Your Security Is In Your Redundancy

For the majority of burglar alarms that we design and install, there are three basic levels of detection:

  1. Perimeter detection
  2. Motion detection
  3. Acoustic detection

Perimeter detection is achieved by installing a magnetic contact on EVERY door and window in your home, on each floor. This provides the first level of detection so that if a burglar pries open a window or door, the alarm will trip.

The next level is motion detection. At Provident, we feel very strongly that a motion detector only serves as a ‘back-up’ detector and should never be used as a primary means of detecting a burglary. Unfortunately, the majority of systems we are asked to look at by prospective clients place far too much reliance on the motion detectors. The reality of most burglaries is that all of the real effort is spent trying to get in, by the time a crook is inside, he is already running pretty quickly. The goal is early detection.

The third level is acoustic detection, which is most often achieved through the installation of glassbreak detectors in every room that has accessible windows or glass doors. This is the most common deficiency we come across in most systems.

Modern glassbreak detectors are acoustic sensors that are installed on your ceiling and will trip upon hearing the sound of breaking glass anywhere within 25 feet (25 feet with regular glass… laminated glass has a much shorter range). This means that most rooms only need a single glassbreak detector irrespective of how many windows there are.

Glassbreak detectors are the only kind of detection device that we can install inside that will detect someone while they are still standing outside. Coupled with some physical security precautions such as window blocks, glassbreak detectors are the most effective device that we can install to maximize the value of our 5 minute response service. With the new Vancouver Police alarm dispatch policy that allows us to call 911 when we receive glassbreak alarms, they are even more valuable.

The vast majority of alarms that we are asked to take over are offering only a minimal amount of detection and could be easily defeated by an experienced burglar. To minimize the risk, as well as maximize the value of our response service, we always recommend upgrading the alarm to include all three levels of detection in EVERY accessible room. This means a contact on very opening as well as a motion detector and glassbreak detector in each accessible room.

Your security is in your redundancy… multiple layers of detection with at least two ways for the system to communicate (ie. a telephone line connection as well as cellular back-up) are essential in order to maximize the value of your alarm.

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