A security system is installed for occupant health or safety or to protect the building from intruders/invasion. The main difference between the various security systems is the type of sensors used and the way in which the system is monitored.

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Here are a few examples:

Motion sensor:

This is the most common alarm that triggers light fixtures and alarms inside or outside the home. It can differentiate between a 30 lb. dog and a 165 lb. burglar.

Window/door opening detectors:

These are the most popular type of alarm. They warn occupants that someone has entered the home.

Pressure mats:

Installed inside of the entry doors to indicate someone has entered the home.

Glass break/noise sensors:

Indicates that a window has been broken by an intruder trying to access the home.

Video surveillance:

Records activities in certain areas in and around the home and monitors these areas on video monitors. Some systems can be controlled via the internet.

Carbon monoxide and/or smoke detectors:

Can be incorporated into most security systems to alert occupants if there is a problem with the indoor air quality.

Temperature sensors:

Senses low temperatures (which may cause pipes to freeze and water damage) and/or high temperatures (indicating a fire).

Water sensors:

Detect leaks from appliances, sump pits or basement wall/foundation leaks.

Vibration sensors:

Used in earthquake-prone areas to provide early warning of an earthquake’s sound waves before the earthquake causes damage.

Pool alarms and sensors:

Used to monitor a swimming pool and activates if someone falls in.

Infrared light:

This is a type of sensor that keeps track of the ambient room temperature. If a body enters the room, the room temperature changes and the sensor detects the change. Some sensors use passive infrared sensors as well as Doppler technology, which detects a moving mass.


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