Low Temperature Sensors

I remember a number of years ago a friend of mine was heading away over the Christmas holidays, and thinking I might get something extra in my stocking, I had volunteered to water his plants while he was away. Aaron agreed that I would visit his house every other day until he got back. He made arrangements for snow removal in the event of snow, gave me a key and a code for the alarm system, and we had done the walk around the house so I knew where all the plants were located. He had an average-size house and only a few plants so this should be easy right? Well for the most part it was OK; I visited the house every two days, watered the plants, took a general look around, and left.

This routine went on for about a week until Christmas Eve, and as Murphy’s Law would have it, if something is going to happen it’s always going to be at the most inconvenient time. I arrived at the house planning on a 15-minute stop, but when I opened the door it hit me: COLD. I mean the house was really cold and the tile floor under my feet was making my feet numb. I went to the thermostat and the needle was buried below the lowest setting on the dial. To make matters worse, we were experiencing a cold snap and that night was forecast to be -16, so I knew that if I didn’t discover what was going on the next thing I would be dealing with is frozen pipes. It turns out that my friend had forgotten to call for automatic delivery from his oil company and the tank had run out, but thanks to an oil delivery company with the Christmas spirit, the day was saved. All too often the story doesn’t end happily, but rather with a flooded house and an insurance claim in the middle of the Christmas holidays. By the way, that was a true story.

My friend was fortunate that he didn’t get a call in the middle of his vacation telling him his house was flooded. I would dare say if that had not been the day I was scheduled to water his plants, the story would have been different. However, the story could have been very different if he had only installed a low temperature sensor on his alarm system.

A low temperature sensor is a device that can detect when the ambient temperature in the area of the sensor drops below a normal threshold that can be fixed or variable – meaning you can set that temperature.

Fixed Low Temperature Sensors

A fixed sensor’s threshold temperature is what it is, and cannot be changed. They are usually the most inexpensive to have installed and can be either hardwired or wireless. As an example, Honeywell has a fixed low temperature sensor that will activate if the temperature in the room drops and stays below 7C or 45F and stays there for more than ten minutes. If it does, the sensor will activate. Once activated the alarm system treats it like any other type of alarm and sends it into the Central Monitoring Station, as a low temperature alarm condition. The sensor is adjustable by your installer to monitor for other conditions as well, like a hot temperature condition, which is when the temperature rises above 35C or 95F for more than ten minutes, or, with the use of an optional water probe, to protect against flooding.

Variable Low Temperature Sensors

A variable temperature sensor allows the end user to adjust the temperature threshold in which the sensor will trigger. Usually these type of sensors cost a bit more, but they typically have more features available to the customer such as the storage of alarm events, or an LED screen. Similar to the fixed sensor described above, it’s common for a variable temperature sensor to have settings for both high and low temperature conditions, but may have more intelligent firmware built in to discriminate between real or a false low temperature condition depending on the manufacturer.

If you would like more information on protecting your property with a Low Temperature device contact Wilsons Security at (902) 453-3388