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Cool Ways to Use Door Sensors, Window Sensors, and More

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Cool Ways to Use Door Sensors, Window Sensors, and More
March 13, 2020

Cool Ways to Use Door Sensors, Window Sensors, and More

Home security

sensors can be used for much more than intrusion detection

Intrusion sensors are the backbone of most security systems, and rightfully so. But door sensors, window sensors, motion sensors, and glass break sensors can do more than simply detect burglars and other intruders.  You can also use these intrusion detection devices to alert you to events that aren’t necessarily related to what we usually think of as “security.”

Let’s look at some specific ways that Frontpoint’s smart home security system provided doesn’t just provide comprehensive protection from criminals, but also keeps you connected with family, visitors, and in-home service providers.

Door and window

sensors safeguard your home’s most vulnerable areas

In 34% of burglaries, the thieves enter through the front door. Other common entry points are first-floor windows (23%) and back doors (22%). Wireless door and window sensors help people lock down their home's perimeter economically and unobtrusively.

These devices typically include two separate pieces—one that is installed on the entry point’s frame and a second piece that is attached to the door or window itself.  The sensor will be able to tell if the components are touching or in very close proximity, depending on the type of sensor. Opening the door or window and separating the pieces will trigger an alarm if the system is armed.

Homeowners with a smart security system can also choose to have their system’s hub sound an audible chime and/or provide them with mobile notifications when these events occur, even if the system isn’t armed.

Learn how modern intrusion and motion sensors work—and make homes safer.

There are

many other ways to use door and window sensors to protect property and loved


In addition to doors and windows, you can use these sensors to monitor any items in your home that open and close—liquor cabinets, safes, file cabinets, mailboxes, and more. This can come in handy if you want to protect loved ones from dangers inside your home, ensure that older children and domestic service providers are fulfilling their obligations, or safeguard valuable items and sensitive papers from snooping visitors. Here are some specific ways you can use Frontpoint’s Door and Window Sensors to your advantage:

  • Place sensors on your medicine cabinet, liquor cabinet, safe, or gun cabinet to receive notifications if your kids, nanny, pet sitter, or visiting nephew get into places they don’t belong.
  • Use notifications from your front door sensor to keep tabs on people’s comings and goings. Did your dog walker arrive on time? Did your babysitter’s boyfriend come over even though you specifically said no visitors? Did your 16-year old arrive home from that party on time, or have they broken curfew again? With a front door sensor, you’ll not only know the answers to these questions as they occur, but you'll also have an electronic log of all entry and exit events.
  • Install sensors on your children’s bedroom doors so that you receive real-time alerts if they leave their rooms at night. This is great for small children who shouldn’t be wandering the house alone, school-age kids who tend to sleepwalk, and teenagers who are trying to sneak out after you’ve gone to bed for the night.
  • What if you would like to leave your home’s windows open somewhat but still have them armed? With Frontpoint’s Window Sensors, you can simply mount an additional sensor magnet farther up your window frame. If the window is open so that the sensor’s transmitter aligns with this magnet, the device will register the window as closed. This feature is particularly useful for upper floor windows in the spring, summer, and fall.
Picture of the Frontpoint Door and Window SensorPicture of the Frontpoint Door and Window Sensor
Installing a second sensor magnet allows your Frontpoint Window Sensors to remain armed, even if the windows are open partway.


Door/Window Sensors are small but mighty

At less than two inches tall and under an inch wide, Frontpoint’s Wireless Door and Window Sensors are unobtrusive. They use two CR1632 batteries that have an impressive battery life of up to 6 years. And if a Door or Window Sensor is damaged or tampered with, you will receive a system notification.

Since the sensors use a magnetic field (rather than contact sensors) to detect the difference between open and closed, they do not need to be touching to function properly. As long as the transmitter and the magnet are within ¾ inch of one another, they will transmit a closed signal.


break sensors add another layer of intrusion protection

Although Window and Door Sensors are invaluable and versatile home security system components, certain situations call for another type of intrusion detection. Homes with first-floor windows and sliding glass doors are particularly vulnerable to forced entry. If a burglar smashes a patio door or window and climbs through without opening it, those security devices will not alarm. Glass break sensors, on the other hand, will immediately register any shattering glass within their range, sound an alarm if the system is armed, and provide you with a notification.

Picture of broken windowPicture of broken window
Even small windows can provide entry to a burglar willing to reach through broken glass to unlock a home’s front door. A door sensor would detect that intrusion when the door opens, but it will not sound if an intruder climbs through a larger opening and

Not only will glass break sensors alert you to this type of intrusion, but they can also provide alerts any time a window or glass door is broken in your home, regardless of the cause. Whether a neighbor’s child accidentally throws a baseball through your kitchen window while you’re at work, or a storm sends a tree limb crashing through the patio door of your vacation home, you can receive real-time notifications. This allows you to address the damage before the situation becomes worse.

Most burglaries are crimes of opportunity, and a passing criminal may be tempted to take advantage of your home’s reduced defenses to help themselves to your property.  Broken windows and doors also allow wild animals entry to your residence and provide an opportunity for rain, wind, hail, and snow to wreak havoc on your home’s interior. The sooner you get the damage cleaned up and the glass repaired or replaced, the better.

How do

Frontpoint’s Glass Break Sensors work?

Glass break sensors work either by “hearing” the sound of glass shattering or by “feeling” the vibrations that occur as the glass breaks. Frontpoint provides acoustic Glass Break Sensors, which can register the sound of a broken pane of glass anywhere within a 20-foot radius, as long as no walls or other physical structures block the sound waves from reaching them. This means that a single Glass Break Sensor can protect multiple windows and doors.

Learn more about how Wireless Glass Break Sensors work.

These sensors are also an excellent option for people who own large pets. Because pets weighing over 40 pounds are more likely to trigger motion sensors, homeowners may not want to install these components in areas where their pets roam freely while the security system is armed. Installing Glass Break Sensors in rooms with windows and glass doors adds an alternative second layer of protection against intrusion in these situations.


sensors can be used for more than just detecting intruders

Motion sensors obviously have an essential role to play when it comes to home security. However, tying motion sensor operation to alerts and events can also increase your safety, make your life easier, and connect you with your family members even when you’re away.

For example, if you use a Smart Light Bulb or Wireless Light Control, you could set your home security system to turn on your hall lights anytime a motion sensor is triggered after dark. This makes it simple to reach the bathroom in the middle of the night without bumping into furniture or tripping over anything.

Frontpoint’s security system also provides scenes, meaning you can set when you’re typically home, when you tend to leave, and when various activities normally take place. Using this feature, you could receive notifications if your home’s motion sensors do not perceive routine activity. For example, you could be alerted if your kids aren’t getting ready for school when they should be, or if your elderly parent isn’t moving around the house the way they usually would.

Picture of the Frontpoint Motion SensorPicture of the Frontpoint Motion Sensor
Frontpoint’s Wireless Motion Sensor covers approximately 1,200 square feet with a 90° horizontal field of view, has a battery life of up to six years, and is pet-friendly for animals up to 40 lbs.


Frontpoint, it’s easy to use home security sensors in many creative ways

Frontpoint’s many smart system features make it simple and convenient to use your home security system in ways you might not have imagined were possible. Customize your set-up with the components and settings that are right for you and your family.

Wireless sensors make DIY installation easy and eliminate messy wiring. And they arrive pre-programmed—ready to go, straight out of the box. Turn individual devices on and off as needed, schedule their operation, or set them to respond to specific events for maximum functionality and convenience.

How you use your system is only limited by your imagination.

Did you find this article useful? Read more about home security system components:

Frontpoint keeps homes safe whether families are there or not. We've been revolutionizing the home security industry for over a decade. And we're just getting started. To shop DIY home security systems, check out our Security Packages. If you have questions or would like to discuss a quote, contact us at 1-877-602-5276.

Packages starting at $99* + 30% Off Sitewide

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