Window Venting for Your Home Security System

Home Security Systems are meant to keep intruders out. It can be difficult to protect yourself and also have some of the freedom that you had before adding a security system. Many times you will want the perimeter protection that a security system provides while you are at home but you would also like to have some of your windows and doors to remain at least partially open. This is where zone venting comes into play. When you are at home it is a good idea to arm your system in alarm stay mode. This allows you to have the protection of your home alarm but you are able to move around in your home.

The problem comes when you have a window or door that you would like to have opened to have some fresh air. This is where window venting is an essential addition to your home security. Most security system installers do not add this feature even though it is a relatively easy feature to add. Basically it is accomplished by adding a second magnet to each opening that you would like to vent.

Adding a Magnet for Window Venting

If you already have your security system installed it is fairly easy to add window venting. You must inspect where your magnetic switch and magnet are already placed. You will notice that with the door closed the magnet will line up in the center of the switch. When the window or sliding door is open the magnet will move away from the switch. The magnet should always be placed on the moveable part of the door or window. The electronic components are located in the switch so it is best if the switch is installed on the stationary part of the window or door. Once you have inspected you installation, open the door about six inches. You do not want to provide venting any wider than this because an intruder could slip through without being detected. With the door open you can install a second magnet to line up with the switch. This will allow you to arm your system and still have the door or window open.

Potential issues with window venting

If your switch is mounted on the side of a sliding door then you will not be able to add a second magnet. The switch must be located at the top of the door and be far enough back so that you can install a second magnet. If you have a wireless alarm system this is easily accomplished. You must also take care to see if the addition of a magnet will cause an issue when the door is opened all the way. In some cases you may knock the magnet completely off the door. Only use double sided sticky tape while testing. Once you have checked the location you can permanently mount the switch and magnet by adding a small bead of silicone around the edge.

Bypassing an alarm zone

If your system does not have window or door venting available you can bypass the zone for the window or door that you want to keep open. Just refer to your zone list and bypass the zone or zones that you want open. This is where an accurate zone list is essential. You want to make sure that you are bypassing the correct zone.

Widow venting provides an easy way to remain secure and still enjoy the comforts of home. Ask your security installation company about this feature before you have a system installed. It is much more cost efficient to have it completed during the initial install. The additional cost should be minimal since it only involves a few more minutes of time and the cost of an additional magnet per window or door.

Bill Robinson is a 20 Year Low Voltage Technician. He is also a Union Journeyman Sound Technician. This means that Bill has knowledge in Security Systems, Fire Alarm Systems, CCTV Systems, Card Access, Intercom. Bill is the owner and operator of Bill offers tips and advice on all low voltage systems so that you can make the best choice when selecting one or more of these systems for your home or business.

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