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Home Security 101: Wireless Recessed Door Sensors Examined

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June 9, 2014
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Home Security 101: Wireless Recessed Door Sensors Examined

We’re well along in our Monday educational series that explains the ins and outs (no pun intended!) of effective home security technology. There are only a few sensors left to discuss. You may remember that several weeks ago we covered the wireless door/window sensor. Today we’ll talk about its more “aesthetic” relative, the wireless recessed door sensor. 

Focus on Wireless Technology

First, let’s bear in mind that in this blog covers all things related to home security systems, and we are talking about wireless sensors. After all, there are a lot more wireless sensors being installed today than the hardwired variety: we already delved into the specifics of why that’s the case in this previous post. Here are a few reminders:

  1. Wireless sensors are completely reliable, especially when they are the supervised variety
  2. They are easier and quicker to install, particularly when dealing with existing construction
  3. They are easier to troubleshoot and to replace, since wiring (the main cause of sensor problems) is non-existent
  4. They are easier to add and to move. This is especially important if you have a DIY alarm system that you want to move with you to your next home

It Starts with Doors and Windows

Pretty much every monitored home alarm system starts with the door/window sensor. In fact, during almost 25 years in the alarm industry, I have never seen a system without one!

The technology goes back almost a hundred years, and over a hundred million of these devices are in use, with over a million more installed every year, just in U.S. homes.

Where Burglars Break In

There’s an excellent reason why this device is the core of any good alarm system: intruders invariably try to enter through a door first. Burglary entry stats look like this:

  • 34 percent of burglars enter through the front door
  • 26 percent enter through a back or basement door
  • 9 percent enter through the garage

That’s almost three quarters of all burglaries starting with a door - now you see why the layout of every good home alarm system starts with exterior doors (Note: don’t forget the door from the garage into the house!). The intruder wants an easy entry--and a fast and easy exit--ideally with an armload of your stuff.

Describing the Wireless Recessed Door Sensor

Like the wireless door/window sensor, the recessed door sensor is a magnetic reed switch, and consists of two small parts: one part is recessed into the edge of the door itself, and the main part of the sensor is recessed into the door frame, so that the two parts are next to each other when the door is shut. For installing these components, you will need a drill with a common-sized drill bit.

How it Works

In this closed position the sensor is not “activated,” so your alarm system can be armed. When the door opens, and the pieces are separated, that triggers an event for the alarm system. If that system was in an armed state, and is not disarmed promptly, then the door opening will generate an alarm signal that is communicated to the monitoring center.

It’s Simple – and Effective

As basic as these sensors are, they are easy to install, and are remarkably effective. Again, most door sensors being installed today are wireless, which means no messy wiring, and the good wireless recessed sensors require only a small hole to be completely recessed – and out of sight when the door is closed. It’s really a matter of your personal taste.

Add Interactive Signals to Keep Yourself Connected

In another previous post we discussed interactive monitoring: specifically, the ability of today’s better alarm systems to send text and email notifications to you on anything happening in your home. And that includes doors opening and closings. This speaks to the concept of feeling not just protected, but also connected.

Features You’ll Appreciate

For instance, I get an email on my iPhone every time a door opens in my house, and it tells me which door even when the alarm system is not armed. That way I get to keep track of my family and service providers as they come and go throughout the day. It’s great for monitoring dog walkers – or even kids coming in late at night!

We only have a couple of devices left to cover before we address how to design the right systems for your home and lifestyle, after you know everything your system can (and should!) do. Once you’re smarter about how these systems work, and what you need, you’ll be able to shop home security, and compare companies and offers with confidence. That means more peace of mind for you, which is exactly our goal. See you next Monday!

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June 18, 2014 at 7:48 AM
Everything explained in so much detail ... :) It helped a lot .... Thanks Peter ..
December 21, 2014 at 6:37 AM
Are Wireless Recessed Window Sensors also available?
Gilbert Cho
December 23, 2014 at 8:50 PM
Hi Jason, we don't have those available unfortunately.
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