Glassbreak detectors came along and started becoming a popular product in our industry around 1986. Caddx was one of the first to come out with this old-timey acoustic glass-break detector. It came with a small plastic stick to test the device that you could slap the window with and it would trip the glass break.
Like anything electronic, glass break detectors have come a long way. They are now micro-processor-based. It is designed to listen to any type of glass that is being broken but not hear thunder, dishwashers, pots, and pans, or anything else that makes a loud sound but does not have the same thud and high-pitched frequency of glass breaking.
If a burglar is to come into a window, he has two options: he can break the glass, unlatch the window lock, and then raise it, or break the glass completely out and shimmy in making the window contact useless. Either way, he is breaking the glass which will cause the glass break detector to go off.
Glassbreak detectors will protect all the glass that is in one room; so you may have French doors, a few windows, and another window not far away the glass break detector will protect all of the glass up to 23 ft. in diameter (depending on curtains, shutters, etc.)
We use glass break detectors on about 80% of our residential installs to protect windows. We use Honeywell’s products for the wireless glass break detectors and GE makes our hardwired version. We have used these products for 24 of our 26 years that we have been doing this and they have been a great product for our customers.