Will my pet set off my burglar alarm?
Most alarms systems are based on 'space or trap protection'. These systems use movement detectors strategically placed throughout the property. Pet tolerant movement detectors are available, using simple blanking or advanced digital recognition algorithms these detectors are designed to ignore pets but still detect an intruder. Pet tolerance depends on many factors, such as:
- Weight/size of the pet(s)
- Number of pets
- How active, how high do they jump or climb
- The direction of movement in relation to the detector
- Distance between the pet and the detector
A small docile pet that never leaves the floor, shouldn't cause a problem with the alarm. On the other hand, an active cat that climbs the curtains jumps off the back of the sofa and loves to sleep on top of the kitchen cupboards is likely to cause multiple false alarms.
So, as you've probably gathered, pet immunity is not always achievable with movement detectors.
An alternative, although a more expensive solution, is perimeter or part perimeter protection.
Perimeter protection: All vulnerable doors and windows are fitted with detection points so your pets can roam freely.
Part perimeter protection: Movement detectors are fitted in areas where the pet is unlikely to cause nuisance alarms. Door and window detection points fitted to cover any other vulnerable areas.
Does your pet have the run of your house? Before calling anyone to quote for an alarm, it may be worth carrying out a few simple experiments to see if you can limit your four-legged friend's movements without causing it any distress. Be warned, a newly confined pet may scratch your floor coverings and doors. A successful experiment may simplify the design and reduce the cost of your new alarm.
Thinking of getting a pet? If you already have an alarm it's worth giving your installer a call to see what options are available beforehand.