When Should I Use Shock Sensors vs Glass Break Detectors?

Whether you should use shock sensors or glass break detectors depends upon the type of application that the sensor is used for. There are certain cases where it is better to use shock sensors and other cases where it is better to use glass break sensors. But both accomplish similar goals.

Both shock sensors and glass break sensors are used to monitor windows for breakages. If an intruder breaks a window to gain entry into the building, then the shock sensor or glass break sensor will activate and alert the security system. In that sense, both devices accomplish the same goal.

But the devices differ in terms of their operation. Shock sensors are designed to sense the physical shockwaves associated with a window being broken. A shock sensor could also be placed on a door to alert the system if someone tries to break down the door. Another possible benefit is that some shock sensors include a built-in reed switch so that they can be used as a door or window contact. And the Honeywell 5819 Wireless Shock Sensor can even be used as a wireless transmitter.

But a downside to a shock sensor is that it can usually only cover one window at a time. Also, a shock sensor may be set off accidentally if someone is tapping against the window hard enough for it to activate. Another potential problem is that a shock sensor may not be able to properly monitor the entire area of a larger window.

A glass break sensor actively listens for the sound of breaking glass. Once the sensor detects this type of sound, it will send a signal to the alarm system. To prevent false alarms, many glass break detectors will only activate if they hear both the low-pitched "thud" of an object striking against the glass and the high-pitched "shattering" of the glass breaking. A benefit of glass break sensors is that a single device can be used to monitor multiple windows within its range. But these devices might not work well in noisy environments where there could be similar sounds.

The best time to use a glass break sensor is if you are trying to monitor multiple windows with one device or if the window you want to monitor is very large. But a glass break sensor might not the best idea for really noisy environments where other sounds could cause interference. Likewise, a shock sensor is best-suited for applications where you want the versatility of monitoring a door or a window, or if you want the device to also potentially be used as a wireless transmitter or door and window contact. But a shock sensor should not be used for very large windows or if the user is concerned that someone might tap against the window frequently.

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