Shock sensors are intrusion sensors that detect the vibrations of someone breaking down a door or smashing a window. Most users will just use door and window contacts for this purpose. Those sensors generally work better for detecting break-ins. But an advantage of shock sensors is that they are excellent for detecting forced entries. A standard door and window contact uses sensor with an internal reed switch and an associated magnet. Although it is very rare and difficult, an intruder may sometimes be able to smash the door or window without disturbing the contact.
With a shock sensor, this is extremely unlikely. It is virtually impossible to break down a door or window without activating a properly installed shock sensor. These devices are actually quite sensitive, and they will very quickly alert the system upon activation. For break-ins and forced entries, these devices provide some of the best security available. When installed on windows, these sensors are usually given a Perimeter Response Type. This will have the system go into an immediate alarm if the sensor is activated while the system is Armed Stay or Armed Away.
When installing a shock sensor on a window, you usually mount it on the frame rather than the window itself. If someone were to smash the window, it's possible that they might break the sensor if it were mounted on the window itself. The sensor will still be able to detect vibrations when mounted on the frame. It is very important that you test the sensor after installing. Make sure to put your system on test mode before doing this. You might also consider using sound-activated glass break sensors instead of shock sensors.
A feature commonly included with many shock sensors is to use them as wireless transmitters for hardwired sensors. This is done by connecting a hardwired door contact with the wireless shock sensor. The wireless shock sensor will communicate with the security panel on the behalf of the hardwired contact. This will essentially have the hardwired door contact operate as a wireless contact. There are also some shock sensors that include a built-in reed switch so that they can be used as door and window contacts. Check the product specifications and user guides for any sensor you are interested in purchasing to find out if this is possible.
One problem with shock sensors is that they are often more prone to false alarms than standard door and window contacts. This is why door and window contacts are more commonly used than shock sensors. There are cases where false vibrations set off shock sensors and cause system alarms. We recommend using shock sensors on the lowest sensitivity possible to avoid false alarms. There is also the option of using glass break sensors to monitor your windows. Glass break sensors are less prone to false alarms than shock sensors.