Should You Install Glass Break Detectors on Your Windows?

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A sound look at window security

When you're serious about security, it's natural to want to protect yourself and your property in every way you can. At the same time, every location is different and will require its own individualized solution. It's important to appraise your premises to find out what's right for you. Are glass break detectors one of those necessary steps?

How glass break detectors work

Glass break detectors (GBD) come in different types. The first are audio-discrimination devices, typically placed beside doors and windows, that work by registering the sound frequency of shattering glass. The built-in microphones function to varying degrees of accuracy depending on the bandwidth of the mic. Narrower bands are typically less accurate than broader ones in successfully recognizing a break. As long as there's nothing getting in the way of your glass and the detector, then a GBD is usually enough to guard an average-sized room. Because it operates purely based on sound, it’s referred to as a Single Technology sensor.

Another type of GBD is fitted directly onto the window. It senses certain vibrations in the glass and frame before activating an alarm. If a GBD has both audio and vibration sensing components, it is classified as Dual Technology. Both types can be wired or wireless, with wireless having an obvious advantage in versatile installation.

Operational benefits of GBDs

If your property utilizes motion-sensors, you are likely in the habit of turning them off when there are people on site. This avoids false alarms as legitimate occupants move around but it won't cover you if someone gets inside who isn't supposed to be there. If GBDs are combined with motion-sensors, you create a back-up that can identify an intruder making a forced entry while there are people on the premises.

Operational drawbacks of GBDs

Sensitivity can be a hindrance in GBDs. They're fine-tuned for sound and vibration so some of them can be prone to false alarms. Common household or exterior effects such as traffic and slamming doors can trigger an overly-sensitive (or poorly-installed) GBD. Quality equipment and professional installation can limit these drawbacks.

Complementing GBDs

It’s also smart to back up GBDs with some common-sense measures. Keeping breakable glass illuminated from the exterior, avoiding leaving valuable items visible behind the glass, looking into tougher types of glass during installation, and always locking doors and windows contribute towards strengthening your window security.

Consider implementing access control devices like cards and readers to secure doors. Quality internal locks as part of a comprehensive access control strategy can stop an intruder's progress, even if they manage to break the glass successfully.

Surveillance cameras are of course an essential security measure. For real peace of mind, off-site managed security services provide an efficient way to keep eyes on your property. A professional external security team can remotely monitor the premises and evaluate if a triggered GBD is a legitimate security breach or a false alarm.

So, do I need GBDs?

Just as having your site appraised for a tailored security solution is a key step, combining measures that monitor interior and perimeter security is too. GBDs can be a great complement to other security devices if they are fitted and maintained correctly. Whatever set up you're considering, make sure you only deal with professionals who look at your needs and address them specifically. For an informative four-page brochure on core security, just click here.

Since 2002, Peace of Mind Technologies has delivered over 2,000 security solutions across six industries in the greater New York Metropolitan area. We're specialists who work with you to provide comprehensive, site-specific security from implementation to post-installation support. To discuss your needs, you can call us at (212) 688-2767, email [email protected] or complete our contact form for a free consultation.