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5 Different Types of Alarm Sensors

As a homeowner, it’s your responsibility to keep you and your family safe from burglary, fires and leaky pipes. At Wayne Alarm Systems, we offer various types of alarm sensors that can help you keep track of your property and give you peace of mind, whether you’re away, asleep or just enjoying time at home. Most of these security system sensors can even send alerts to your mobile device to help you take action immediately.

This guide features the five different alarm systems you’ll find when you invest in residential security services. All these components work together to protect your whole home from theft and accidents. Consider how the following different security sensors can help keep your family safe from harm.

1. Glass Break Detectors

Whether a burglar tries breaking into your house or a flying object damages your window or glass door, window alarm sensors can alert you of broken glass. This device is a step above most traditional security systems that can only detect when a burglar opens an unlocked door or window.

How a Glass Break Detector Works

This device uses built-in microphones to detect the sound of glass breaking in your house. Most glass sensors use dual-sound detection to prevent false alarms, picking up the low-pitched bang of an object hitting the window and the high-pitched clink of the glass shattering. Once the detector senses the specific frequency of glass breaking, it sounds an alarm and notifies the monitoring control center. The dispatch team will contact you to inform you about the situation and help you handle it appropriately.

The Benefits of a Glass Break Detector

You could use this type of alarm sensor to catch someone trying to break into your home. One detector has an acceptable range for multiple glass panes in the same room, so you don’t have to install one for each window you have. Even though you might not need a glass break detector in every room, you may want to put it in areas throughout your living space with large windows and sliding glass doors that are most vulnerable to break-ins.

How to Install and Maintain Glass Break Detectors

Even though you can install these burglar alarm system sensors yourself, a professional from a reputable alarm company can place them in the right location to ensure the optimal protection of your property. These detectors need to be close enough to the window or door to pick up the sound of glass breaking.

After an expert alarm technician has set up your glass break detectors throughout the house, the only way you’ll need to maintain them is by changing the batteries every few years. The device will alert you when the batteries are low, so you don’t have to remember when you last changed them. If you have any problems with the detectors, you may want to reach out to the alarm company that installed them to inspect and repair them.

2. Environmental Sensors

You may have extreme temperature changes, floods and leaks in your home more often than unwanted intruders. Environmental sensors monitor unusual indoor conditions that may damage your property. If they detect a sudden change in temperature or water level, for instance, the device will sound an alarm and alert our dispatch team, who will then reach out to you.

A professional will often install environmental sensors in the following areas that are prone to leaks and floods:

  • Basement
  • Kitchen
  • Laundry room
  • Bathrooms

Consider the following types of environmental sensors you could have installed in your home.

High/Low-Temperature Alarms

security temperature sensor can monitor your living space for unexpected temperature changes. If the indoor air suddenly becomes hot or cold, there could be a problem with your HVAC system. Once the dispatch team receives the alert, we’ll notify you immediately so that you can repair your heating and cooling and prevent costly damage to your property.

The pipes could freeze and burst when the temperature drops, causing flooding and damage to your appliances and plumbing fixtures. In extreme heat or excess humidity, mold could grow and spread throughout your home. A high/low-temperature alarm can help you keep track of your home’s indoor environment and keep the space comfortable for your family and property.

You may want to have the technician install a high/low-temperature alarm in the following areas:

  • In your refrigerator to monitor its temperature without opening it
  • Near plumbing fixtures or appliances to help prevent pipes from bursting
  • In basements to reduce mold and mildew buildup

Flood Sensors

A flood sensor will alert you if it detects a water leak in certain areas of your home. Water damage is the second-highest reason for home insurance claims. Having a way to monitor floods in your home could prevent or reduce your need to make these claims. If you work with Wayne Alarm, the system will inform our monitoring center as soon as it detects a water leak.

Whether you have a flood in your house from inclement weather or a burst pipe, excess moisture can damage your appliances and cause mold or mildew to grow on your property. If you’re able to know about and get rid of the water, you can protect your valuables and save money by avoiding costly repairs.

You may want to have the alarm technician install your flood detector in any of the following places:

  • Near water lines and plumbing fixtures
  • In a basement or crawl space
  • Near the water heater
  • Near the washing machine

3. Motion Detectors

Motion detectors can protect your house from unwanted visitors, especially when you’re away. Consider how these devices work with the rest of your security system sensors to keep your family and valuables safe from harm or theft.

How a Motion Detector Works

These devices use infrared (IR) or microwave radar technology to detect movement throughout your house. Some models can even detect the change in an area’s temperature to confirm whether an intruder has entered your living space. You can also change the distance and sensitivity so that it doesn’t send out false alarms.

If the sensor detects unusual movement, the alarm will alert your residential security system of the activity. The monitoring center gets the notification and can alert the local authorities if you’re not home.

The Benefits of a Motion Detector

The motion detector enhances your residential security system because it helps you see when someone is in your home when they shouldn’t be. This detector can help keep your home safe from intruders while you’re away, and they can help you keep an eye on areas where no one should be wandering around.

Besides making sure an intruder doesn’t enter your home, you can also keep track of your teenage children who may have been out past curfew or small children going into unsafe parts of the house. Some companies even offer pet-immune motion sensors so that your pets won’t set off a false alarm.

Where to Install a Motion Detector

Your motion detector will only be effective if the technician installs it correctly and puts it in the right spot. The device’s ideal location depends on its specifications from the manufacturer. Typically, the technician should look for a place where the detector can sense motion without causing any false alarms, such as in the corner of a room or hallway.

The device should be away from windows and sliding glass doors because the outdoor movement could trip sensitive detectors and make you think someone is inside the house. You should also avoid putting them near ducts and vents because temperature changes could interfere with the infrared motion sensor.

4. Door and Window Contacts

Most break-ins occur through your door or window, so it’s critical to monitor these openings of your home to keep your family and valuables safe. When combined with the other types of sensors in your residential alarm system, door and window contacts alert the monitoring center if someone opens a door or window throughout your house.

How Door and Window Security Sensors Work

These detectors usually feature a sensor and a magnet. The magnet goes inside the door or window, and the sensor attaches to the frame. If the door or window opens, the magnet separates from the sensor. When the reed switch inside the sensor detects the separation, it activates the alarm and alerts the monitoring center of unusual activity. You can program the system to call the local authorities immediately after someone opens the door.

The Benefits of Door and Window Contacts

When you use these devices alongside glass break detectors, door and window contacts can help prevent intruders from coming into your home. These sensors can watch over your property when you’re on vacation or asleep, giving you peace of mind while you’re trying to relax. You can also program the sensors to send an immediate distress signal to the central station and local authorities as soon as someone opens your doors or windows.

Where to Install Door and Window Contacts

A professional can install these sensors on your doors and windows, especially those on the lower level that are easy for intruders to access. Most of the time, your security system package comes with a set number of sensors that you can have installed on your property. You may want to consult the alarm company to find out what types of window alarm sensors they offer to ensure you’ll have enough for all the windows and doors you want to protect.

How to Maintain Door and Window Contacts

The alarm panel will typically show an error message if you have any malfunctioning door and window contacts, but you may want to give them a quick inspection once a week. The adhesive on the sensors could lose its strength, especially if you live in a humid environment. When the bond on the sensor weakens, it may cause your system to send false alarms. Besides checking the sensors, you may also want to check your alarm panel for error messages to ensure the whole system works correctly.

5. Heat and Smoke Detectors

Heat and smoke detectors are home security sensors that can monitor your home to protect you and your family against a fire outbreak. Smoke, heat and carbon monoxide detectors can sense smoke, changes in heat and carbon monoxide levels that aren’t safe, even when you’re not home. Consider what our fire alarm monitoring system can detect to keep your property safe.


Heat detectors are similar to high/low-temperature sensors because they respond to a rise in heat in a specific part of the home. If the heat suddenly goes up in a concentrated area, a fire has most likely broken out. The detector will sound an alarm to alert those nearby to vacate the premises, and it sends an alert to the dispatch office. You can install heat detectors in areas where smoke detectors would most likely set off false alarms, such as utility closets, kitchens or laundry rooms.


Fires can quickly spread and destroy your home before you even realize a spark has formed. When you have a professional technician place smoke detectors strategically throughout your home strategically, you can protect yourself and your family from potential danger. With our fire alarm monitoring services that connect to your heat and smoke detectors, we can even alert you and your local fire department when you’re not home, so you can make the necessary arrangements as soon as possible.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can slowly infiltrate your home and reduce your home’s indoor air quality (IAQ). Certain gas appliances, such as your furnace or stove, can leak this harmful substance into your home without you even knowing it. When this gas comes into contact with an open flame, it can also be flammable. Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause symptoms such as loss of consciousness, confusion, nausea and headaches.

Wayne Alarm System’s carbon monoxide monitoring can alert you if there’s a gas leak in your kitchen or basement and tell you when it’s unsafe to be in your home. We can also alert the local authorities for you and have someone inspect the area. If you have a carbon monoxide leak on your property, you shouldn’t go inside until a professional tells you it’s safe.

Contact Wayne Alarm Systems to Protect Your Home Today

When you invest in a residential security system from Wayne Alarm Systems, you’ll also have access to our alarm monitoring services. This program allows us to monitor your alarm sensors so that we’ll know about an emergency on your property as soon as possible. We’ll be the second pair of eyes watching over your house, so you can have peace of mind when you’re asleep or on vacation.

After one of our reliable, trustworthy technicians installs your alarm sensors, you can sign up for our monitoring services. Once we receive an alarm signal from one of your security sensors, we’ll contact you and make sure you and your family are safe. We’ll also inform the police or fire department of the incident so they can promptly arrive onsite.

If you live in one of our service areas and would like to know more about the types of security sensors we offer, you can fill out an online form or call 781-595-0000 to request a quote.

Massachusetts Department of Professional Licensure
License No. C-1111

Massachusetts Department of Public Safety
S-License No. SS CO 0160

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