Secure your home now. Pay later, Buy worry-free with easy monthly payments.

Get 0% APR financing with Learn More
Back to Blog

The Importance of a Glass Break Sensor for a Wireless Home Security System

Search The Blog
By: Editor
October 8, 2013
More from this author

The Importance of a Glass Break Sensor for a Wireless Home Security System

A glass break sensor functions exactly as the name implies: it detects the sound of breaking glass. However, its basic function should not understate how important it is for a complete wireless home security. The sensor is unique; out of all the sensors commonly found in a home security system, it is the only one that is activated by sound. Other common sensors, like door/window and motion, require movement in order to be tripped. Since glass break sensors are sound-based, they present a very difficult challenge for burglars.

Glass Break Sensor Effectiveness

Without a glass break sensor, all a burglar needs to do is smash a window to gain access into a home. A door and window sensor is not useful in this situation, as it requires the separation of its two pieces in order to be tripped. Breaking a window isn't likely to do that. Motion sensors are also unhelpful unless the burglar carelessly stumbles into the home without checking for one.

However, a glass break sensor is designed to hear the unique frequency of breaking glass. This means that the moment the burglar smashes your window, a signal is sent to your Control Panel. The burglar will probably be sent running before they can steal anything or do any further damage.

Glass break sensors are also cost effective. FrontPoint Security’s Glass Break Sensor covers a range of up to 20 feet in any direction. This is perfect for protecting large rooms with multiple windows and sliding glass doors. Instead of paying for multiple door/window sensors, a single glass break sensor can cover all of the windows. Motion sensors are also able to cover large areas, but it is not recommended to use them as glass break replacements.

Motion Sensors are NOT Glass Break Sensors

Motion sensors are a critical part of any alarm system. However, too many people think they do the same job as a glass break sensor. In reality, the two sensors are completely different and have different functions. Here are three reasons why a motion sensor is not an effective replacement for a glass break sensor:

  1. Glass break sensors are tripped the moment the glass breaks. This can immediately scare off the burglar. On the other hand, a motion sensor will not go off when the glass breaks. Since the alarm was not immediately raised when the glass broke, the burglar can now peer inside and survey the home for sensors.
  2. Large pets can set off motion sensors. Some customers choose to raise the level of their motion sensors to avoid them being tripped by pets. However, this can be risky as smarter burglars could crawl to avoid detection.
  3. Some customers also turn off their motion sensors at night, for their pets and for personal convenience. Many people want to be able to get a glass of water without having to disarm an alarm system. Unfortunately, turning off motion sensors leaves the home vulnerable.

How to Use Glass Break Sensors

Peace of mind comes easier with a wireless home security system, especially one with a wide variety of sensors. The sensors needed depend widely on the layout of one’s home, but the most common sensors that FrontPoint customers purchase are Motion and Door/Window Sensors. Unfortunately, Glass Break Sensors are usually afterthoughts. How should a customer determine if they should get a Glass Break Sensor? If your home has any windows a burglar could fit through, it’s highly recommended. also offers some valuable tips:

Always add glass break sensors to sliding and patio doors. These are one of the most common ways a burglar enters a home, and they are the most important location that a sensor should be located, even if it’s the only sensor in a home.

Don’t neglect adding sensors to second story windows if they are near a tree or there is another access point that would make it easy for a burglar to reach these windows.

Glass break sensors are best when working with other sensors. A security system with door/window, motion, and glass break sensors, as well as environmental sensors secures your home with a level of protection that is ready for any situation.

There are not many situations where we would not recommend a glass break sensor. Glass break sensors are unique and very effective additions to any home security system. They are cost effective and can deter a burglar before they do additional damage. Consider getting one if you don’t have one already, a glass break sensor could be the final piece to a complete home security system.

Save 20% sitewide + FREE Indoor Camera*

Make 2020 Safer, Smarter, Simpler.

300 off
September 30, 2016 at 9:52 AM
So, do you offer one with your packages as part of it, being included? Or are you just pushing sales? Because, it does seem a bit odd to believe what you are saying fully when you are trying to sell me something. I want to get the ultimate package, obviously the most expensive unfortunately, but you don't seem to offer any more products with it over the cheaper ones. You just have to pay more to use more features, unfortunately I really want automated door locks.
Katie Rynex
October 10, 2016 at 12:17 PM
Louise, our monitoring packages do not dictate what kind of sensors, or the amount sensors you are able to add in to your panel. All of our security solutions are customized per each individual's home. Thank you for your great question!
Scroll to Top Scroll to Bottom