Modern alarm systems do a good job of protecting your property but with a driveway alarm system to alert you when people cross the threshold, you can extend protection to your perimeter, sensing potential intruders before they get to your front door.
Older wired driveway alert systems were a little more difficult to install, relying on cables buried underground - an expensive and time-consuming task, particularly if you have a very long driveway.
Modern wireless systems in comparison are reliable, easy to install, have a good range and most systems are extendable.
Here are our recommendations for the best systems available today.
The Chamberlain Driveway Motion Detector offers an affordable system to detect vehicles entering your premises. It has a long range of up to a half mile from detector to receiver. The system can be expanded with up to 4 sensors placed around your property for more coverage and alerts you with both light and sound indicators from the indoor receiver unit. more...
This is a complete driveway alarm system providing 24/7 protection for detecting vehicles both entering and existing your property. It can also serve to protect boats, RV's etc. and will even tie in with the Mighty Mule gate opener. The unit has an electromagnetic sensor to avoid false alarms and delivers a 400ft range to the indoor amounted receiver unit. more...
The Guardline Wireless Driveway Alarm is a rugged motion detector built for outdoor use. It has been tested to the highest standards and developed to ensure the minimum of false alarms. The multi-angle mounting enables adjustment to focus the detection zone for the sensor where you want, to avoid false alarms by small animals, trees etc. It also has a long 500ft range. more...
Imagine the following scenario. You own a home located in a secluded area. Having a gate and fences around the property is not necessary since passing traffic is minimal at most. However, occasionally, people drive up your driveway simply to investigate.
If you have three paths into your property, you have three vantage points to monitor. To provide advanced warning of intruders on your premises, you could install security cameras and, or a driveway alarm with either motion or vehicle sensors.
With extra sensors, you aren’t limited to covering your driveway alone, you could fit them anywhere. Even with a large plot of land, you can obtain security through a network of sensors to alert you to intruders.
Each of these methods has its own benefits. To be effective, security cameras require constant monitoring, something that most people don’t have time for and even if recorded they don’t warn you of an intruder, you can only review footage, later on, to assist in catching offenders!
Driveway alarms rely on either motion sensors that sense anything of a certain size that moves or vehicle sensors that only detect large metal objects i.e. cars. Systems like the Guardline Wireless Driveway Alarm or Chamberlain Wireless Motion Alarm rely on wireless motion sensors which make them very easy to install and able to detect human intruders as well as vehicles. On the other hand, they will sense anything that moves in the path of the sensor whether human, animal or mechanical.
The main issue that people have with motion detectors are false alarms. To avoid as many false triggers as possible its best to install the detector units higher than animals such as deer (if you live out in the country).
Avoiding foliage and trees will also help to limit false triggering of the alarm system i.e. a direct line of sight to the house or wherever the detector unit is placed is advised. If you can’t install in a direct line of sight you may need to experiment with the positioning of both sensor and receiver units to get optimum performance.
Guardline state that their wireless driveway alarm is proven at minimizing false alarms caused by small animals, trees, etc. The sensors can detect objects up to 40 ft away but the range from sensor to receiver can be up to 500 ft.
The manufacturers claim their driveway monitor has been tested in ‘real world’ settings to make sure their range claims are true. The sensors are rugged and weatherproof with a swivel mount and an adjustable width sensor ‘eye’ to help focus the detection area – A handy feature that many household alarm PIR’s lack! The sensors have a narrow peripheral vision focusing on a small 10-20 ft viewing area from the sensing eye - to avoid false triggering.
They do qualify these claims by saying that thick walls, metal cladding, and dense foliage can affect range. There is another model available for heavy interference conditions or for those wanting a longer-range unit, the Guardline ¼ mile range driveway alarm model.
The Guardline system comes with one receiver and one detector unit but is extendable to use up to 16 Extra Sensors for all round property protection. This might be overkill for the average installation but it’s nice to know that the unit can be extended to a few extra units without stretching its capabilities. You can also add Extra Receiver Units to emit an intruder warning in more than one part of your house.
The Guardline sensors are powered by 4 standard AA batteries – which will power the unit for 1 year. The receiver unit is mains powered but has a battery backup – also powered by AA batteries. The receiver unit also has a 12V / 300mA output that can be configured to normally open or closed so that you can trigger an external – louder – siren or for example, begin recording of a DVR linked to security cameras.
By comparison, the Chamberlain Motion Sensor with Wireless Motion Alert System is a more affordable unit at nearly half the price of the Guardline system. It still offers robust weatherproof performance. The sensors have the ability to adjust sensitivity and – according to the manufacturers - the range from sensor to base-unit receiver can be up to ½ mile, which is quite an impressive distance.
The Chamberlain comes with one sensor and receiver unit but can be extended up to 3 Extra Sensors. The system is more limited in total coverage than the Guardline model with its 16-sensor capability. The sensors themselves will detect objects up to 30 ft away and are also powered by AA batteries which can last up to 2 years.
The Mighty Mule FM231 Wireless Driveway Alarm is one of few systems that offer vehicle rather than motion detection. If all you are interested in is being notified when someone drives a vehicle up your driveway, then this system won’t pester you with warnings if a deer walks up the path, thus saving you time and preventing constant worry of intruders.
The Mighty Mule, like the other systems, comprises of a sensor unit and receiver housed inside. The system is easy to install and alerts you to the presence of a vehicle with an indoor chime. The system can also be used to monitor parked RV’s, boats, motorcycles etc.
The sophisticated electromagnetic sensors will only trigger when a large metal object like a car passes its detection field and can be adjusted in sensitivity from between a 3 – 12 ft radius. The range wireless sensor to receiver unit it approx. 400 ft
A driveway alarm has additional uses on top of home security. Imagine that you have a fast food restaurant with limited staff. Since foot traffic into the business is heavier than vehicle traffic at the drive-through window, you do not have a full-time staff member at the drive-through. Instead, you can install driveway alarms to alert your workers that a vehicle has stopped at the window.
In this circumstance, driveway alarms can speed customer service and prevent wasted time waiting for customers.
Driveway alarms have a purpose, both in the home defense market as well the drive-through market. In both instances, a motion detector is a very cost-effective and easy to install solution, but if you would rather detect vehicles only, then a vehicle sensing system like the Mighty Mule is the only way forward.
At the same time, security cameras would require a separate person to monitor them. As the perfect go-between for home and business owners who want the convenience of cameras with the controlled sensitivity of a motion detector, the driveway alarm can detect vehicles accurately, time and time again.
If you are looking to protect your property from intruders or notify your workers of customers that need assistance, you should definitely invest in a driveway alarm. With its many benefits and advantages, this product will easily pay for itself.
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