Alarm systems can be set off by pets. However, alarm systems can be designed to accommodate households with pets, significantly reducing the likelihood of pet-triggered alarms.
Motion sensors are possibly the most well-known device in the alarm industry but present the most significant challenge in designing a pet-friendly alarm system.
Motion sensors are designed to pick up a warm body moving across a room. They are usually placed in the home to cover a large area or cover traffic patterns in the house.
The alarm-system designer should ask you many questions about your pets, including their type, size and habits, to help prevent issues with motion sensors.
There are motion detectors on the market that claim to be pet friendly up to a specific pound limit – meaning that a 40-pound pet-friendly sensor would only pick up persons/pets more significant than 40 pounds.
These motion detectors have good technology that can be adjusted to avoid pet-triggered alarms based on the size of the animals in your home.
Best Burglar Alarms For Pet Owners
If you’ve got pets, who’ll be roaming around your home while you’re out, look for pet-friendly sensors when choosing a new alarm.
Passive infra-red (PIR) motion sensors look for changes in the movement of body heat in rooms. They can be specially designed to ignore floor-level changes and up to 35kg in weight (sometimes less, depending on the brand).
So they should identify human intruders but not be triggered by pets exploring your home.
You can adjust the sensitivity of some motion detectors, too, for example, Pyronix and Scantronic.
Honeywell’s alarms let you set up an unarmed zone in your home, for instance, in the room where you shut your pet at night. Check with your alarm company.
Owners of big dogs (above 40kg) or pets that might jump up on surfaces will need to consider alternative home security measures to PIR sensors. These can include:
- door contacts fitted to doors and windows to activate the alarm if they are opened whilst it is set
- glass break
- Detectors' smart alarm systems use cameras to take sequences of snapshots when the sensor is triggered. These are sent to your smartphone so you can check if your pet is the cause of the issue.
Will My Pet Trigger My Alarm?
Part of protecting your home is making sure all members of your family are considered, including pets. You want to make sure your home security plan is prepared for the scampering of paws throughout your home and on your property.
Motion sensors are a smart addition to any home security system, but the presence of pets often raises concerns about false alarms. The cost savings and extra peace of mind that comes from securing an entire room with the addition of one motion detector doesn’t have to be compromised just because you have a pet.
Depending on the size of your pet and the specifics of the motion sensors used, your pets may trigger a standard motion sensor or alarm. However, sensors from SafeStreets, an ADT Authorised Provider, are smart enough to tell the difference between animals and humans, making the odds of Fido triggering an alarm a lot less.
Typically any small pet that weighs less than 40 pounds will be immune to these sensors. ADT monitoring offers pet-immune motion detectors that use heat sensors to tell the difference between your four-legged friend walking around the house and a human who may or may not have any business being there.
Does that mean having a giant pet means motion sensors are off the table? Not with ADT monitoring. You can choose to take motion sensor technology to the next level with sensors that can accommodate pets weighing as much as 60 to 80 pounds.
By using a combination of technologies, these sensors can determine the movement patterns, mass, and speed of any moving object. Reading body temperature and infrared emissions also helps these sensors tell animals from humans. This advanced technology means your pets can roam freely without accidentally triggering a problematic and potentially costly alarm.
Another way to minimise the chance of a pet-triggered false alarm is to select where you place motion sensors in your home carefully. This is an instance where consulting with an installation professional can make a big difference and save you the potential headache and cost of false alarms.
No matter how many pets you have or how large they may be, ADT monitoring likely has a motion detection solution that will work for your specific needs. Partnering with a SafeStreets technician can help you understand your options and choose the motion detection plan that makes the most sense for you. SafeStreets installation professionals are prepared to work with you to understand your specific needs. They can come up with solutions that consider your furry family members, whatever their size.
Unusual Causes Of False Alarms
After the owner turns on the alarm by mistake and pets, strong gusts of wind are the next-biggest cause of a false alarm.
But insects, rain, and people outside (but not trying to break in) are common causes of false alarms.
Other, less common, reasons for false alarms include:
- Power cuts
- The notice needing a new battery
- A faulty sensor
- Friends and family members setting it off at night
- Owner not inputting the code fast enough
But the most unusual reasons we heard about included false alarms caused by steam from the dishwasher, hot sun shining on the sensor all day, a lightning storm and a mouse inside the property.
Will My Pets Trigger My Motion Detector?
No, pets do not set off motion detectors, provided that they are correctly mounted and offer pet immunity. But if a motion sensor does not feature pet immunity, or if it is mounted poorly, then it is likely that a pet will trigger it. Mounting location is significant for motion sensors.
Motion sensors are a great addition to a home security system, triggering an alarm when motion is detected in your home. Activated when you aren’t home, they will alert your monitoring station when spontaneous activity is detected in your home, reacting to windows or doors being opened or closed, broken windows, and intruders crossing the floor.
There are a variety of different motion sensors available, each operating in another way.
Passive infrared (or PIR) sensors detect body heat and are the most common type available in homes today. If the infrared energy levels change rapidly, indicating a heat source (like a warm human body) is present, it trips the alarm.
Microwave sensors send out microwave pulses, measuring the reflection off of a moving object. If the time it takes for the microwaves to return changes, it’s an indication that something in the environment is moving, triggering the alarm. You can also get systems that combine microwave and PIR sensors, requiring both sensors to be tripped to trigger an alarm, reducing the chance of false alarms. These are called Dual Technology motion sensors.
Other motion sensor varieties include area reflective sensors or ultrasonic sensors. These function similarly to microwave sensors, simply emitting infrared rays or ultrasonic waves rather than microwaves. There are also vibration motion sensors, using a mass that triggers an alarm when it vibrates. These are generally less common and less effective than PIR or microwave sensors.
One of the most common questions we get when installing home motion sensors is whether the presence of a pet will set off the alarm. After all, you don’t want to constantly send your monitoring company false alarms just because Fido is moving from one room to another! Fortunately, pet-immune motion sensors do exist, thanks to advances in technology.
Pet-immune sensors use sophisticated algorithms, taking into account the mass, speed, movement patterns, body temperatures and infrared emissions of any moving objects to rule out household pets. Weight is a central telling point; most pet-immune sensors won’t trigger if the moving object is below a certain weight, usually 40-80 pounds. That’s enough to avoid any cat, bird or smaller pet from triggering the alarm and only the largest of the giant breeds of dog.
While pet-immune sensors do exist, there are some recommendations for set-up. Where the motion sensors are located needs to be thoughtfully considered as you would not want them near a staircase or table where cats or small dogs may frequently jump up on and trigger the alarm. Also, if your pet is too large for a pet-immune system to function correctly, the alternative is to replace the motion sensors in your home with glass break detectors.
What You Need To Know If Your Burglar Alarm Keeps Going Off
Four in 10 (43%) people have had a false alarm. But a quarter (24%) of these have had three or more false alarms in the last two years.
If you have a monitoring contract that notifies the police when your alarm goes off, three false alarms (four in Scotland) in a year can see you struck off the police register, and they won’t respond.
After two false alarms in 12 months, you should get a letter telling you to update or repair your system to avoid another false alarm. After three false alarms, the causes must be identified and fixed, and you’ll need to wait 90 days without a false notice before you can be added back onto the police response list.
Even if you have a standalone (or bells-only) alarm, sounding a false alarm regularly may mean your neighbours are less likely to investigate when it does go off.
How To Prevent Your Pets From Setting Off Your Burglar Alarm
When you go through buying and installing a home security system, the last thing you want to deal with is the prospect of false alarms. Unfortunately, pets represent a potential cause of such problems. Leaving your four-legged family members to walk about your home when you’re not around can potentially trigger motion detection sensors that can then activate a false alarm.
If you have a monitored system, you might be on the receiving end of a bill from the local police if they are dispatched to your address only to discover that it was a false alarm. It helps to take measures to prevent your pets from setting off your burglar alarm. Read on for some tips on ensuring your home security system is pet-proof.
Get the Right Motion Sensors
The type of motion sensors you install and where you place them will determine whether or not you can pet-proof your home security system.
There are two primary kinds of motion detectors, namely active (such as active infrared (IR)) and passive (such as passive infrared (PIR)).
The former detect motion by emitting energy waves, while the latter, rather than talking about anything, seeks to detect changes in the vicinity, such as the presence of body heat. IR sensors are usually used outside, whereas PIR sensors are generally used inside.
As it turns out, a home security system with a good PIR motion detector is your best bet if you want to avoid false alarms caused by your pets. PIR motion detectors can tell the difference between a dog and a human moving throughout your home.
Watch Where You Place Them
While a PIR motion detector is better than an IR motion detector for avoiding false alarms caused by your pets, that doesn’t mean that you’ll be guaranteed 100% success.
You’ll only significantly reduce the odds of a false alarm. Another way you can tilt the odds in your favour is to be mindful about where you place the motion sensors. For instance, if your pets favour a specific area, like the sofa in the living room, it will make sense to point the motion sensor in another direction.
If your dogs or cats are all over the place, all the time, then you might need to confine your pets to a specific area where they won’t run the risk of triggering a false alarm. Also, installing motion sensors higher up on the wall, such as near the ceiling, will still provide enough coverage to catch the movement of humans.
Adjust Arming Mode
If you want to eliminate the chance that your pets will accidentally trigger your alarm, you should adjust your house security system arming mode. Some plans have, for instance, options where you can keep your door, window, and glass break sensors armed while disarming your motion detectors. This option could work for you.
It is possible to make your house security system pet-proof so that you can get the protection you need while allowing your pets to roam about unchecked.
Pet Safety Basics
- Don’t leave an open flame unattended in your home. Make sure to extinguish candles, fires in a fireplace, and any other pets.
- Watch out for things they will eat. This means moving choking hazards out of the way. You also want to remove any food or toxic items for pets – examples include grapes, lilies, weed killers, and more.
- Keep your doors and windows locked. This includes the doggie door.
- Clutter causes accidents. Keep your clothes, blankets, and other things picked up and off the floor and put away.
- If you have cats, make sure you don’t accidentally trap them in a closet or dresser drawer.
- Childproofing is pet-friendly. Just as you would for a small child, make sure to secure cabinets. Trash cans are irresistible to many pets, so make sure that they are connected, as well. Look for small spaces a pet could squeeze into and get stuck.
- Secure your appliances. Pets can be tenacious. You don’t want your pet to get stuck in a small space.
- Don’t let cords become chew toys. When your pet chews on a line, it’s not just inconvenient for you – it can be hazardous for them.
- Know your plants. Several plants can make a pet sick. Make sure you know if your indoor plants are on the list before leaving them out.
- A good fence. A fence is great to contain a pet when you let them outside, but you need to check on its condition regularly. Look for holes or evidence that your dog is digging under the fence.
While we can do everything on this list to keep our pets safe, it is best to plan for the unexpected. Make sure you have a vet you are comfortable with, know their hours, and also see where the nearest emergency vet is to you. If you have a pet sitter or dog walker coming into the home, make sure to post the veterinarian’s information somewhere they can easily find it.
Top 5 Pet-friendly Home Security System Features
You’ve read about pet-proofing your home. You may be wondering how a home security system lends itself to keeping your pet safe – beyond the apparent alert of a break-in. Did you know that your home security system can make your home smarter and, therefore, better able to keep an eye on your beloved animals?
Today’s home security systems offer a wide variety of features and customisations to ensure your home and those in it are protected – including your pets. Below are five features you’ll want to integrate into your home security system to make it more pet-friendly.
- Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
- Motion Sensors
- Glass Break or Door and Window Sensors
- Flood Detectors
- Indoor and Outdoor Security Cameras
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
When your pets are home, but you are not, having a connected smoke or carbon monoxide detector will mean a faster response – and rescue. Sometimes, a problem occurs when you least expect it, and the problem isn’t always the candle we forgot about. Our beloved pets have been known to create mischief on their own. You never know when a pet might cause a disaster in the kitchen or need to be rescued from something outside your control. Interconnected alarms send an immediate alert to professional monitors, who can then call for help on your behalf.
The ADT smoke sensors and carbon monoxide sensors can help. The sensor technology allows for the earlier detection of smoke or gas. Our monitoring centres will quickly see an alert, notify your local fire department, and send you a notification.
Motion sensors are there to detect when an uninvited guest is at your home. Motion sensors are an essential tool in early detection, but are you aware the family pet can change how a motion sensor works?
You may worry that a pet will set the sensor off, triggering a false alarm. Newer systems now can ignore anything under 85 pounds, so most pets are off the hook. In fact, with ADT’s motion sensors, you can set the sensitivity level to the specific weight of your pet.
However, if you have an extra-large animal, you risk the motion detectors going off and triggering a false alarm. In this case, glass break sensors may make the most sense for you. An ADT professional can help by looking at your home and pets to ensure the best options are in place.
As an additional benefit, motion sensors are a great way to monitor where your pet is in the home. For example, a motion sensor can notify you if your pet is loose in a room they aren’t supposed to be in.
Glass Break or Door and Window Sensors
Glass break sensors are capable of detecting the sounds associated with shattering glass. When they see glass breaking within their range (typically about 20 feet), they are alert.
A door and window sensor is a two-piece magnetic contact sensor. When a door or window is opened and the two pieces are separated, it triggers an alert. With these sensors, you can receive a text or email alert when activated, and you can create an automation to turn on a camera to see who triggered your sensor.
Both types of sensors are helpful for pet owners. If someone were to enter your home while you aren’t there, these sensors would alert the ADT monitoring centres, and emergency services will be called sooner.
A burst pipe is a big problem – particularly when you aren’t at home. The damage can mount quickly and put your pets at risk. Flood detectors are wireless, making them easy to place in hard-to-reach places by dishwashers, washing machines, basements, or anywhere else you might have flooding. If a flood occurs, an instant alert is sent to your phone, which allows you to respond faster, protect your pets, and get a repair crew in sooner.
Indoor and Outdoor Security Cameras
Having cameras to keep an eye on things when you’re not home allows you to monitor when people come to your door and provides video footage when the unthinkable happens. But having both indoor and outdoor cameras also enable you to keep an eye on your furry friend when you’re gone. Here are a few things to consider when looking for the right camera.
- Is the camera compatible with your smartphone so you can watch your pet from anywhere?
- Does it have a live stream option?
- How clear is the picture, and does it have night vision when you are away in the evening?
- Does the camera system allow you to switch between cameras and follow your pets as they move from one area to another?
- Does the camera enable you to set up custom zones, so you only get alerts from the areas you want to see?
ADT has cameras that offer HD video quality images no matter the day or amount of light. They are motion-activated, and you can receive live or recorded video clips when a camera senses motion. You can also watch your four-legged friends shift between cameras to track their movement. And it can all be controlled from your phone.