Will My Pet Trigger a False Alarm on My Home Security System?

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The best answer is: maybe. It depends on the type of security system technology you have and where you place the sensors.

Regular motion sensors

A standard motion detector sounds the alarm for any motion, whether it’s caused by an intruder or your pet headed to its water dish.

You can adjust the sensitivity of some standard motion sensors, which means more movement is required to sound an alarm. But they still can't tell the difference between a person walking around and a four-legged friend. This can lead to frequent false alarms.

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How do motion sensors work with pets?

Some of the best home security companies have invested vast amounts of time and resources to create pet-immune motion detectors, thereby eliminating pet-triggered false alarms. The results are impressive and represent the culmination of hundreds of hours of recorded animal and human movements. These movement patterns have been analyzed by engineers and computer programmers, and converted into sophisticated algorithms that effectively separate and eliminate animal motions from human motions.

A pet-friendly home alarm system uses a combination of several different technologies to determine the mass, speed, and movement patterns of any moving object, to read the body temperatures, and to detect infrared emissions to rule out household pets.

Weight is also a key factor in this type of technology and there are motion sensors with pet immunity settings. Most of these types of sensors will not trigger the alarm if the pet weighs anywhere from up to 40 to up to 80 pounds. This eliminates most dogs, and all smaller animals like birds, cats, ferrets, and snakes.

Placing motion sensors to avoid pet-triggered false alarms

The decision of where to place motion sensors in any home with roaming pets can play a significant role in eliminating pet-related false alarms. It is important to speak with a specialist to decide where the best places for your sensors are so you get the best protection possible from your home security system.

Pets are important to their owners, and home security companies are sensitive to these relationships. Security systems aren’t going to be effective if they aren’t armed, so these pet immune motion sensors help alleviate the worry of the pups setting a false alarm. 

Video: Where should you install motion sensors?

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Pets are important to their owners, and home security companies are sensitive to these relationships. Security systems aren’t going to be effective if they aren’t armed, so these pet immune motion sensors help alleviate the worry of the pups setting a false alarm.

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Celeste Tholen
Written by
Celeste Tholen
Celeste has dedicated her decade-long career to reporting and reviews that help people make well-informed decisions. She oversees editorial strategy and production for SafeWise, with a goal to help everyone find the information they need to make their homes and lives safer. Prior to SafeWise, she worked as an editor and reporter for KSL and Deseret News. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism. In her free time, she volunteers at the local botanical garden and writers for the community newspaper.

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