A vehicle alarm, is a device that is installed in a vehicle,in order to protect it and its contents, from theft. Vehicle alarms work by emitting a loud sound which is triggered by sensors, switches, and other devices which can pick up changes in a vehicle. Alarms are also usually connected to the vehicle lighting system which allows the lights to flash when the alarm is set off. These indicators which are triggered by the alarm are supposed to get the attention of people who are in the general area of the vehicle and scare off the thief. Another feature available is a kill switch which will disengage the starter from being able to be operated so the car cannot be hot wired.
The main component of a vehicle alarm is a device which gathers all the information from the sensors and switches to determine whether to set off the alarm. A vehicles alarm system is also usually kept on a backup battery to prevent it from being disabled if the main battery is disconnected. The main component of the alarm system and the back-up battery are normally hidden to prevent them from being tampered with or disabled. The alarm on a vehicle can be turned on or off using a button which is usually located on a key fob.
The simplest trigger that can be found on a vehicle alarm system is the door alarm which uses a switch to trigger the alarm. This switch is triggered to set off the alarm if the door is opened while the alarm system is set. When an alarm is set, a complete circuit is created inside the vehicle. If the hood, trunk, or door opens while the alarm is set, the switch will break the circuit and will set of the alarm. This method of protection is highly effective but offers limited protection. Having an alarm that is only set off when a door is opened won’t stop a thief from breaking a window to get in.
More advanced vehicle alarm systems can be something like a shock sensor alarm. This type of alarm will be set off if the vehicle is moved, jolted, or gets hit. The shock sensor works by using a metal rod which has two flexible metal contacts positioned just above one another. When the vehicle experiences a jolt with the alarm set, the metal contact may flex enough which can cause them to contact each other which will complete the circuit and set off the alarm. The shock sensor is an effective method of protection but allows for many false alarms which can be caused by things such as high winds, earthquakes, or anything else which may vibrate the vehicle.
To detect when a window is being broken into, the vehicles alarm may feature a window and pressure sensor. This device is a microphone that can hear when glass is being smashed. Since broken glass has its own sound frequency, the alarm won’t be set off by other noises around the car which may resemble glass breaking. Pressure sensors are also used in vehicle which can tell when a window has been broken or when a door is opened while the alarm is engaged. Even if pressure inside the vehicle is the same as pressure outside, a sensor can pick up the added pressure of opening a door or wind blowing in from an open window. Window and pressure sensors are among the best ways to detect when a window in a vehicle has been broken or tampered with.
Sometimes thieves won’t bother trying to steal the car, they just want to take pieces of it or drag it away using a tow truck. The most effective way to combat this is to have motion and tilt sensors in a vehicle. These sensors typically use cylinders which are filled with mercury. When the vehicle is moved, tilted, or pulled while the alarm is set, the mercury will all rush to one end of the cylinder which will set off the alarm. Alarms which use this method typically use multiple cylinders which are positioned at different angles to prevent false alarms.
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