Honeywell FlexGuard® Glassbreak Detector
Honeywell FlexGuard® Glassbreak Detector

Glass break detectors are also known as glass break sensors or Audio Discriminators. They are perimeter security devices, because they catch a burglar attempting to make entry into your home or business as opposed to walking around the interior and being picked up by a motion detector. They are available in both hardwired and wireless versions. The detector mounts in a wall or ceiling and listens to an area approximately 35 feet in all directions. Glass break detectors do not hear through walls or around corners or into a room because the door is open. The more windows you have in a device’s area of protection, the better the value. Some examples of good coverage are as follows:

  • You have an open concept kitchen, breakfast nook and family room you can cover all the windows with one device because they are within the 30-foot area.
  • You have a living room with many windows you can cover them all because they are in the same area. Often the dining room is within the open concept coverage area and can be protected with the same device.
  • You have an unfinished walkout basement with windows, this is a very vulnerable area. You can cover all the windows with a single device in most cases.

How Glass Break Detectors Work

The glass break detector listens for the frequency of breaking glass and splintering wood. In the not so distant past the only glass breaks available were “Single Technology” devices. These listened for the frequency of breaking glass and splintering wood only. The problem was that sounds such as lightning cracking, some people’s sneezes, clanking two glasses together in the sink, or a pet bird squawking would replicate this frequency and cause false alarms that only the most cunning detectives would figure out.

Although the single technology devices are still being used today because they cost alarm companies less to purchase, a well-informed consumer would insist on the newer “Duel Technology” device. The new devices must hear a “Thump” and then a frequency hit, in that precise order and within milliseconds of each other, in order to go into an alarm condition. Let us see if you understand what I am telling you about this better technology device.

Are Duel Technology Glass Break Detectors Susceptible To False Alarms?

Q: If you sneeze at the same time your bird lets out a squawk and this causes you to bang your head on the wall, will this make your alarm go off if it is armed?

A: (NO) because it did not happen in the correct order. You would have to bang your head on the wall first.

This small advancement in the use of artificial intelligence has created a very dependable device that you can count on to defend your perimeter. One of the downfalls of the audio discriminator is that they can be costly, and you need one in each room that is vulnerable. These would be accessible windows on the main or lower level or upstairs windows with roof or deck access. I recommend placing these devices in the areas of most concern and backing them up with a main floor motion detector. This way you do not spend your children’s inheritance turning your home into Fort Knox.

(Wise Words) The best security systems are the ones where you do not put all your eggs in one basket!