Alarm System: Window Screens

Nancy B. Alston

Alarm System Window Screens- Window screens are the ultimate perimeter device. The windows in your home look as if they have normal screens on them, however the actual screen mesh is an alarm circuit. The frame also has a contact point in it, so the screen can’t be cut or removed without violating the system if it is armed. The window can be opened for ventilation and protected at the same time. Now that’s a great perimeter device!


Have your screens put on a 24- hour zone. (always on even if the system is off) You will not be able to bypass your always on zones from your keypad. You will need to call in with your password when you remove them for cleaning.

Screens are very expensive, (often $125.00 to $200.00 each) for each opening, but you don’t have to do every window. You can do one on each side of the house or in the master bedroom only if you like the concept of ventilating the house with fresh air while your system is armed. More importantly think about putting one in your children’s rooms if you can afford it. The peace of mind you will get from having your most precious concern protected will be well worth the expense.

Some alarm companies will measure your windows and create a brand new screen. More often they will mark your existing screens as to which window they came from and bring them with them to be re-built. This assures a correct fit and saves a step so that you will save time and hopefully money. Screens come in different frame and mesh shades and colors so be sure to review this with your security consultant when you order them.

Screens take some time to have built. Alarm companies will often wait for them to be returned to them before scheduling your install. Be advised that the screens may slow your install start time down by a couple of weeks. If your alarm company is willing to install the rest of your system, and return at a later date with your screens I would do just that. Could you imagine how hard you would be on yourself if you were burglarized while you were waiting for your screens to be built and an alarm to be installed?


Hold back a substantial portion of your screen money until the screens are installed. No matter how noble your alarm company’s practices are, nothing seems to put a spring in a for profit company’s step, like money.

When I think of protecting your window with a screen in the same room that is protected by a glass break detector, while a motion detector looks on at the whole thing, I think of an elderly gentleman who wears a belt along with his suspenders. It is not a bad idea to overlap your security layers, but you still want to be aware of where to draw the line. A cunning salesperson can run the register up in a New York minute if you’re not on the studious prowl for redundancies.

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