How do Burglar Alarms Work?

June 13, 2010 in Burglar alarms

One thing most of us know about burglar alarms is that they alert us to the occurrence of a potentially dangerous or harmful situation. However that is about all most people know because many individuals do not know is how they work. Although there is a wide array of burglar alarms available on the market today, there are basically 3 categories of them as follows:

  • basic motion detectors
  • detectors that are more advanced
  • circuit alarms

The following will give you an idea of how each type of these burglar alarms works so that you gain more knowledge about them. This should come in handy if you are currently shopping around for a home security system that contains an alarm feature.

Basic motion detectors – you need to rely on these types of motion detectors in order to effectively monitor the interior of your home or office. Encountering motion detectors in a person’s everyday life is not an uncommon occurrence. For instance, anytime you enter a business through automatically opening doors, a motion detector is what triggers the opening of those doors.

Usually there is a control box mounted above the door that sends out microwave or ultrasonic waves and then the waves are transmitted back in an irregular pattern when a person interrupts those waves. Just as the interruption of those waves triggers the door opening, an interruption of those waves will trigger a burglar alarm.

Detectors that are more advanced – in addition to those motion sensors that are radar based, the more advanced ones operated by virtue of a photo sensor. Burglar alarms that operate in this fashion use beams of light aimed at a light sensor mounted across passageways in your home. When the light beam is broken by someone (or something) the alarm is triggered by the sensor.

PIR (passive infrared) motion sensors are sensitive to body heat and are triggered when there is a rapid increase in energy or heat. So a person’s normal body temperature of 98.6° F will set off burglar alarms that are heat sensitive because the normal room temperature is disrupted by the higher temperature of the human body.

Circuit alarms – this is the basic line of defense involved in burglar alarms and home security. These types of alarms are categorized two ways namely closed or open circuit. Once either of these circuits is broken by virtue of an animal, human being, or some other object, the alarm is triggered.

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