3 Geeky Facts You Should Know About Driveway Alarms

  • Simon Archer
  • March 27, 2018
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Whether your house is in an urban or rural area, thefts and vandalism occurrences can be stopped before they even start by being alerted to an intruder as early as possible. Therefore, there is no doubt that homeowners benefit from having driveway alarms installed.

Driveway alarms alert homeowners when installed sensors detect any activity in the area. Some do so by detecting heat and movement with others detecting by excess weight such as that of a vehicle. While the benefits of driveway alarms cannot be denied, there are certain factors that you as a homeowners need to consider to ensure the one you get meets your needs.

1. Driveway length

Obviously not all driveways are the same length. When it comes to driveway alarms, you need to take into account the length of your driveway as buying the wrong one for yours could render the system ineffective at alerting you to the presence of visitors.

Driveway alarms are typically available in 4 categories regarding length. The sub-100 foot type monitors close-range activity meaning it is designed for shorter driveways as alerts will occur when the visitor is in close proximity. The next step up is a system for homeowners with longer driveways, covering close to half a kilometre in range. The next type of driveway alarm is designed for those with large pieces of land with many possible entrances to gain access to the home. The last type of alarm is meant for farmers with significant amounts of land. This includes the ability to interact with visitors via telecom or radio before granting access.

2. Type of sensor

When it comes to driveway alarms, you want to make certain that potential threats to your family and property are detected in a timely manner. This largely depends on what type of sensor you have installed. Before purchasing a system you want to consider what types of things you want to be able to detect as this will determine what type of sensor is required.

In regards to sensors for driveway alarms, there are 3 popular types. A magnetic sensor is buried and only gives off alerts when changes in electromagnetic fields occur, such as with the presence of a vehicle. This results in less false alarms that will wake or disturb you. An infrared sensor detects objects that give off heat. This includes people and animals.

Infrared sensors give plenty of false alarms that can result in you ignoring your driveway alarm altogether when it activates. The last popular type of sensor is the rubber hose type that alerts you to the presence of a vehicle approaching. This is a reliable type as people and animals are not heavy enough to activate the system.

3. Wired vs. wireless

Like many pieces of technology in today’s age, driveway alarms too have undergone a transformation and are now available in wireless models. It may be tempting to opt for a wireless alarm to “keep up with the times”. However both wired and wireless options have advantages and disadvantages that you need to be aware of before making a decision.

The sensors and receivers of a wired driveway alarm are powered by electricity. Wires that trigger the alarms are typically buried underneath the ground. Wired systems are more reliable and instances of signal interruptions are rare but they are harder to install, may not function in a power outage without a battery backup, and larger areas mean more wiring and added expense.

Wireless systems operate via a transmitter that sends signals from the sensor to the receiver. These systems are easier to install due to a lack of wiring and have longer ranges however they are battery-dependent and interference may make its operation problematic.

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