Home alarm systems come with a variety of hardware. Two of the mainstays of home alarm packages are motion detectors and entry contacts. Both provide a valuable service and together add increased security to a home security system, but independently which provides more value?
To answer this question we need to understand what each piece of equipment does. A motion detector (also called a motion sensor) is placed inside the home and when activated detects movement within a targeted area. They cannot be bypassed.
Entry contacts are placed on various doors or windows in the home. One part of the contact is on the frame, and the other is placed on the door or window. They provide two functions. The first, and most glamorous, is when the contact is separated it can be programmed to instantly trigger the alarm system (this is when the system is armed). The other and more practical function are when the alarm is armed if a contact is separated, it provides a delay before the alarm is activated. This delay allows the homeowner to go to their keypad and disarm the system.
The difference between the effectiveness of the contacts and the motion detector is that the contacts can be bypassed. For example, if the contact is placed on a window, a burglar can simply cut the glass. This then provides an entrance into the home without the contact being separated, thus not activating the system.
To protect your home and your family the best, get an alarm system that uses motion detectors AND entry contacts.
Don't be fooled though into a system that will give you 15 contacts and no motion detector. In that case quantity is not quality. Certain companies will offer an abundance of door/window contacts in lieu of motion detectors because the cost of contacts is far less to them then a detector is. They can them woo the customer with lots of equipment, while not truly providing ultimate protection.
So, remember to think protection when buying a home alarm system. Make sure to get an alarm that has both motion detectors and entry contacts. Make sure you own the system as opposed to a lease or rental. And remember, never sign a contract with an alarm company, so this way if you're unhappy with the service you're receiving you can go elsewhere.