How Does a Glass-Breaking Sensor Work?

What is a glass-breaking sensor?

A glass-breaking sensor is a type of sensor that is mounted in a business or residence. The sensor is very sensitive to certain sound frequencies, particularly glass breaking and wood splintering. There are two main types of glass-breaking sensors: shock sensors and acoustic sensors. Shock sensors detect the vibrations generated by breaking glass, while acoustic sensors are triggered by sound waves.

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Installing the sensor

Glass-breaking sensors come in both wireless and hard-wired forms. Shock sensors are usually mounted directly on a specific window. Acoustic sensors are generally installed in the corner of a room or in the ceiling, and have a reach of 30 to 40 feet in all directions. Acoustic sensors cannot detect triggers through walls or around corners, and are best used in rooms with many windows.

How the sensors work

When glass breaks, the information reaches the sensors in different ways. In the case of the shock sensor, it receives the alert in the form of the vibration of the window itself. When the device detects the shock generated by the shattering glass, it is activated. Acoustic sensors are designed specifically to detect breaking glass and splintering wood's sound frequency. They are activated as soon as the sensors within the alarm detect the shattering glass. They protect a wider area than shock sensors, but also can be triggered by noises that they mistake for breaking glass. Both types of glass-breaking sensors are designed to detect a break-in before an intruder has time to get inside the structure.

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