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[Guest Blog] ‘Bond, James Bond:’ Super-spy Quality Security Systems

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Home security systems have come a long way since the backyard dog and neighborhood watch.  One option is straight out of super-spy movies: floor sensor systems.  Floor sensor systems are growing in popularity, because they are effective and invisible, creating a strong level of extra security. We’ll talk about how they are installed and explain exactly how they work. We’ll also examine the various types and discuss the best ways to use them.



How Are Floor Sensor Systems Installed?

If you choose to install a floor sensor security system, there are several factors to consider such as: whether the home is new construction or an existing structure; if it is a one or more story building; and how sensitive you want the sensors to be. If the building is new construction, the sensors can be easily installed before laying the subflooring, tile or carpet. Stress sensors are mounted on the first floor with an epoxy to the joists and under the beams below the subflooring. Second-floor stress sensors are mounted on the side of the beams for the second floor.


 If the sensors are being installed in an existing home, the sensors are typically installed in the areas that get the most traffic, such as the top of a stairway and entrance doors. The installer will place the sensors in inconspicuous areas, close to the point of entry, such as in a closet or an air duct. If the existing home has a second floor, the installer will cut into the first-floor ceiling near the joist and mount the sensor on the side of a beam. If you prefer to not cut through the existing ceiling, floor sensors can also be placed under carpets or rugs.



How Do Floor Sensors Work?

Floor sensors are invisible, but when someone steps on the floor, their steps will slightly shift the beam and trigger the sensor processor, which in turn alerts an alarm control. If you have animals, the sensor security system can be adjusted to prevent false alarms and will not pick up animals that weigh up to 80 pounds; however, it will still detect a child or small adult. Sensors are mounted in the floor, so you can leave windows or doors open without the risk of setting off an alarm, because the alarm will not be activated until the floor beams are stepped on.



Are There Different Types of Sensors?

There are basically two types of floor sensors: those that are installed in the floor beams, and floor mats. A floor mat is a thin mat designed to go under a rug or carpet. Floor mats are typically placed under windows or near the entry doors. The floor mat has pressure switches that detect pressure of someone walking on the mat. 



The interior sensors mounted to the floor beams cannot detect when an intruder is opening a window or door, as there must be movement inside the house. There are several different types of interior floor sensors to choose from, all of which are connected to the main control box of an alarm. The control box is what responds to any signals that are sent by the sensors.



Ultrasonic Sensor

These sensors work by sending out ultrasonic sound waves. When there is movement detected by the sensor, the returning wave patterns of the sensor change, and that activates the alarm. This type of sensor should not be used near vents or windows, because sound waves travel by air, so there is a chance of false alarms due to a breeze, draft or sudden temperature change.



Microwave Sensor

These use microwave radio waves to detect a change in the sensors. This type of sensor produces signals that can bounce between several surfaces, so it is extremely sensitive and can cause false alarms when movement occurs around the corner from the sensor. These should be installed in areas where there is very little movement.



Photo-Electric Sensor

These are made with two parts, a focused source of light, such as a laser beam, and a light sensor. The two parts are positioned across from each other. When someone crosses the light beam, the beam is blocked from the sensor, which triggers the alarm. These sensors work best in areas such as a hallway where there is a fair amount of space between the laser beam and the sensor.



Passive Infrared Sensor

This is similar to a motion sensor, except it uses energy beams to detect movement. The sensors are designed to identify the body heat of people and will not usually create false alarms due to pets moving in the area. These are the best types of sensors for homes with pets.



Although you can install a floor sensor security system on your own, it is highly recommended that you contact a professional for the installation. For best results, the sensors must be placed in optimum locations and a professional will be more experienced with knowing how many sensors are needed for the size of your home.

Lynn Darsow is a home security consultant. She enjoys blogging about her insights on various homeowner blogs. Visit www.SelectHomeSecurity.com to learn more.
As always, if there are any questions (or ideas), please let me know! Katlin@nullMercerCarpetOne.com Facebook.com/MercerCarpetOne Twitter.com/MercerFloors

Comments (4)

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    Choose Options

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    excellent points and the details are more precise than elsewhere, thanks.

  • Avatar

    Katlin Farrell, Mercer Carpet One

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    Thanks for commenting Choose Options! I’m glad that you found this post so informative. I’ll be sure to continue to look for guest posts of similar quality.

  • Avatar

    Air Duct Cleaning NDG

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    Good job with the whole post!
    Very well written and presented.

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