Home is where we feel the most secure and technology has made sure that we feel truly secure with devices that can help you foolproof your security. Doors and windows that are unsecured are usually waiting to be abused. Home burglars love doors and windows that can easily be compromised.
We often get the most upgraded and strong deadbolts to make our doors secure from lockpicking and such, but yet there are burglars who can pick locks that are highly secure. Having a door and window alarm system is important because even if the burglar manages to pick the lock, they will trigger the alarm and won’t be able to make a silent entry.
There are a lot of great options to suit all kinds of property needs. Today, I will walk you through 6 of the best door alarms that will make your home feel more secure from having multiple sensors to having an app to monitor activities.
I will also talk about how the door alarm works and in what ways it is effective. So, let’s get started.
Best Wireless Door Alarms
The Secrui Door Chime Sensor is wireless and one of the best door alarm systems that is a much more affordable option considering the features it comes with and also when compared to high-end expensive systems in the market.
It can pick up disturbances or movements up to 500 feet of installation from your doors and windows. The main home component, that is the wireless receiver, can be paired with up to 20 magnetic door and window sensors and each sensor has the capability to add more sensors so you can cover up your whole area like that.
The alarm sound is loud and clear at 110 decibels. It comes with 5 adjustable settings that allow you to manage the volume of the alarm on your device. You also get 32 chimes to choose from. You can use it to distinguish between different spaces in your home.
The system also comes with an LED-indicator that can be coupled with your wireless door alarm system to point you to the device when it is dark or if you are audibly impaired.
The installation of the system may require professional assistance, which is different from the other options I have discussed here. You get an 18 months warranty and a money-back guarantee along with 24×7 online assistance.
Secrui Door Chime Sensor is Suitable for:
The ability to connect to many sensors makes it easier to cover a large property. The option to choose from 32 chimes makes it easier to manage and locate the point of intrusion. You can have different sounds for different rooms or even use it to help distinguish the indoors and outdoors area. The 5 levels of volume control make it easier to control the levels of alarm based on your preference. All of these reasons make it the best door alarm system for a large property.
- It can connect up to 20 sensors and more sensors can be connected to the sensors.
- It can detect movements up to 500 feet from the sensors.
- You get 32 alarm chimes to choose from.
- You get 5 levels of volume control.
- The alarm sound is loud and clear at 110 dB.
- It comes with an LED-indicator for better location.
- The brand covers an 18 months warranty and a money-back guarantee and also 24×7 online assistance.
- The installation requires professional assistance.
Best Overall Runner-Up
I have discussed a lot about the Ring Wireless Video Doorbells and the Ring Pro. Ring is one of the best when it comes to these devices. I will be talking about another one of their products for this category, which is the Ring Alarm Contact Sensor. This is the most expensive product on the list, still affordable for many. The price is justified for what you get.
The sensors mount on both the door and window frames very easily. This security system comes with an app to notify you of any security breach no matter where you are. You have to connect the sensor to the Ring Alarm Security and you will start receiving mobile alerts whenever a door or window is opened or closed.
You are also automatically sent a notification when motion is detected or the sensor is meddled with. The app is one of the reasons why this door alarm system is so popular. You can supervise your home from within your home or from miles away.
The app starts working as soon as it is connected to the main component installed. You will receive alerts almost instantaneously. Frequent updates could be a little irritating for some, but that’s the nature of an app, especially a security one to stay up to date with the happenings in the world.
The Ring system connects to a Z-Wave wireless connection portal, which helps it create a smart security system that is seamless and reliable. It remains active all day without the system ever entering a sleep mode. Some hyperactivity can also be noticed while an object is moving at a distance to keep a track of the movement, even if you have already been notified.
Ring Alarm Contact Sensor is Suitable for:
If you travel frequently or have a large house, then this system is perfect for you. You can monitor and be notified of any movement through your mobile devices.
- Ring products have very sensitive motion detection sensors.
- The app alerts you if there is a security breach through mobile notifications.
- It connects to a Z-Wave wireless connection portal to create a smart security system.
- It stays active all the time.
- It is easy to install.
- Frequent updates on the app can be irritating but still manageable without hampering the experience and security.
Ecolink is a company that is focused on providing products that are low energy but highly reliable. The battery life of the sensors is three years. The sensors use rare earth magnets that allows a sensor-to-magnet-gap of ⅝ inches between the 2 pieces of the sensors. This makes it one of the most used installation options.
It is easy to install and no wiring is required. You can either drill the sensors on to your door and window frames more securely or use glue or adhesive pads to install them. The earth magnet also makes it easier to use for doors and windows that don’t line up with other sensors.
The sensors are Z-Wave Plus certified. Z-Wave Plus is a certification program given to products that use “Next Gen” Z-Wave hardware platform – also known as 500 Series, 5th Generation, Z-Wave for Gen5, or Gen5. The products that are Z-Wave Plus certified have a set of extended features like extended battery life that makes them easier and faster to set up and increases the user experience.
The sensors connect to Z-Wave smart home automation gateways and are compatible with Samsung’s SmartThings, V1, V2, V3, Vera Plus, Vera Edge, Vera Lite, Homeseer, Dlink Staples connect, and also other Z-Wave Plus Plus Smart Home Automation Networks. Being connected to the Z-Wave smart home gateways helps create an interconnected shield of security for your home.
The sensors are also tamper-proof because of a tampering sensor that sounds an alarm if the sensor is being disabled or removed. This helps up the level of security of the sensors themselves.
There are 2 color options – white or brown – to blend in with your doors and windows. These colors are enough because most of the door and window frames range in browns and whites.
Ecolink Door and Window Sensor is Suitable for:
The rare earth magnet that allows the installation of the sensors to work with a sensor-to-magnet-gap of ⅝ inch makes it easy to install on commercial or general heavy doors or double hung-windows. They are also great for all types of door and window spaces. The tamper-proof feature is another selling point.
- Rare earth magnets make it easier to install with a sensor-to-magnet-gap of ⅝ inches.
- It has a battery life of 3 years.
- It is Z-Wave Plus certified.
- It connects to Z-Wave smart home automation gateways.
- It is tamper-proof and sounds an alarm if the sensors are being disabled or removed.
- Some glitch could be experienced initially.
Best Value Runner-Up
This mini alarm from Doberman Security is another one of the popular options you will find in the market and rightly so! It is designed to fit on every door and window. You get two sets of sensors that are independent of each other and aren’t connected to a central system or hub. The sensor alarm that is used to alert you works as a part of the two independent sensors.
The sensor requires 4 LR44/AG13 button cell batteries to function. The batteries last about 6 months after which you will have to replace the batteries. The system will come preloaded with batteries so you are set for half a year before you will need to change the batteries. Not only is it easy to get the sensors started, it is also easy to install the sensor itself on your doors and windows.
The sensor uses a peel and stick application and also works on the technology of magnetic trigger. You don’t require to drill and wire anything which makes this security system sensor incredibly easy to install and get started with.
The miniature alarm is not to be underestimated for its size – it can sound an alarm of 100 decibels (dB) – which is quite impressive for its size. You also get to program the sound to be an alarm or chime. It does not require to be connected to a central controlling hub because it is a part of the security systems themselves. There is also an option for backup battery, so you don’t have to worry about a low battery.
Doberman Security Mini Alarm is Suitable for:
The compact design and study construction, not to forget the easy installation, makes this a perfect security alarm system to be used anywhere – office, garage, home, building entrance, shed, etc. It is affordable as well.
- Incredibly easy to set up with a peel and stick, high-quality adhesive application.
- It is suitable for a variety of spaces because of its sturdy, compact, and versatile design.
- The mini alarm system emits a 100 dB alarm sound.
- The alarm is a part of the actual sensors and they all work independently without requiring to be connected to a central hub.
- It is affordable compared to most other options for the same quality.
- The design of this alarm security system doesn’t include a volume control option or button.
- There are chances of experiencing some glitching initially.
The Choice Alert Wireless Alert System comes from the well-known home security products brand, GE Security, that provides security through quality wireless alarm systems at an affordable price. Choice Alert is one of their best products. They also are easier and remove the complexity of most of the high-quality models of sensors and alarms. This is also the cheapest option in this list without compromising on the quality.
It has weather-resistant sensors and that helps the system provide all-round surveillance in all weathers. The construction of the system is high-quality which makes it durable. It is easy to install because there are no wires. It offers you a wide wireless coverage of up to 150 feet.
The Choice Alert system helps you customize your home security system with a range of accessories. You also get a visual alert feature that allows you to supervise discreetly and helps the security status of your home be determined.
There are four zones that can be paired within seconds with the strategically designed sensors using the Choice Alert Wireless Control Center. The sensors use a two-piece magnetic component that makes it easy to be alerted whenever a door or window is opened, and as mentioned earlier, can detect movements up to 150 feet, which is a substantial amount for a door alarm to cover.
The four zones we talked about include three that provide alarm protection, and one, that is a dedicated zone for alert, this zone generates a visual alert coupled with a continuous beeping sound if the zone is compromised. This allows you to have a security network for your home that is foolproof.
GE Choice Alert Wireless Alarm System is Suitable for:
If you have a dedicated zone that you need your system to be more mindful of, then this is the device for you because it provides a visual alert feature along with the alarm.
- This door alarm system is weather-resistant.
- The two-piece magnetic sensors can detect movement up to 150 feet.
- You get a visual alert feature that helps with discreet supervision.
- Four zones are provided – 3 provide alarm protection and one is a dedicated alert zone which generates a visual aleter along with alarm.
- It is durable.
- Setting up the system is easy.
- At times, you might experience the unit to send weak signals.
Best Budget Runner-Up
SABRE is one of the brands that has been in the market for quite some time. In the 40 years in operation, it has become a brand well-known for its pepper spray that is used by many law enforcement officers around the world. It is also one of the brands that creates quality home security systems that are widely accessible because of the affordability of the systems.
These sensors are easy to install and can be mounted on either side of the alarm because they work on batteries and are wireless so you don’t need any drills. They are also mounted at both sides of the alarm.
You don’t have to worry about having a backup power for power outages. There is an indicator that will notify you when the batteries are low, so that you can keep them up to date. It will come with preloaded batteries.
As for the alarm sound, you get 3 settings to change and update as per your preferences – off, alarm, and chime. The alert sound is 120 decibels, which can be easily heard from as far a distance as 750 feet. It can awaken your neighborhood with that sound, which is why the missing sound control is a disadvantage.
The sensors don’t have to be placed close to the main control panel unit. They can be installed up to 500 feet away and still be easily controlled.
SABRE Wireless Home Security Door and Window Burglar Alarm is Suitable for:
Because the installation is easy and wireless, and the sensors can be attached at either sides of the alarm, this is a more versatile design. It can not only be used for your doors and windows, but it is also a great option for your freezers and cabinets.
The range of the sensors from the main control panel unit allow you to control them from your bedroom while they are installed can be all over your home including your shed and garage.
- It is easy to install and wireless.
- It comes with preloaded batteries and an indicator to notify you when the batteries are low.
- The alarm sounds at 120 dB and can be heard for up to 750 feet.
- You have 3 adjustable settings that allow you to set up a chime or alarm to alert you or have it off.
- It is an affordable home security option.
- The security system isn’t equipped with a volume control button.
Wired vs. Wireless Door Alarm Systems – Which One to Choose?
The door alarms I have discussed are all wireless and there is a good reason for it. Many technologies have started going the wireless route, so the wired systems are gradually dying. There are options to wire the sensors to a central hub, but most nowadays can do that wirelessly.
Most are battery operated, which makes it easier to install and maintain and also works when you have a power outage. It allows you to integrate the alarm to your smart home security systems seamlessly. These are just a few reasons to select wireless over wire. Anyway the recent market is all about reducing the use of wires.
Are Door Alarms Effective?
Alarms for doors are yet to be a core part of every home security system. Most people might think of them as something used in a museum or other high security premises. If you’re one of these people, you might be unaware of the fact that most home burglaries happen through the front door of the house. Come to think of it, it is the most obvious entry point for a break-in.
An alarm for a door is really subtle when it comes to home security products and also easy to install so it makes it a very accessible product for many. If someone tries to open any of the doors or windows that are alarmed then the sensitive motion detectors will pick on the disturbance and sound an alarm to alert you of it.
They are secure, flexible, easy to install, effective, and user-friendly, so, Yes, door alarms are effective!
Benefits of Having a Door Alarm
Knowing the effectiveness of a door alarm is one thing but understanding the benefits is what will make you add it to your home security system. I have focused a lot on being protected from outside threats but they are also an important addition if you have someone with special needs, pets, children and areas that can be dangerous to them. You can use it for the safety of the family members in the home and be alerted if they are in trouble or are trying to get in trouble. These are some of the benefits of having a door alarm:
- Door alarms help you be alerted whenever someone tries to forcefully enter through your window or door.
- Door alarms are not only effective in alerting burglaries, but they are also effective in keeping the people indoors safe. This is especially necessary if you have children or pets you don’t want wandering out or entering areas like pools, sheds, or garage without your presence.
- Door alarms are also great if you have a personal with medical needs like someone with Alzheimer’s or even someone who sleepwalks. You don’t want them wandering away.
- It is a great option for shopkeepers and small business owners to change the alarm into a chime so that a little sound goes off whenever someone enters or leaves the store, just like a small bell hanging above the door in olden times.
How Does a Door Alarm Work?
When you’re looking for the best fit of a product for you, it is always advisable to know how the product works under the hood. Even though most people know what a door alarm sensor does, not many can claim they know how it works.
A door sensor is the fundamental part of a door alarm system. All the extravagant features of a heavy-duty door alarm system depends on a simple door sensor. The door sensor consists of 2 parts, which forms a circuit when they’re kept parallel to each other. When the door is opened, the 2 parts are separated and consequently breaks the circuit. This is the event that triggers a signal to make the system sound the alarm.
There are several types of door sensor systems, but the most widely used system involves a reed switch and a magnet to determine whether the door is closed or open. The use of reed switches as sensors is not limited to door systems. The switch is closed when the two parts are close to each other and an electric current can pass between them. When the two parts are separated, the switch is broken and current stops flowing, deactivating the circuit.
Any door sensor in the home security system comes with both the parts, a reed switch and magnet. One of the parts is attached to the frame of the door, and the other part attaches parallel to the first piece on the door. Now, when the door is closed the two parts will remain close to each other and cause the circuit to close. As the door opens, the magnet and the switch separate, consequently breaking the circuit. Once the circuit breaks, the sensor signals the control panel to sound the alarm.
How Do You Test a Door Sensor?
It is smart to test the sensors before you trust your home with it. For checking the sensors there are two options:
- You can use an app to test it if your sensor is compatible or comes with it.
- You can check the additional test button that some sensors come with.
Here are some things to check:
- Test the alarm and set the chimps if your device allows it.
- Control the volume to be suitable for your property.
- Make sure to check the batteries so that they don’t run out without your knowledge. You don’t want the device to die on you because of a low battery.
- Make sure to check if the magnetic pieces of the alarm sensors align properly.
Different Types of Door and Window Sensors
1. Surface Contact Sensors
These types of sensors use a magnetic component that is used to install the sensors to the door and the door frame. These are also the most affordable and most commonly used sensors.
2. Recessed Contact Sensors
These work the opposite of the first type. While they work on the surface, these sensors are installed inside the door and window frames to make them discreet and less noticeable to the intruders.
3. Vented-Window Sensors
If you like leaving your windows open to get fresh air, then these are the best options for your windows, especially when they are armed. These sensors use dual magnets that allows you to leave the armed window open for a few inches and if it is opened any more then the alarm will sound.
4. Vanishing Sensors
Vanishing sensors include the components of the first two types like using contact sensors of the first and still using the discreteness of the second. They are very thin and almost undetectable to blend in with your home decor to make it discreet.
Buying Guide: Main Features to Look at When Buying Door Sensors
1. Smart Home Security System Connectivity
The ideal door and window sensors will have built-in smart technology that allows you to integrate them with your central monitoring security system. The ability to support this helps you create an integrated and interconnected home security system which makes managing the devices and taking advantage of the interconnectivity easier.
- You can get an alert via your door sensors when someone tries to enter your home through the doors or windows.
- Then you can monitor your video doorbell to see who is at your door.
- Or you can check your security cameras to see the cause of disturbance, etc.
Having all your smart home security devices connected to one Z-Wave hub makes it easier to manage and also work in harmony. Some also allow it to connect to home assistants like Amazon Echo, Siri, or Alexa.
2. Wireless Installation
Wireless installation makes it easy to install because you don’t have to spend time and money hiring a professional to get it correctly wired. They are also effective for renters and homeowners alike because no drilling or wiring is required. Most of the door sensors come with peel and stick adhesive backing which makes it even easier to install.
This is also why having a smart security system is important because otherwise you might have to get a wired door alarm system. Some doors and windows don’t line up exactly, products like Ecolink come with sensors that use rare earth magnets that allows a sensor-to-magnet-gap of ⅝ inches between the two pieces of the sensors. This makes it one of the most used installation options.
3. DIY and Easy Installation Home Security
Wireless devices are great for this. They can be DIYed and are also easy to maintain. They are cost effective and if you are a renter then you have to take your door chimes from home to home. They are also one of the easiest to install and maintain home security systems. Most devices will allow you to just peel and stick an alarm, have it connected to the central hub, and you are good to go. Some are even free from being monitored by a central hub and can work independently.
4.Remote Control Accessibility
Remote access is really important to be able to control your sensors. You don’t want the alarms to sound each time you or someone in the family uses the doors. The sensor’s remote control or the one on your smartphone should allow you to turn the sensors on and off and also to test the battery without having to manually check the central hub to be updated on low battery.
Smartphone apps or remote controls also allow you to control the volume of the alarm so that it doesn’t wake the whole neighborhood and is still loud enough to hear, depending on the property you are covering. Popular door alarms have also started mobile notifications along with the alarm to notify you when you are not at home.
5. Advanced Features
Most recent introductions to the market come with many customizable and advanced features that allow ease of use and monitoring of the systems from anywhere. Advanced features like connectivity to smart devices, phone app notification systems, connectivity options, low battery notifications, etc. increase the level of home security.
No matter what alarm system you choose, make sure to get one that does the job based on the property you live in. Door alarm systems are pretty inexpensive, easy to install and maintain, and are also easy to connect with your other home home security systems. There is no reason not to get them if it means having an additional layer of security.
Door alarms or chimes are great if you have a child who is learning to walk or a pet that wants to keep getting outside or you travel often or if you live in a not so safe neighborhood or just because.
Secrui Door Chime Sensor is great for big properties because of its ability to connect many sensors and customize the sound. Ring Alarm Contact Sensor is great if you are a frequent traveler because it sends you phone notifications.
Ecolink Door and Window Sensor and Doberman Security Mini Alarm are value for money options. Ecolink even has a tamper-proof sensor. Although most of these aren’t expensive, if you are still looking for a cheaper option without compromising the quality, then you can go for GE Choice Alert Wireless Alarm System or SABRE Wireless Home Security Burglar Alarm as you can get then around $10 to $15. GE Choice Alert is one of the best systems out there.
So, I have discussed the whole range here. Let me know which one you would choose and also if you have any other questions apart from the ones that I have already discussed.