Window sensor strategy for "left cracked open" windows?


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Old 04-24-09, 04:15 PM
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Window sensor strategy for "left cracked open" windows?

Hi all,

I've got a basic question regarding wiring up window contacts, on windows which will likely be left slightly open on a regular basis to promote ventilation.

The windows in question are all ground-floor casement windows. Please see the attached photos.

I can place sensors inside the jambs on the hinge side of the windows. This would allow each window to be left open as much as four or five inches and still be seen as "closed" by the system.

Alternatively, I can place sensors on the opening side of the window, in which case they'll appear as open almost immediately.

One other option is an "all in" where I install two sensors per window.

Here's my dilemma: we WILL leave these windows cracked open intentionally when home at night. But there is a good chance somebody will leave them open during the day when leaving the house.

If I go with the two-sensor option, they'll alarm if somebody tries to fully open a cracked open window, but the system will also remind users (via a faulted zone) if a window is unintentionally left open when leaving the house.

The pictures show a window in a partially open and fully open position. A sensor on the right side of the frame will be in range of the magnet while allowing a modest amount of opening.

Thanks in advance for lending your opinions on the matter.



 
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Old 04-24-09, 06:50 PM
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For that style of window, the hinge side location is a bad idea.

When casements are closed, they are fairly resistant to being forced open, when partially open like that, a knowlegible crook could easily defeat the contact.

If you really want to do the window open, the two contact route is probably the "safest" option.
 
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Old 04-25-09, 07:54 AM
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I hope it's not overkill (I'll have to add an expansion module just for the extra sensors), but I'm trying to adapt to the in-laws, rather than them just outright reject using the alarm.

Guess I'll be pulling some more wire today.
 
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Old 04-25-09, 08:02 AM
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from the pic, it looks as if a person could enter the window even in the partially open position without opening it any further.

I would think a beam obscuration type sensor would provide a better system for detecting intruders. I do not see an curtains or blinds that would have to be considered but should be if present.
 
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Old 04-25-09, 09:05 AM
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This is one of the rare instances where the old-school alarm screens is really the best solution. They aren't cheap, but might be your best choice here.

They have to be custom made. Installing them is pretty easy, but actually making them is way not a DIY thing (_I_ wouldn't try to make one).
 
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Old 04-25-09, 09:13 AM
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seriously not trying to argue ron but...I don;t see a screen nor any attachments for a screen. I could be misunderstanding the terminology reference though.

I will defer to your experience here as to the possibilities but I was thinking of a simple light beam type emitter and detector system.
 
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Old 04-25-09, 09:15 AM
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The suggestion was that they consider installing a screen.
 
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Old 04-25-09, 02:05 PM
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These are very narrow windows -- about a foot wide for the one pictured.

I think I understand the concept of the security screen, and since these windows open outward, there would be no way to operate the window through a screen--not that I'd want one, due to appearance.

The beam is an interesting idea, though we would have to pick window coverings carefully.
 
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Old 04-25-09, 02:14 PM
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Aside from the technical issue you should check with your insurance company.
Your coverage for theft could be impacted if the house is not fully locked.
 
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Old 04-25-09, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by GregH View Post
Aside from the technical issue you should check with your insurance company.
Your coverage for theft could be impacted if the house is not fully locked.
See, that's the whole point to all this.

With two sensors, we'll know at the panel that a window is open when anybody is leaving the house (Armed:Away). To remedy that, we go close it.

However, in Armed:Stay mode. that same window can be left "cracked open", but we'll still be alerted if somebody attempts to enter the house, before they actually do so.

Unless you're suggesting we shouldn't leave a window open when we're home, which is unrealistic.
 
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Old 04-25-09, 09:52 PM
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Window screens for outward opening casement windows mount to the _inside_ of the frame, just as do the ones for awning windows. Since this doesn't seem to be a crank or lever operated window, it's still not practical, since you have to push open the window. (Living in the mosquito ridden south, an open window without screens is simply not doable...)

That said:

If you can work out a contact placement that will make you feel covered, then go for it. If the window is that small, it's more a "belt and suspenders" thing, in any case.
 
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Old 04-25-09, 10:40 PM
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Yeah, the opening in the photo may be a bit narrow, but the others increase in width, for a total of 7 opening windows on the ground floor.

Just for a little perspective, the window from the first two photos is immediately left of fellow on the platform, and it's the narrowest. The three under the front door are the widest (24"), and the others along the sides of the house are somewhere in between.

 
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Old 04-26-09, 06:24 AM
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I've only been casually following the thread so this may have been answered so disregard if already covered. Two sensors, one for closed, one for partially open. Will the system arm with one open? Also, you are home and the system is armed and you want to open a window. You will need to turn the alarm off, open the window, and then turn the alarm back on. Same when you close it. Seems cumbersom and pron to false alarms.

Bud
 
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Old 04-26-09, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Bud9051 View Post
I've only been casually following the thread so this may have been answered so disregard if already covered. Two sensors, one for closed, one for partially open. Will the system arm with one open? Also, you are home and the system is armed and you want to open a window. You will need to turn the alarm off, open the window, and then turn the alarm back on. Same when you close it. Seems cumbersom and pron to false alarms.

Bud
The way in envision it is as follows:

Window completely closed, both contacts are closed.

Window slightly open, one zone faulted. This sensor would be set as a quick bypass-enabled zone (Vista 20P). It would show as a "fault" on the panel display so everybody knows to secure the window if they are leaving the house and arming the system in "away" mode, but would be able to effortlessly bypass it if armed in "stay" mode.

If the window were all the way open, both contacts would be open, and I wouldn't allow the system to arm. I believe I could set up "chime" mode on the first floor so that if a window were opened out of range, the person doing so would immediately know it.

Of course, this uses up two zones for each set of windows (I'm wiring them as pairs at the two front-of-house double-casements, plus three solo windows on the sides, for a grand total of five added zones to moniter), and that will probably mean I must add a Vista Zone Expander Module (figure another $75).

As for opening/closing windows when the alarm is armed in "stay" mode, I don't see this as being any different than operating a conventionally-wired window in stay mode. Isn't the idea to allow interior movement, but monitor the perimeter doors and windows? And they'll actually close without having to disarm the system.

I hope this all works as planned. Fingers crossed. I'll be tying in the wires today.
 
 

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