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We're checking out the best environmental sensors for our top security system picks for the 2020 holiday shopping season, which are the Honeywell Lyric, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, and the 2GIG GC3e. Environmental sensors include life-safety sensors, flood sensors, and temperature sensors.


If you haven't seen our alarm panel 2020 holiday buying guide or our security sensor 2020 holiday buying guide, then be sure to go and check those out, as they will give a nice introduction to this buying guide for environmental sensors. You will need to make the same compatibility considerations for environmental sensors as you do for security sensors. The sensors you choose must be compatible with your system and communicate at a wireless frequency that is accepted by the alarm panel you are using.

As a refresher, here are the compatible sensor lineups for our recommended systems. Just like last time, the sensor lineups that are italicized and underlined represent the encrypted sensors that provide extra wireless security and protection.

While security sensors look for signs of forced entry and unauthorized access, environmental sensors look for undesirable environmental conditions. Specifically, we offer environmental sensors that look for life-threatening conditions, such as a fire or the presence of carbon monoxide (CO) gas. We also offer environmental sensors for detecting floods, water leaks, and unusually high or low temperatures that indicate a broken HVAC system. We will cover each type of environmental sensor in greater detail later in this holiday buying guide.

Adding environmental sensors to your system offers a few advantages. For one, it makes your alarm system more versatile so that it is looking for more than just security breaches. You will also be able to check off more boxes on your certificate of alarm (CoA), and that could lead to bigger savings on your home owner's insurance. Make sure to check with your insurance company to see if that is the case.

Life-Safety Sensors

Life-safety sensors monitor for unsafe environmental conditions that could result in a loss of life. Specifically, this group is primarily comprised of smoke and heat detectors and carbon monoxide sensors. There are also special combination sensors and listening modules that we will discuss further down the line.

First, we will take a look at some of our most popular smoke and heat detectors. These sensors monitor for both the smoke and extremely high temperatures associated with a fire. It is recommended that you have at least one (1) of these sensors on each floor of your building, particularly inside of sleeping areas and in central and connecting areas such as living rooms and hallways.

When checking out these sensors, you might also look for one-go-all-go functionality. This means that when one detector on the network activates, all of the other compatible sensors on the network will also activate their sounders. This can be very important for ensuring that everyone is alerted to the emergency. Certain jurisdictions may require one-go-all-go as part of building codes, so check with your local fire marshal to see if that is the case.

Here are our top picks for smoke and heat detectors.

Sensor Name
Product Lineup
Compatibility
Range
Encryption
Notes
Honeywell SiXSMOKE

Honeywell SiX Series Lyric 300 Nominal Feet 128-bit AES Encrypted photoelectric smoke detector and 135°F fixed temperature and 15°F per minute rate-of-rise heat detector w/ 85 dB sounder. Supports One-Go-All-Go.
DSC PG9936

PowerG All IQ Panel 2 Plus 2,000 Feet Open Air 128-bit AES Encrypted photoelectric smoke detector and 135°F fixed temperature heat detector w/ 85 dB sounder. Supports One-Go-All-Go.
2GIG SMKT8e-345

2GIG eSeries 2GIG GC3e 350 Nominal Feet 2GIG eSeries encryption Encrypted photoelectric smoke detector and 15°F per minute rate-of-rise heat detector when fixed temperature is 104°F or higher w/ 90 dB sounder and freeze detection at 40°F.
Honeywell 5808W3

Honeywell 5800 Series Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None Non-encrypted photoelectric smoke detector and 135°F fixed temperature heat detector w/ 85 dB sounder and freeze detection at 41°F.

Now let's look at carbon monoxide sensors. These devices respond upon detecting unusually high levels of carbon monoxide (CO) gas. This gas is both odorless and tasteless, making it virtually impossible to detect without a proper sensor. The gas is extremely harmful to humans, and it can result in serious injury or death in a matter of minutes. We recommend installing at least one CO detector on each floor of your home or office. They are often installed outside of garages and furnace rooms where CO events are most likely to occur.

Here are our top picks for carbon monoxide sensors.

Sensor Name
Product Lineup
Compatibility
Range
Encryption Notes
DSC PG9933

PowerG All IQ Panel 2 Plus 2,000 Feet Open Air 128-bit AES PowerG CO Detector w/ 85 dB sounder.
2GIG CO8e

2GIG eSeries 2GIG GC3e 350 Nominal Feet 2GIG eSeries encryption 2GIG eSeries CO Detector w/ 85 dB sounder.
Honeywell 5800CO

Honeywell 5800 Series Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None Honeywell 5800 Series CO Detector w/ 85 dB sounder.
2GIG CO8

2GIG 345 MHz Series Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 350 Nominal Feet None 2GIG CO Detector w/ 85 dB sounder.
Qolsys IQ Carbon

Qolsys 319.5 MHz Series 319.5 MHz IQ Panel 2 Plus 300 Nominal Feet None Qolsys CO Detector w/ 85 dB sounder.

We also want to give some special recognition to some combination smoke and CO detectors from Honeywell. These sensors combine fire detection with carbon monoxide detection into one convenient life-safety device.

Here are our top picks for combination smoke and CO detectors.

Sensor Name
Product Lineup
Compatibility Range
Encryption Notes
Honeywell SiXCOMBO

Honeywell SiX Series Lyric 300 Nominal Feet 128-bit AES Encrypted photoelectric smoke detector and 135°F fixed temperature heat detector and CO detector w/ 85 dB sounder. Supports One-Go-All-Go.
Honeywell 5800COMBO

Honeywell 5800 Series Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None Encrypted photoelectric smoke detector and 135°F fixed temperature heat detector and CO detector w/ 85 dB sounder and freeze detection at 41°F.

Lastly, we want to mention a pair of listening modules. These devices actively listen for the Temporal 3 (T3) sound of an activated smoke detector or the Temporal 4 (T4) sound of an activated carbon monoxide sensor. These are commonly used with wired smoke detectors and CO detectors that would otherwise have no way of interfacing with an alarm system. If your smoke detectors or CO detectors are one-go-all-go, then, a single listening module can take over your entire wired detector network.

Here are our top picks for smoke & CO listening modules.

Sensor Name
Product Lineup
Compatibility
Range
Encryption
Notes
Encore FireFighter FF345

Encore 345 MHz Series Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None Offers both T3 Detection for Fire & T4 Detection for CO
Interlogix SLX-AD-T3
Legacy Interlogix 319.5 MHz 319.5 MHz IQ Panel 2 Plus 200 Nominal Feet None Only offers T3 Detection for Fire. Not for use with CO detectors.

Flood Sensors

Next, we'll be looking at flood sensors. These devices use probes to detect water caused by a flood or leak. It only takes a small amount of liquid to activate one of these sensors, so your system will be alerted before any serious damage occurs. Many of these sensors double as temperature sensors, so expect to see quite a bit of cross-over with that section as well. For best results, use your flood sensors in low-plane areas where leaks are likely to occur, such as underneath toilets, water heaters, and in basements. You might also see that some flood sensor have a reporting delay that is used for false alarm prevention. This will be listed in the notes section in the table when applicable.

Let's check out our top picks for flood sensors.

Sensor Name
Product Lineup
Compatibility
Range
Encryption
Notes
DSC PG9985

PowerG All IQ Panel 2 Plus 2,000 Feet Open Air 128-bit AES PowerG Flood Sensor w/ 6-Foot Detection Probe.
2GIG FT6e-345

2GIG eSeries 2GIG GC3e 350 Nominal Feet 2GIG eSeries Encryption 2GIG eSeries Flood Sensor w/ High Temperature Detection @ 95°F and Freeze Detection @ 41°F.
Qolsys IQ Flood-S

Qolsys S-Line Series 319.5 MHz IQ Panel 2 Plus 600 Nominal Feet Qolsys S-Line Encryption Qolsys S-Line Flood Sensor w/ 6-Foot Detection Probe. Has a 1 to 3 minute reporting delay.
Honeywell 5800FLOOD

Honeywell 5800 Series Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet None Honeywell 5800 Series Flood Sensor w/ High Temperature Detection @ 95°F and Freeze Detection @ 45°F. Has a 25 second reporting delay.
2GIG FT6-345

2GIG 345 MHz Series Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 350 Nominal Feet None 2GIG 345 MHz Flood Sensor w/ High Temperature Detection @ 95°F and Freeze Detection @ 41°F.

Temperature Sensors

The final type of environmental sensors we'll be checking out are temperature sensors. These sensors look for unusually high or low temperatures that indicate a broken HVAC system. When a temperature sensor is used for high-temperature detection, it should not be confused with a heat detector that looks for extreme temperatures only associated with fires. Instead, the high-end for a temperature sensor will usually activate at around 90°F. When a temperature sensor is used for low-temperature detection, it will sometimes be referred to as a freeze sensor. On the low-end, a freeze sensor will typically activate at a slightly higher than the temperature at which water freezes, which is 32°F. This is done to give the end user a bit of notice so that they can take action before the pipes freeze. You can typically expect a freeze sensor to activate between 40°F and 45°F. Most temperature sensors will offer both high and low temperature detection. And just like in the previous category, there is a lot of crossover with flood sensors, so you may see some repeats from the previous selection.

Here are our top picks for temperature sensors.

Sensor Name
Product Lineup
Compatibility
Range
Encryption
Notes
DSC PG9905

PowerG All IQ Panel 2 Plus 2,000 Feet Open Air 128-bit AES PowerG Temperature Sensor w/ customizable high and low temperature detection.
2GIG FT6e-345

2GIG eSeries
2GIG GC3e
350 Nominal Feet
2GIG eSeries Encryption
2GIG eSeries Flood Sensor w/ High Temperature Detection @ 95°F and Freeze Detection @ 41°F.
Qolsys IQ Temp-S

Qolsys S-Line Series 319.5 MHz IQ Panel 2 Plus 600 Nominal Feet Qolsys S-Line Encryption Qolsys S-Line Temperature Sensor w/ High Temperature Detection @ 100°F and Low Temperature Detection at 40°F.
Honeywell 5800FLOOD

Honeywell 5800 Series
Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+ 200 Nominal Feet
None
Honeywell 5800 Series Flood Sensor w/ High Temperature Detection @ 95°F and Freeze Detection @ 45°F. Has a reporting delay of 25 seconds.
2GIG FT6-345

2GIG 345 MHz Series
Lyric, GC3e, 345 MHz IQ2+
350 Nominal Feet
None 2GIG 345 MHz Flood Sensor w/ High Temperature Detection @ 95°F and Freeze Detection @ 41°F.

Contact Us

Remember to contact us if you have any questions about environmental sensors or their compatibility. The best way to reach us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. This is also a good email to use if you are interested in starting new monitoring service. Remember that we are available to check email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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As you may know, the fall season began earlier this week. This means that cooler temperatures are on the way. If you want to prepare your home or business, then you will certainly want to consider getting some low-temperature freeze sensors. Nearly every system has good options available!

Freeze sensors alert your system when the temperature in the building drops to a dangerously low level, usually due to the HVAC system being broken. Having one of these sensors in your home or business is crucial for monitoring the building while you are away. The consequences of having below-freezing temperatures in your home or business can be dire. The pipes can freeze, and major damage can occur. Installing a freeze sensor is small price to pay to prevent this from happening.

Most freeze sensors are designed to alert a system before freezing temperatures occur. Usually, a freeze sensor will activate at or around 40°F to alert the system. This a little bit higher than 32°F, which is when water begins to freeze. This function is intentional, as the user will hopefully be alerted to the situation with enough time to take action. Many users will set up notifications on an interactive service platform used with their alarm systems so that they are notified via text and/or email when a freeze sensor activates while they are off-site. This is possible in both Total Connect 2.0 and Alarm.com.

The main thing to consider when choosing a freeze sensor is whether or not it will work with your security system. If you know which sensor lineups are compatible with your system, then you likely already have a good idea which sensors will work. But we'll list out some of the more popular options to get you started. A very versatile 345 MHz freeze sensor that will work with the Honeywell Lyric, the Honeywell LYNX Touch Panels, and any 2GIG Panel is the Honeywell 5821. This sensor can also be used for flood detection if a probe is added.


If you have a PowerG-compatible system, such as any version of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, then you might consider the DSC PG9905 Temperature Sensor. Many users prefer PowerG Sensors like the the PG9905 due to their superior wireless range and 128-bit AES encryption. If you have an original, non-Plus IQ Panel 2, then the 319.5 MHz Qolsys IQ Temp-S is a good choice. The Qolsys IQ Temp-S will utilize rolling code encryption when paired with the IQ Panel 2. Users of the 2GIG GC3e and 2GIG GC2e also have a good encrypted freeze sensor option in the 2GIG FT6e-345. There's also the non-encrypted 2GIG FT6-345 for users of the older 2GIG GC3 and 2GIG GC2 Systems.

Alarm Grid wants to help you keep your home or business comfortable this winter, as well as for many more winters to come. If you need help choosing a freeze sensor, then please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We are also happy to discuss monitoring services that you might use to receive alerts regarding a freeze sensor that activates while you are away from your home or office, The best way to reach us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. We check our email during our usual business hours of 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Hi DIYers! It's hard to believe, but it's already May. Time sure flies doesn't it? Summer is quickly approaching and now is a great time to buy temperature sensors for your home. This way, you can be quickly notified if your home's AC system is ever not cooling the building properly.

Honeywell 5821 wireless temperature sensor and water sensor exte

Temperature sensors aren't just for letting you know about low-temperatures. They can also let you know about unusually high temperatures that would only occur if the AC went out. This is great for ensuring that the house you come home to is nice and comfortably. There's nothing worse than ending your day only to find that your AC went out and your home is uncomfortably hot! Our temperature sensors are also great for pairing with smart thermostats, which can often send you remote alerts when temperatures go outside certain thresholds.

Today, we're taking a look at three temperature sensors that you might consider adding to your system. We'll be focusing on the high-temperature sensing capabilities here, but we may brush over other features as well. Let's take a look!

Honeywell 5821

The Honeywell 5821 has two possible temperature settings. If programmed as Loop 2 with both DIP switches OFF, the sensor will alert the system when the temperature rises above 95°F for more than 10 minutes. You can also set it to SW1 DIP Switch ON and SW2 DIP Switch OFF on Loop 2 to have the sensor activate when the temperature rises above 75°F for more than 10 minutes.

The option to choose between a 95°F and a 75°F threshold is very useful, as some homes in different areas will certainly have different normal temperatures! The sensor also offers freeze detection and flood monitoring when paired with a water detection probe. An optional wired temperature probe is also available. The device operates at 345 MHz.

Qolsys IQ Temp

The Qolsys IQ Temp offers high-temperature detection at 100°F. The zone will then restore when the temperature falls below 95°F. Although this might be too high for many homes, there are some very hot areas that frequently exceed 110°F or even 120°F. This is a relatively simple device that can easily pair with nearly any 319.5 MHz alarm system. It also offers freeze detection at 40°F and restores once the temperature rises above 45°F. Like most temperature sensors, the high and low temperature zones will need to be configured separately.

2GIG FT6-345

The 2GIG FT6-345 Wireless Flood and Temperature Detector is a 345 MHz sensor designed with 2GIG Security Systems in mind. The sensor uses Loop 2 for high-temperature detection. It activates when a temperature of 95°F or higher is detected for three straight minutes. The sensor will restore when the temperature falls below 95°F for three straight minutes. The sensor can also be programmed with Loop 1 for freeze detection (41°F or lower for three straight minutes) or Loop 3 for water detection.

If you need help choosing a high-temperature detector for your home, please reach out to us! We can help you determine the best solution for your needs. The best way to reach us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. We will check your email at our earliest convenience and respond back as quickly as possible. We look forward to hearing from you!

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