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Security Kit Run Down: Reed Switches

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Reed switches or door reeds are simple magnetic devices that are normally placed on doors. Reed switches will detect when a door, window or safe is opened and can trigger the alarm if armed. Often, these devices are smaller than a match box and non-intrusive.

How they work

Reed switches normally come in two pieces. A magnet in one half keeps the door reed in a neutral state when close by. When separated from the magnetic half, the door reed sends an electrical pulse that notifies the alarm system of its change in status. The alarm can then do whatever we program it to do in that instance.


Reed switches have a variety of uses both residentially and commercially. More often than not, we use these devices to alarm doors. If in a residential setting, people can alarm only their exterior doors when they go to bed. This gives them the option of walking around inside at night without setting off the alarm.

We have used reed switches to secure:

  • Doors (Burglary or fire)
  • Windows
  • Paintings
  • BBQs
  • Gun safes
  • Medicine cabinets
  • Fridges/Freezers

and much more...

Will it work on my alarm?

Wired reed switches will work on most wired alarms systems as long as there is space on the board. Whereas, wireless reeds will need to be paired with the alarms brand and a wireless receiver may need to be installed in the alarm panel. Some older panels cannot accept wireless receivers, so it's best to ask your trusted security consultant if it will work on your system.

If you have any questions or comments about reed switches leave a comment below. As always, stay safe and stay secure!

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