What Is a Contact Sensor?

Thanks to dramatic improvements in home security technology, the unassuming contact sensor, a staple of security systems, has also become a key building block of the Smart Home.
Originally designed to catch an intruder opening a door or window, this small device can also trigger smartphone alerts, turn your lights on, and even control a smart thermostat. That’s all thanks to Alarm.com’s Smart Home platform, which turns data from contact sensors into intelligent actions.

What does a contact sensor do?

Contact sensors tell your system if something is open or closed.

They’re typically installed on doors, windows or drawers throughout the house. They have two pieces: one installed on the door itself; the other installed next to it on the jamb. When the door is opened and the pieces move apart, the sensor signals ‘open’ to your security system.

In a traditional security system, the contact sensor’s role is to trigger the alarm. If the security system is armed and one of the sensors on a window or door signals ‘open’, the system will signal an alarm unless disarmed.

In a Smart Home Security system from Alarm.com, the sensor’s role is far greater.  Their status (open or closed) can generate real-time smartphone alerts so you know when a door is opened around the home.  These alerts are easy to customize, so you can set them up to get exactly the important information you want. For example, you can get an alert if a window is open when you go to bed, or if you leave home without closing the back door.

Where else can they help protect?

Because contact sensors are wireless and easy to install you can put them on almost anything that you want to keep tabs on.

What Is a Contact Sensor Alert

    • Protect valuables: Place one on a safe at home or on a jewelry box so you always know if they’re being accessed or if you left it open.
    • Protect your yard: a contact sensor can alert you if someone opens the gate from your yard to the street, or accesses your pool.
  • Protect food: a contact sensor can alert you if your freezer drawer is open and your food is in danger of defrosting.

Triggering Connected Devices

As well as triggering alerts, contact sensor can trigger different devices in your Smart Home to act automatically by feeding real-time data back to your system. For example:

  • Thermostat setback: If a contact sensor indicates a door or window left open, Alarm.com’s Smart Thermostat will automatically set back to save energy until the door is closed again.
  • Smart Lighting: A contact sensor on your yard gate can trigger your porch light to turn on if someone opens the gate after dark.

How do I get them? 

Contact sensors are a component of our Smart Home Security systems and come with your security panel. You can add more to the system as well.

To Learn more, fill out the form below.

What is Professional Security Monitoring?

One of the smartest things about an Alarm.com-powered home is the proactive safeguards it provides for your family. Your system’s advanced technology detects potential danger and takes action on your behalf.

Our Insights EngineGeo-Services and Crash and Smash protection are all examples of proactive safeguards that work on their own, using Alarm.com’s cloud intelligence and real-time data from devices around your home.

One proactive safeguard, however, has a human element: professional security monitoring, which is provided by every Alarm.com service provider.

What does it do?

In an alarm event at your home—a break-in, or fire—an Alarm.com-powered security system sends an emergency signal, via dedicated cellular connection, to a 24-7 monitoring station. There, a trained security professional assesses the situation and quickly alerts your local law enforcement or fire department to the emergency.

Choosing Security System Monitoring
How important is professional monitoring?

Do you need a service like this ? After all, there are plenty of connected cameras and motion-detecting smart devices out there, all capable of alerting you to activity at home with a quick smartphone message.

Well, consider this:

Alerts are easy to miss. What if you’re not available when a break-in happens? What if you’re at the gym, or swimming, or at the movies with your phone on “do not disturb”. Maybe you’re on an airplane, or even just asleep.

It’s inconvenient. Checking every alert, sorting harmless activity from the suspicious, and investigating each one – 24/7 – won’t be easy.  So you might find a great price on the camera, but when you have to provide your own security, you’ll end up investing plenty of time.

This isn’t your job. If there’s an emergency at home, your job is to focus on one thing: keeping you and your loved ones out of harm’s way.

How do I get professional monitoring?

Professional monitoring is included with all Computers N’ Stuff + Alarm.com-powered smart home security systems, alongside other security-grade features like crash and smash protection, or our dedicated cellular connection.  It’s the only home security solution that delivers true protection and peace of mind.

To connect, fill out the form below and one of our agents will be in contact:

What’s the ideal age for children to surf the web?

What’s the ideal age for children to surf the web? 💻

We asked 2,000 experts. Here’s what they said.


Children become ready for their first cellphone at age 12, says new research.

By this age, they should also be packing their own lunch, walking to the bus stop, and completing school projects independently. The following year, aged 13, they’ll become ready to first earn their own money, stay home alone, and use the internet unsupervised.

The insights above are based on a survey of 2,000 parenting experts—also known as Moms— reported last May in Yahoo! Newsthe New York Post and elsewhere.

Here’s why we chose to ask Moms—and what else we discovered.

Moms are more than doers: they’re managers 

When it comes to milestones, Moms are typically the parent in charge. 78 percent of the Moms we surveyed say that they’ll be the primary decision-maker on when their children are ready for cellphones and the other “firsts” above.

In fact, Moms overwhelmingly take charge of managing their children as they grow and learn to do things for themselves.  For example, 84 percent of Moms say they’re in charge of making sure that kids get to and from school (our Computers N’ Stuff + Alarm.com home security technology can be a big help with this one).

82 percent of Moms are in charge of homework. 82 percent are in charge of making sure children participate in activities or play dates.73 percent of Moms say that they’re in charge of setting and enforcing rules at home, while 77 percent are in charge of refereeing their kids’ arguments and disputes. That’s a lot to manage.

Being your family’s manager is tough

Managing a family requires skill and effort. Moms need to be coaches—directing and empowering kids into independence—but also protectors, ensuring that children are safe, well and thriving.

It also requires a lot of time. On average, Moms report spending 36 hours a week managing their kids—a staggering figure given that most Moms combine this role with a full-time job outside the home. Unsurprisingly, 53 percent report that family and work responsibilities come into conflict.

One silver lining: 66 percent of Moms say that their children appreciate everything they do for them. An additional seven percent, meanwhile, at least understand that they’ll appreciate it when they’re older.

Are you a Managing Mom?

To the Managing Moms out there: we appreciate you. Thank you—and happy Mother’s Day!

As your family grows, we’ll be here to help with technology that makes it easier for you to stay connected to your children, and to keep them safe and well as they become independent.

To find out more about smart home security fill out the form below.