What is and How Does a Door Sensor Work?

What is and How Does a Door Sensor Work?

What is and How Does a Door Sensor Work?

May 29, 2020

Door sensors are an essential component of your home security system: they let you know when someone is entering your home. These devices are made up of two parts, which form a circuit when they’re kept parallel to each other. When someone opens the door, the two parts separate and break the circuit, which triggers the control panel to sound an alarm.

Because door sensors are simple to install, it’s easy to take these helpful gadgets for granted. But the more you know how your home security system works, the better you can use and maintain them.

The Inner Workings of a Door Sensor

While there are several different types and styles of door alarm sensors, most use a reed switch and a magnet to determine when a door is open or closed.

The switch is closed when the two parts are sitting close to one another, and an electric current can flow. When the switch opens, the two parts separate, causing the electrical current to stop and the circuit to deactivate.

When you add a door sensor into your home security system, the device will come with both pieces: a reed switch and a magnet. One-piece attaches to the door frame, and the other attaches parallel to the first piece on the door itself.

The two parts create a closed circuit when the door is shut. As the door opens, the magnet and switch separate, breaking the circuit. When the circuit breaks, the sensor signals the central control panel.

Installing Door Sensors

Door sensors are easy to install. Using a strong adhesive, attach one piece of the sensor onto the door and the other to the frame. But we recommend using screws to install the door sensors due to security reasons.

The two pieces must sit directly next to each other with only a small amount of space between them. If they’re too far away or aren’t parallel to one another, the pieces can’t interact and the reed switch and magnet won’t create a circuit.

Door Sensor Use and Maintenance

Depending on the security system, you may be able to customize the type of alert you receive when a door opens.

You may choose an audible alarm to sound when a door opens. Or, you may prefer the alarm to trigger silently while alerting your security company and notifying you of a possible breach.

No door sensor lasts forever. The sensor may become damaged, the switch may wear out, and wireless sensors eventually run out of batteries.

If a door sensor is setting off false alarms or malfunctioning, make sure to call your home security company to replace it immediately.

Now that you know the inner workings of door alarm sensors, it’s time to shop around and find one that meets your home security needs.

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