As owners of large homes can afford many luxuries, many opt to decorate their houses with valuable antiques. As the price of these objects is often only estimated by their insured value and cannot estimate sentimental value, many homeowners decide to undertake strong measures to protect them.
The most common level of protection is also the most basic, a glass-enclosed showcase. These furniture pieces are often equipped with locking mechanisms. Although this level of sophistication dates from ancient times, many people are nevertheless content with the level of protection that showcases give to their personal treasures. The most expensive types of showcases are manufactured with durable, shatter and scratch-resistant materials such as polycarbonate and tempered glass.
One of the most common type of mechanisms used to lock glass showcases is the ratchet lock. This lock, designed specifically for sliding glass displays, consists of a serrated bar inserted through a slot attached to a key activated gear. To lock the mechanisms you pass the bar through the slot to a desired length and turn the key. Another lock designed for sliding glass, the sliding lock works on a similar principle except that instead of serrations, the sliding bar contains grooves. After sliding the bar through the slot to the desired length, the user turns the key in the same way as the ratchet lock. Other display cases with forward swinging doors typically utilize a latch type lock, although using a sliding glass lock may be used this way as well.
However, others may possess items that may be valuable to an extent that they decide to install alarm systems to deter any possible tampering. Alarms may detect attempts to open doors or break glass and may be applied to multiple doors, using split cables or daisy chains attached to a single alarm.
Systems designed to detect the opening of glass or doors usually consist of magnetic sensors that are attached to the inside of the door. When the magnetic seal is broken, the system automatically triggers the alarm. Some of the systems are designed to be compatible with existing alarm systems and represent an upgrade over the existing alarms. Other alarm systems detect the breakage of glass and may be divided into two main categories: single-unit types which adhere directly to glass and sense breakage and dual units in which sensors attached to glass are connected to units which sound alarms.
Some alarm systems feature time windows for opening windows. After the allotted time lapses, the system sounds a warning to remind the user to close the glass. For many systems, users may deactivate the alarm and warning by remote control.
Similarly, beepers signal users that doors are opening and many feature delays before triggering the warning. Special types of horizontal alarm protects particularly valuable pieces. Objects are placed directly on the system. The system senses attempts to move objects and instantly sounds an alarm when the object is removed. Many use a double security system in which the horizontal alarm and object of value are placed inside a locked showcase which may also be protected by a separate alarm system. A simpler, more inexpensive alarm ties a sensor like a lariat to a valuable object and triggers the alarm when it is moved.
Many people wish to augment their alarm systems. Possibilities include raising the volume of the alarm's sound, the ability to activate and deactivate alarms with remote controls, or the attachment of keypads requiring PIN codes.