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Pets and Alarms

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  a Security Professional 7 years, 2 months ago.

  • Author
  • #1355 Reply

    Kevin Stilwell

    I have been looking around to try and find an alarm system for my home. I have children and I have pets. I am not sure which one is making it harder to find an alarm system that will work well in my home. I don’t worry about the children too much because we will probably only set the alarm when we leave the house or when we go to bed, so they should not even be near anything that might set the alarms off.

    The cats and dog are entirely different. I don’t want to crate my dog at night because I think that would be mean and if someone actually did break in, my dog would probably be the first line of defense. If I crate him, it is sort of like shooting myself in the foot, so let’s just not even go there. Also, he isn’t my biggest concern. I’m worried about the cats setting off the alarm more than the dog because they do like to get up by the windows and such.

    Since I want a motion detector as part of my alarm system, I need to find one that makes sense to have in a house with pet. I am only just beginning my search, so maybe all systems are pet friendly, but I doubt it.

    Does anyone actually have a system they use and have cats in the house? If you know of a system that is pet friendly, please feel free to mention it but I would really like to hear from someone who has used a system like this for pets and alarms.

  • #1356 Reply


    Most alarms have two setting modes, 'stay' or 'away'. They both have major differences. The 'Stay' setting is generally set when you are in the home. This will arm all of the door and window dectectors, so that if a door or window is opened, the alarm will automatically go off. It will also arm the glass break sensors if you have them.

    The 'Away' setting is used when you are leaving the house. The main difference is that the away setting will activate the motion detectors as well. Another setting that is common is to change the settings on the main door that you use to enter the house (usually the one closest to the panel). The setting that is changed is that there will be a 15-60 second grace period from the time that door is opened, allowing the homeowner time to disarm the panel. In the 'Stay' setting, there is no grace period.

    Obviously, if you are looking for a motion sensor to be activated at night, your pets and kids should not have access to the rooms with motion sensors, there is just no way around it. For people living alone, I'm sure it is common to set the setting to 'Away' even when they are home, the key would be not having a motion sensor in the bedroom. It would also be smart to not have the 15-60 second grace period anymore.

    I'm sure there are more options that people can help with, but these are the first ideas that came to mind.

  • #1357 Reply

    a Security Professional

    Pet-proof motion detectors will allow you to arm your security system in AWAY mode without the dog or the cats setting them off and creating alarms.

    HOWEVER: There are specific requirements and restrictions as to where in the house that they can be installed so that the pets don't get too close to the pet-proof motion detectors.  The size of your dog is also an important factor, as the pet-proof motion detectors work according to the weight of the animals.

    You also have to realize that cats can create alarms even if they are not close to the pet-proof motion detectors, such as by moving large curtains or knocking over large potted plants.  The pet-proof motion detectors will ignore a small cat, but they will react to "adult sized curtains" being moved by the small animal.

    Properly installing pet-proof motion detectors requires that you read the instructions, and that you also have an understanding of the behavior of your pets when you're not home.  If your dog runs to the front window each time the doorbell rings, you have to install the pet-proof motion detector accordingly.

    Finally, specific areas of the lens on the pet-proof motion detector can be covered with tape or "masked" so that you limit its field of vision, so that in effect, the motion detector can't "see" the area over by the window where the dog and cats jump up frequently.  If someone is in the middle of the room, an alarm will sound, but no alarm will occur if someone is near the exterior wall or window where the pets jump up.

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