How to Mount a SimpliSafe Entry Sensor

How to Mount SimplISafe Security SensorI can’t believe we never published any articles on mounting security system components.  Today, we will start a series of articles on this topic with the SimpliSafe Entry Sensor.

SimpliSafe is one of the most popular self-install security systems out there.  Generally speaking, most people start off with a bundle of devices that include a base station and keypad.  The bundle has a bunch of accessories included of which the entry sensor is most common.  These sensors are attached to doors and windows to detect an intruder.

As mentioned above, this is the first in a series.  We will also cover topics such as mounting the SimpliSafe SimpliCam and the SimpliSafe Keypad.

SimpliSafe Entry Sensor Installation

A SimpliSafe Entry Sensor has two parts.  The larger part contains the communication technology and button used to initiate the pairing process.  The smaller half has a magnet.  When the magnetic bond is broken, a signal is sent to the SimpliSafe system.

Each component has an adhesive backing and screw holes.  More on the selection of mounting method later in this article.

The two components should be placed within 2 inches of each other when the door or window are closed.  It doesn’t matter which half goes on the door or window versus the frame.  As seen in the photo accompanying this article, I chose to place the larger half on the door.  Be sure to finalize your placement selection prior to mounting because once it’s on, it’s difficult to move.  The light on the larger half flashes once when it opens and twice when it closes.  Ensure you see the flashing before mounting.

If selecting the adhesive mount, clear away any dust that might be present on the surface.  Now peel away the wax covering the adhesive.  SimpliSafe recommends maintaining pressure on the device for 30-seconds to assure a good bond.

Each sensor comes with a set of screws which could alternatively be used for attachment.

After both parts of the SimpliSafe Entry Sensor are attached, it’s time to identify them to the system.  Be sure the door or window is closed, tell your system that you are adding a device, press the little button on the large half.  The system will recognize the new device and you can give it a location or custom name.

All done.

SimpliSafe Entry Sensor Installation Challenges

There are a few challenges that are worth mentioning.

I find the sticky backing adheres poorly to flat wall paint (glossy seems to work fine though).  This is where the screws come in very handy.  You will want to avoid having a sensor fall off when the system is armed because that will set the alarm off.  Nothing worse than having this happen in the middle of the night.

So if at all possible, use the screws, especially on surfaces with flat paint.

Next challenge – these aren’t made to use outdoors.  Consider the Weatherproof Case for SimpliSafe Entry Sensors for use outdoors.  It’s an enclosure that accommodates an entry sensor.  Why use an entry sensor outside?  An idea is to place one on a curbside mailbox so you know when the mailman arrives.  Kind of clever.

Another challenge worth mentioning is the importance of final placement selection.  In the event you made a mistake and have to move it, SimpliSafe recommends rotating the small part slowly until it comes off the wall.  You can also slide a butter knife under the adhesive strip to help pry it loose.

The problem with removal of the SimpliSafe Entry Sensor is that you may not be able to reuse the adhesive a second time.  The SimpliSafe Entry Sensor uses 3M Command Strip Adhesive Tape to adhere to the windows, doors, and walls.  You may need to trim the tape to fit the smaller half which contains the magnet but this is a simple way to refresh the adhesive.

Another option, for those wanting an even more secure fit is to consider a roll of 3M VHB Tape.  VHB is an acronym for Very High Bond.  This is permanent and difficult to remove.  Be sure you want to opt for this type of adhesive as it will likely pull your paint off when it is removed.

If replacing the tape with either option, be sure to first remove all old tape remnants from the SimpliSafe Entry Sensor.  Be sure to apply at least 30 seconds of pressure when applying the new tape and then 30-seconds again when adhering it to the flat surface.