A burglar alarm is any device that will give notice of the attempted entrance of an intruder. It is usually in the form of a bell or buzzer placed in circuit with a battery, as a doorbell system, in which the contact piece is placed to detect the opening of a door or window. The contact is arranged to start the alarm whenever the window or door is opened beyond a certain point. The attachment shown in Fig. 242 is intended to form the contact for a window. It is set in the window frame so that the lug C will be depressed and close the alarm circuit in case the sash is raised sufficiently to admit a man. Each window may be furnished with a similar device and the doors provided with suitable contacts which together form a system to operate in a single alarm. During the time when the alarm is not needed it is disconnected by a switch. The windows and doors are sometimes connected with an annunciator which will indicate the place from which an alarm is given. An annunciator used for this purpose designates the exact point at which the contact is made and removes the necessity of searching for the place of attempted entrance.
Fig. 240. - Diagram of the vibrating mechanism used in buzzers and doorbells.
Fig. 241. - The electric buzzer.
Fig. 242. - Contact for a window burgler alarm.
Fig. 243. - Trip contact which announces the opening of a door.
Fig. 244. - Contact for a door alarm.
Fig. 245. - Doorway or hall matting with contacts for electric alarm.
In Fig. 243 is illustrated one form of door trip which may be used on a door to announce its opening. This trip makes electric connection in the alarm circuit when the opening door comes into contact with the swinging piece T, but no contact is made as the door closes. The trip is fastened with screws at D to the frame above the door. The opening door comes into contact with T and moves it forward until the electric circuit is formed at C; after the door has passed, a spring returns it to place. As the door is closed, the part T is moved aside without making electric contact.
Fig. 244 is another form of door alarm that makes contact when the door is opened and remains in contact until the door is closed. The part P is set into the door frame of the door in such position that the contact at C is held open when the door is closed. When the door is opened a spring in C closes the contact and causes the alarm to sound. It continues to sound until the door is closed and the contact is broken. When the use of the alarm is not required, the contact-maker is turned to one side and the contact is held open by a catch. It is put out of use by pressing the plunger to one side.
The matting shown in Fig. 245 is provided with spring contacts so placed that no part may be stepped upon without sounding the alarm. When placed in a doorway and properly connected with a signal, no person can enter without starting an alarm. The matting is attached to the alarm by the wires C and contacts are set at close intervals so that a footstep on the mat must close at least one contact.
It is often convenient for a bell or buzzer to serve two or more push buttons placed in different parts of the house. In order that there may be means of designating the push button used - when the bell is rung - an annunciator is provided. This is a box arranged with an electric bell and the required number of pointers and fingers corresponding to the push buttons. In Fig. 246 is shown an annunciator with which two push buttons are served by the single bell. The annunciator is placed at the most convenient place of observation, usually in the kitchen. When the bell rings the pointer indicates the push button that has last been used. In hotels or apartment houses an annunciator with a single bell may thus serve any number of push buttons. In a burglar-alarm system the annunciator numbers are arranged to indicate the windows and other openings at which entrance might be made. When the alarm sounds the annunciator indicates the place from which the alarm is made.