If you choose a security system that requires professional installation, the installer will know how to set up your sensors. However, you are responsible for setting up your sensors if you go with a DIY home security system.
Before you install motion sensors, make sure to read the installation instructions, since they will likely include placement recommendations. Some DIY systems also give you electronic prompts, video tutorials, or have you call a representative to walk you through the setup process.
Keep in mind that motion sensors aren’t error-proof, and there are instances in which there could be false alarms. False alarms are usually caused by electrical failures, user error, poor application engineering, power surges, lightning, and faulty equipment. Animals, insects, and foliage can also trigger them under the right circumstances.
While the best thing you can do to increase the effectiveness of your sensors and prevent false alarms is to read the instructions that come with them, here are some placement tips to help leverage the sensor's strengths:
1. Keep PIR sensors 10–15 feet away from heat sources like radiators, heating vents, and sunny windows.3 Motion sensors can trip upon detecting a swift change in heat, even that of a cloud passing quickly over direct sunlight in your living room.
3. Assess where intruders are most likely to enter and what path they would take. Most burglars enter the home through a front or back door, patio door, or garage door, so it’s advisable to place the sensors near those areas.
For example, in a hallway you tend to walk parallel to the walls, not directly toward them.