Improvised Trip-wire Alarms for Personal Security (cheap)

If you are seeking solutions to home security, but don’t have the money to invest in a sophisticated system, then this review of a small door alarm might be useful to you.


I picked up a pack of four of these from a hardware store for just a couple bucks, and while they aren’t as nifty as ADT, they can provide you with a degree of home protection given you adhere to a few use protocols.

The alarm itself is powered by 3 coin batteries. As depicted in the photo, a segment of the alarm is detachable and contains a magnet that keeps the circuit open when in contact with the body of the alarm. The conventional uses for these alarms consist of attaching them to a door frame or window frame (the back of the body has an adhesive coating) in such a manner that breech of the door will result in a breakage of the magnetic contact and a closure of the internal circuit. This culminates in a vociferous oscillation that may be a deterrent to would be criminals.

In addition to its marketed uses, I will supply you with a few unconventional uses of these alarms that should provide additional security to your home (or what have you) with a little bit of thinking. So lets get into it.


Trip-wire Improv.

This unconventional use is simple and a utility multiplier given you apply some thought.   img_08881

As seen in this photo, I have simply taken the magnetic contact and wrapped it with some navy-blue thread. Color choice is important as this device is likely to come into use in the dark hours, so don’t pick a thread color that is too easy to spot.

Next, attach the device to the outside of the walkway you wish img_08911to wire with the magnetic contact above the body of the alarm and run the thread to the opposite side of the walkway. Attach the running end to anything you find fit, just make sure the line is seimg_08901cure.

Check your work. I placed this trip at a height of approx. 2 feet and shined it with a flashlight. As you can see the thickness of the the thread makes the line indiscernible without putting your face right down next to it.

Arm the alarm by flicking the switch on the body and you are good to go.

The drawbacks of this alarm are contingently manifest respecting the user’s sleep. If you are a heavy sleeper, then this alarm will do nothing for you. If you wake in response to loud noises, then follow these precautions in the event of a home break-in.

  1. Have a phone next to your area of sleep so you can alert the authorities.
  2. Have either a blunt weapon or fire-arm ready at your bedside along with a flashlight. The flashlight is for identifying the int-img_08941ruder before you use any kind of force (which I don’t recommend with litigation and all). I also do not think knives are a good choice for bedside protection in that trouncing around with one in the darkness after an intruder seems to invite disaster (just sit-tight and wait). The intruder could be armed, trained, stronger, faster, and more inclined to harming you. The best thing to do is call 911.

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