both can be very effective and inexpensive. Many large do-it-yourself retailers like Lowe's and Home Depot will stock either type. This type of burglar alarm is generally wireless and can be installed for as little as $10 a window. These do-it-yourself stores will occasionally feature workshops showing how to install them as well. There are many online retailers including Amazon that offer these alarms. Many local police precincts have promotional events where they operate in conjunction with a retailer to offer window and door alarms at a substantial discount. It is well worth checking with a local police department for tips and savings that may be offered on home security products.

What is a sensor window security alarm?

A type of wireless window alarm that is very popular is the sensor style. This kind of alarm detects vibrations and movement along the glass surface. Normally, a thief has to disturb the glass and apply pressure and movement to enter a home. The sensor alarm will detect this and putout a very loud high decibel alert. This type of alarm is small, inexpensive and unobtrusive. It installs in minutes, too. The nice feature of these sensor alarms is the ability to adjust the sensitivity levels. Wind and other natural conditions can cause vibrations and falsely trigger the alarm. A loud alarm in the middle of the night is enough to scare a homeowner half to death so it is important to adjust the sensitivity level so that it will pick up potential mischief but not constantly trigger false alarms. There are only a few regions where constant wind makes the use of a sensor alarm difficult to use.

What is a motion window security alarm?

The second and more common type of home security alarm is the motion type. This type of window alarm detects actual window movement and operates by utilizing contact points. This alarm generally mounts to the window frame with one part on the stationary sill and a secondary part on the window frame itself. When closed at night these two points align and usually use a magnetic field to maintain contact. If the window is raised, this physical contact is broken instantly and an alarm will sound. The concept is similar to an infrared sensor beam that triggers when the beam is broken. In fact, there are some high end window alarms that operate off of infrared beams, but they are far more expensive and generally beyond the budgets of many homeowners. This is a common style of alarm that is used for doors, too. Wireless window and door alarms that operate off the contact method are generally the top sellers in the home security business. A local security store or big box retailer is generally happy to demonstrate the technology and installation process and even let a homeowner experience the shrill cry of a triggered alarm. The only downside of using the contact motion alarms over the sensory type is on very large windows or patio doors. A simple smash may provide a large enough entry point without moving the windowsill at all. Contact is maintained, but the security is still breached. It is probably wisest to mix and match between the two styles.

Benefits of a window alarm

Peace of mind regarding family safety is the number one benefit. Possessions can easily be replaced and are normally insured anyway. The well being of the family is far more important. The inexpensive cost is another benefit. Not only are there cheap window alarms, but most insurance providers will discount a homeowner's policy for upgrading or installing a home security system. This may bring the entire cost of installing a window security alarm system to zero out-of-pocket expense over the long term. If others in the neighborhood also choose to install window alarms in their homes it may make the entire neighborhood safer and increase property values.

A window security alarm is only one small step in an overall home security plan. If a burglar wants into a residence bad enough than there is only so much a homeowner can do without turning the family home into a bizarre fortress or bunker. Judicious use of window bars, cutting back trees and shrubs, instituting a neighborhood watch, outside perimeter light that uses both permanent and motion lights, and just being generally alert are all the that a person can really do to provide the best overall safety to the home and family. Read up on window alarms and decide for yourself. It is never too late to improve your home security.