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Your home is your castle, as the saying goes. Despite being our castle, our homes aren’t impregnable and can be broken into relatively easy, especially if the intruder breaks the glass to force entry. The advent of double glazing, which is made of two panes of smash-resistant glass, has certainly made any would be intruder’s job more difficult. But despite this, each year thousands of homes are broken into, where the burglar gained access through the windows.
Fortunately, home security devices have come a long way in the last several decades, meaning that now, sophisticated alarm systems need not only be for the wealthy. In the U.S, 60% of all new homes have an alarm system, which is a lot higher than the national average of just 12% of homes with some kind of security system.
A big contributing factor to the low national average is the perception that home alarm systems are an expensive and not fundamental necessity. Though the latter point does certainly have some degree of truth in it for people who don’t live in high-risk areas, when asked, a huge percentage of people confirmed they would buy a security system, if it were cheap enough.
The good news is that it is possible to set up your own security system for as little as $20 that will sound an alarm to let you know if your windows are being opened or broken into. Not only that, this system’s deafening alarm will almost certainly scare any would be burglar away as soon as it sounds, meaning that you don’t have to risk a nasty confrontation.
How to setup your own home security system
Any security expert will tell you there is a simple set of ABC’s to keeping your home off limits to burglars. To help you, we have put together a list of the various steps you can take to make sure your home is safe.
Prevention, prevention, prevention
The fact of the matter is that you would not even need an alarm system in your home, were it not a place that a thief knew they could get valuable items. This doesn’t mean that you have to throw out all your favorite possessions, but rather you should take steps to make sure no strangers know what valuable belongings you have in your home.
Simple things like not leaving your downstairs curtains open when you leave or if you live on a busy street is an important first step. Also, don’t invite strangers into your home or talk to them with the door wide open either. If you just bought a $30,000 TV, for example, don’t go around telling everyone about it as word spreads fast in some places.
Make sure your home is secure
Even the most expensive alarm system in the world won’t help you if your home is not secure. You should make sure that all your exterior doors and windows are made from good quality materials so that they are strong and can resist a break-in. Your locks too should be well made and not easy to force open. Simple pull close catch locks, for example, can be easily opened from the outside if the gap is big enough to get a card into. So make sure your locks require a key to lock and open as these are the most secure.
Get a security system
You don’t need to splash out thousands of dollars on a security system. Think about your home’s weak points and understand those are the places you will need an alarm. The main areas of security you should pay attention to are the doors and windows, unless you live in a tent or an igloo, then you definitely have bigger problems on your hands.
There are some really good and relatively cheap door alarm systems out there and the same goes for windows systems too. These window alarms can detect small vibrations that are enough to indicate that it is being opened. If this happens, an alarm will sound and cause the burglar to flee.
To help you find the best window alarm system in a market with thousands of different models, we put together a list of the very best your money can buy.Our Top Choice
Doberman Security SE-0106-4PK Ultra-Slim Window Alarm (4 Pack)
These alarms can be used on any window and only require you to use the stick-on tab to secure them safely on. Once you turn the alarm on, you will be fully protected and don’t need to do anything else. Whenever the internal sensor detects vibration it will sound an ear splitting 100 dB alarm that is loud enough to hear from down the street. The sensors are sophisticated enough that there is no danger of them sounding in rain, storms or in hail, so you don’t need to worry about them giving false alarms and scaring you and your family.
The alarm is quite small and is very thin, so it won’t take up the whole window pane. To make sure that any potential intruder knows the window is alarmed, they come with warning signs that can be placed on the windows. The only real drawback to these alarms is that they have a tendency to come off if there is a lot of condensation resulting from cold temperatures. This can be quite a pain but only really occurs in extreme levels of condensation.
Has a loud 100 dB alarm
Well designed with excellent sensor
No false alarms thanks to advanced sensor technology
Easy to install
Comes with 3 LR44 batteries so ready to go
Can slip off very moist windows
Honeywell 5853 Wireless Glass Break Detector
Designed to be used as part of an existing alarm system, it can be programmed to act as a sensor for your existing home alarm system. You should check the manufacturer’s guide to make sure it is compatible with your existing system, but it should work with most wireless operated alarm systems. Some users have noted that because of the extreme sensitivity level of the alarm’s sensors, you might need a tester to allow you to calibrate it properly in order to avoid it being triggered by normal background vibrations.
Once up and running, you will be able to sleep soundly at night, knowing you are fully protected.
Huge 25 ft. range so it can be used on most windows
Compatible with 5800 series alarm systems
Not a standalone alarm, requires an existing system
Doberman Security SE-0137 Home Security Window/Door Alarm Kit, 12 Pack
They are simple peel and stick on alarms that unfortunately, do occasionally fall off in cases of extreme condensation. A great tip is to place them on the bottom of the window, resting on the frame and reducing the pressure on the sticky label that holds them on.
At the slightest sign of entry, a loud 100 dB alarm will sound, certainly causing any sane-minded intruder to run away as fast as they can. This alarm has sensors that can be a little twitchier than the two systems above, so it might end up sounding false alarms a little more often. Sadly, they don’t have much in the way of sensor calibration, so if you are planning to buy these, do so for firm windows that don’t suffer much from vibration and you will be fine.
For general use, these are a really excellent option, particularity if you want a lot of alarms and are on a bit of budget. A great feature is that they have also been designed for use on doors, so you can use them to secure every entry point to your home.
The occasional false alarm might be annoying, but these are a great buy for homeowners on a budget.
Great value for money
Easy to install
Simple stick on installation
Deafening 100 dB alarm
Can be used on all windows
Sensitive sensor that can produce false alarms
Interlogix Glassbreak Shock Detector (5150W)
The alarm comes with extra-long wires that allow it to be connected in even the remotest place. The added bonus is that the system generates its own electricity when the glass breaks by causing the internal piezo to bend and create an electrical current. Because this system requires the transducer to bend before any alarm is triggered, it virtually eliminates any possibility of false alarms, which, no doubt, offers huge piece of mind.
These wired alarms also act as better deterrents to intruders because they are more visible and let them know that there they are part of a wider and more sophisticated home security solution.
100% effective so no false alarms
Can be used with all types of windows
No danger of alarm detaching
Highly visible to deter intruders
Glass must be broken in order for alarm to sound
GE Personal Security Window/Door Alarm (2 pack), 45115
This alarm has a whopping 120 dB alarm that is ideal for hard of hearing people and for windows that are at the other end of the house, where a quieter alarm might not be as effective. Another great feature with this alarm is that it has a battery test button to check if the battery is still working, giving added peace of mind.
This alarm is a 2 piece unit that is designed to detect if a window has been opened. Not able to detect broken glass or even window vibration, it might not be suitable for everyone’s needs, but if you only want to know if a window has been opened, then this is the alarm for you.
Designed to detect window being opened
Extremely loud 120 dB alarm
Fit most windows
Battery test button
Easy to install
Won’t detect breaking glass