Should Your Business Install Motion Detectors? If So, What Kind?

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Effective motion sensors can help make your building significantly more secure

Motion sensors are one of the most essential parts of a truly integrated security system. Designed to detect intruders and transmit a signal, quality motion sensors can also detect suspicious movements, windows or doors being opened or closed. Additionally, properly placed sensors can identify when someone approaches the entrance of a property or determine when intruders attempt to access a restricted area of your business, such as an executive office, safe, vault, server room, or other sensitive space. 

The major kinds of sensors include passive infrared sensors, microwave sensors, and dual technology motion sensors

  • Passive Infrared Sensors are designed to detect body heat in order to identify intruders. After the sensors ‘warm up,’ they create a protective grid around an area that can help the system identify threats. When a moving person or other warm object disturb the grid, changing the system’s energy level, it trips the detector’s sensors.
  • Microwave Sensors are designed to transmit microwave pulses and calculate the reflection off of objects in motion. While microwave sensors can easily secure a larger zone than their infrared counterparts, they may be vulnerable to electrical interference.
  • Dual Technology Motion Sensors combine both passive infrared and microwave sensors in order to reduce the potential for false alarms. To do this, dual technology motion systems require that both sensors be triggered before the sensor alarm is activated.
  • Area Reflective Type Sensors use LEDs to emit infrared rays in order to secure an area. Their sensors calculate the distance of people or objects from the detector to determine if people or objects have entered a restricted area.
  • Ultrasonic Sensors are designed to transmit ultrasonic pulses and calculate the distance of objects in motion by measuring the reflections of these pulses.
  • Vibration Sensors have been designed to detect vibration via the use of a small object on a lever that activates a switch when vibration occurs nearby. While these sensors are decidedly low-tech (and crude versions can even be made at home) and are unlikely to be disturbed by electrical interference, they also can be unreliable.

Motion sensors can be effectively employed for a range of security and logistical functions

While motion sensors are most commonly employed on the perimeter of buildings and properties, they can also be used for a variety of other security functions:

  • Access control systems: Motion sensors are well-equipped to function as part of access control systems, such as turnstiles. Additionally, motion sensors can also automatically turn on lights or secure doors when someone enters an area.
  • Automatic doors: Motion sensors of course routinely open and close automatic doors in businesses, schools, or retail stores during work or business hours. They can also activate a doorbell or alarm when someone comes close to a door or enters a specific area.
  • Pairing with video surveillance: Cameras are sometimes paired with motion detectors to trigger the camera to begin recording. With the advent of solid-state hard drives, this is less of a necessity, but motion sensors still alert cameras to flag important footage for later review, or immediately alert surveillance personal to direct their attention to a feed.
  • In conjunction with intrusion detectors: Of course, motion detectors are commonly integrated with and set off alarms when movement is detected.

Motion sensors add the capability to detect threats that visual means cannot, as well as focus the attention of security personnel on specific areas of video surveillance. Their inclusion within an integrated security plan can add another, valuable layer of safety.

To learn more about a variety of security technologies that can make your business, school, or organization more secure, contact POM Technologies today at 212.688.2767 or through our convenient online form for a free consultation.