- In Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), outdoor sensors have traditionally been installed in commercial installations. They provide an added level of security, in addition to closed-circuit television systems and indoor intruder-detection systems.
- The residential sector has only recently started showing interest in these products; but recently more homeowners have started adding outdoor sensors to their home-security systems.
- Falling prices have further lowered adoption barriers for outdoor sensors in the residential sector. The average price for outdoor sensors is forecast to fall by 1.6 percent in EMEA, between 2016 and 2021.
- Outdoor sensors in residential installations are primarily used to protect areas near the back door of the home, including the garage, garden and backyard.
Outdoor sensors allow homeowners in EMEA to push the protective perimeter away from their properties, which can help minimize damage caused by intruders breaking windows or damaging doors. This use of outdoor sensors is a preemptive attempt by homeowners to deter an intruder from entering the property, rather than deferring to reactive measures after an in-home intrusion has already occurred.
Of course, burglaries can still happen when homeowners are present on their properties. For example, they might have left doors or windows on the ground floor open, making home intrusion easier. Outdoor sensors solve this problem, allowing homeowners to freely move around their homes, while ensuring that they will be alerted if an intruder approaches their properties from outside.
Dual-technology sensors reduce false alarms
Given their numerous benefits, outdoor sensors are becoming an important addition to residential intrusion systems. However, they are unlikely to replace the need for indoor sensors, given that even if an intruder triggers the outdoor sensor, the indoor sensors provide an added confidence about the true nature of the alarm.
When homeowners are away from their properties, a combination of indoor and outdoor detection can provide added confidence. If their home alarms are triggered, they will know that it is in fact an intruder trying to break in, rather than a false alarm.
Even so, intrusion detection around the perimeter is still very difficult. Weather conditions can change rapidly and there are numerous variables that can trigger a sensor, such as passing animals, moving tree branches, rain and changes in temperature and wind direction.
Video verification expands outdoor-detection market
Despite falling prices, adding outdoor sensors can still be expensive. In fact in EMEA, the average outdoor sensor is 13 times more expensive than an indoor sensor. Continuing higher prices will limit the overall number of properties likely to deploy outdoor sensors, as well as the average number of outdoor sensors used in each installation.
By comparison, a dual-technology sensor for outdoor applications is just five times more expensive that its wireless indoor counterpart and eight times more expensive than its wired indoor counterpart. It is, therefore, still significantly more expensive than a standard intruder-alarm system.
Another barrier preventing wider adoption of outdoor sensors in the residential sector is the growing popularity of consumer video cameras and video doorbells. These devices are often equipped with motion detection capabilities, and they provide the homeowner with an additional visual verification of what is happening around their properties. An influx of consumer video cameras from China is helping to boost this trend.
Adding outdoor sensors to intruder alarm-system packages offers manufacturers and installers an opportunity to upsell more devices to consumers. For example, installers could create versatile kits to introduce end users to outdoor sensors. Another idea is partnering with financial institutions (or financing directly to consumers), which would allow installers to offer payment plans to help customers amortize the costs of intruder-alarm equipment. The rather significant cost of the equipment could also be amortized through maintenance contracts, which allow equipment providers to lower the initial cost of outdoor sensors while recovering the rest of the cost through maintenance charges.
This 2017 study provides a comprehensive, detailed view of the world market for intruder alarms. This is the eighth edition in the series of reports by IHS Markit on the market for intrusion equipment.