A residential break-in occurs in the United States every 14 seconds. The majority of these intruders enter through open and unprotected windows. Of course many of these residences do not have an alarm system and some have alarm systems which weren't activated at the time of the intrusion. Why...
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A residential break-in occurs in the United States every 14 seconds. The majority of these intruders enter through open and unprotected windows. Of course many of these residences do not have an alarm system and some have alarm systems which weren't activated at the time of the intrusion.
Why? Many homeowners wish to keep their windows open, and with the typical alarm system design, you have to disarm the system to open a protected window.
In alarm vernacular, “protected” usually means magnetic contacts are installed so that if the window is open, the alarm system knows. And if the window is opened while the system is armed, it will cause an alarm.
Higher-end systems will offer glass break detection, that is an electronic sensor which is designed to listen for the frequencies produced when glass is broken.
Some readers will recall that at one time, glass protection was done with window foil. Window foil is narrow metal tape (lead?) glued to the window in a pattern near the edges. The foil is delicate and is attached with polyurethane, which adds to the rigidity of the foil and makes it even more likely to rupture if the glass breaks. Foil can be damaged by objects brushing against it, or the combined effects of condensation and temperature changes.
Foil installation is more or less a lost art. Try to buy foil sometime; it's difficult to even find a vendor for it. Foil installation is also labor intensive, meaning it requires a relatively high degree of skill and it takes a bit of time to do.
During the evolution of the security industry, the use of foil was popular at about the same time as the use of a house loop. A house loop meant that all the openings in a premises (except maybe entry doors) would be wired in series with each other. So you could have several windows, all of which looked like two wires at the alarm panel. The result was if one of the circuits was opened anywhere in the premises, the whole loop was open and the alarm could not be used.
Even though the problem with this technique was just as much the fact that all the openings were on one loop, as it was the inherent shortcomings of window foil, the foil took most of the blame.
Early alarm panels were essentially a relay whose coil was wired in series with the house loop and a battery. A single zone alarm system was quite common.
More sophisticated alarm technologies such as interior motion detection, multiple zone alarm systems, and later, effective glass break detection fostered advances in system designs essentially overnight.
So even though systems were becoming “zoned,” that is each opening was individually wired or wirelessly connected to the panel, and therefore problems could be more easily isolated and repaired; window foil's era had ended.
Foil had a bad reputation for being high maintenance; its first name was synonymous with blood poisoning, and in addition, it took a skilled individual a long time to install it.
Window foil is still available, but it is now “lead-free” and is made from aluminum, therefore it cannot be soldered like the original foil.
The typical alarm system today offers each opening on its own zone; each window and door has a contact which senses if it is open or closed, and interior motion detectors. When the client is away from home, all sensors are activated. The theory is if a window or door is opened, the alarm will go off. If the burglar manages to circumvent the door or window contact, he will eventually be picked up by an interior motion detector. If the client can afford it, glass break sensors are added to listen for forced entry.
Many clients do not like feeling trapped in their own homes by their security systems. They do not want to keep their windows closed, because they want fresh air and gentle breezes. But they still wish to have the protection of their electronic security system, while being able to move around freely inside.
Beefed-up locks and strike plates greatly increase a door's kick-in resistance, according to Consumer Reports Entry Door Buying Guide.
The Alarm Lock AL#715 is a time-proven solution for situations where a positive latching delayed system is required.