Pets and Your Alarm System

The last thing you want is to be contacted by your security provider or monitoring company because your alarm’s been triggered. That worry can quickly turn to embarrassment if you discover it’s a false alarm triggered by your pet.

Happy PuppyIn fact, family pets accidentally cause a high number of false alarms each year. This is due to the placement of interior motion detectors as well as the sensitivity of certain sensors. Since you’re not giving up your furry friend, a pet-friendly security system is vital.

Modern home security systems typically use infrared motion detectors. They look for a significant change in the normal level of heat within its field of vision. So when a large heat source, like a person or a large pet, moves within its range, it sounds your alarm. Even a smaller pet can trigger the motion detector’s alarm if it gets close because the pet’s heat signature appears larger than it actually is.

So when designing (or redesigning) your security system, you and your provider need to consider your pets. If installed property, carefully placed pet-friendly motion detectors can coexist with your pets. Here are some tips:

  • Place the motion sensor or detector high (about 7.5’ to 8’ high) on a wall so the pet can’t get close to it.
  • Even if you set your motion detectors high, you need to make sure it’s not pointing towards any pet climbable areas that come within 6’ of the lens. Cats are notorious for setting off alarms by climbing on things like stairways and furniture.
  • Install a motion detector with a pet-immune function. Certain motion detectors can be programmed where it’s less likely to sound your alarm for any pets under 80 lbs. However, if you have two pets, they may still set off these detectors (their heat signatures look different.)
  • Break glass detectors, window screens and other sensors that aren’t movement sensitive also make your system more pet-friendly.

For more information on pet-friendly security systems or if you’d like a free estimate, feel free to contact our business office at (925) 932-2211. Our business hours are 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday.

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