What door sensors are best for balcony doors?

The best sensor to be used on balcony doors is determined by the door itself and the system being used to monitor it.

Balcony doors are typically 2 large doors that open away from each other to allow access to another area. Balcony doors are made in models that can open inward, outward and away from each other on tracks. There are also other specialty models that can move and swing in multiple directions. Balcony doors can be made of multiple different types of materials and be used in perimeter or indoor locations. Wired and wireless sensors can both be installed onto a balcony door. All of this needs to be taken into consideration when purchasing sensors for these types of doors.

The type of sensor best used on a balcony door will depend on the shape, size and operational movement of the door itself, in addition to how a user would want the door to trigger the main system. On the photo below there are three locations that a sensor could potentially be installed on a balcony door. These doors open away from each. The right side door will need to be opened first as it has a guard that prevents the left side from opening when both are closed. The doors are unfinished, made of wood and are working as interior doors.

Balcony Doors Sensor Location Close.png

By placing a wired or wireless sensor at location 1, the right side door can be opened without triggering the system because the left side door cannot open before the right side. This would be a poor choice of location for the sensor.

If a wired or wireless sensor is placed at location 3,this is an improvement, since the right side door must be opened in order to open the left. The problem with a sensor in this location is that the security system won’t be able to tell if the left side door is open or closed. With only one sensor, the system can still be armed when the left door is open. This could lead to a situation where a user accidentally leaves the left side door open thinking that both doors are fully armed.

If we place a wireless sensor at location 2 with the sensor on one door and the magnet on the other, the system will require both doors to be closed in order to show ready. Due to the placement of this sensor, a wireless device will be required. This will give the doors full security while also providing correct information of whether the doors are open or closed. The will not, however, allow the user to know which door is open.

If wireless sensors are not an option, a secure alternative for installing wired sensors is to use both locations 1 and 3. A single contact will need to be installed at each location. These contacts can share the same zone in a series wiring configuration or each can have its own zone. The sensors would need to be installed on the frame and the magnets placed on the doors. This provides full security on both doors. When using one zone for these two sensors the system will only know if the doors are open or closed. With each sensor having its own zone the system will know which door is open. This can be useful information to an end user when determining which system door(s) is/are open, or which door was involved in an alarm event.

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