According to the United States of America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) annual report on crime statistics, otherwise known as the Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR), . The UCR program gathers data from law enforcement agencies from around the country to come up with its statistics on crimes committed. Some of the statistics below might prompt you to consider obtaining a motion sensor security system at your home. The FBI will transition to a new data reporting program and works to provide accurate information to the public.


“The more complete the data, the better we can inform, educate, and strengthen all of our communities,”

-FBI Director Christopher Wray, 2016

  • There were about 330,000 robberies in the United States in 2015, and the average dollar value of stolen property per reported robbery was around $1,200.
  • In 2016, violent crimes statistics rose in frequency for the second straight year.
  • Last year, almost 8 million property crimes were logged with the UCR, and the losses (not including arson) were more than $15 billion.
  • Larceny and theft made up more than 70 percent of property crimes, burglary about 19 percent and motor vehicle theft just shy of ten percent.

So you might be doing a little bit of research to understand just how motion detectors actually work. Motion sensors are the devices installed in many homes and businesses that provide a monitored layer of security that triggers a central alarm system (in most cases) when one of the sensors picks up movement or activity of some kind. Not all motion sensors work the same way, in terms of their design and technology used. For example, when you go to the grocery store and the doors open automatically when you enter/exit, you are being serviced by a motion sensor setup to automate the opening and closing of doors at the supermarket. Also, in some cases home owners will use a driveway motion sensor to alert them when someone is home.

So what type of sensors are there and how do they work?

As previously mentioned, there are different types of sensors that use different kinds of technology. The supermarket example consists of radar-based motion detectors. The other types of sensors used in motion detectors are photo-sensor and passive infrared. Each one works a little bit differently, so it is better to cover the basics of each one of them individually to get a better understanding of their dynamics.

Radar-based motion detectors

In the case of radar-based, arrays of microwave radio energy or ultrasonic sound waves are used. The patterns of wave energy reflect in the same pattern, but once the pattern is disturbed by someone entering the field, the sensor is triggered. For a security monitoring system, the sensor will send an alarm signal.

Photo-sensor motion detectors

A rather rudimentary design, a photo-sensor motion detector uses focused light such as laser beam and a light sensor combination to detect movement or activity. In your home security, the beam is aimed directly at the light sensor from a distance of space between rooms in your home. If someone travels between the light source and sensor, the blocked beam will trigger the alarm via control panel or box.


Infared motion detectors

Passive infrared (PIR) motion detector technology uses infared sensors. Sensors detect infared energey that is emitted from intruders in your home because they sense body heat within their sensor field. The increase in energy can trigger a burglar alarm system in your security and alert the monitoring or police of the activity right away (usually both). Though, infared energy is bound to fluctuate, the sensors are specifically designed to trigger when more rapid changes occur in the field.

Interested in monitored home security? Get a free quote from Protect America