08:57PM | 02/15/06
Member Since: 01/18/06
21 lifetime posts
No need to choose pet's comforts over home security

If you're an animal lover who purchased a home-alarm system a few years ago, chances are your pet's comforts overrule your home's security. On the other hand, you may be contemplating an alarm system, but contemplating is as far as it goes because Rover needs a place to roam.

If you are considering a home-security alarm but have rejected the idea on the grounds that your pet is restricted to one room, read on. Rover can now have free run of the house while your home's alarm system is fully armed.

In today's world of pet-friendly alarm systems, your animals can live in harmony with armed burglar alarms, eliminating fears that Fido will set off the bells and whistles when in the armed mode.

As a pet lover, I was quick to upgrade my motion detectors to the "Pet Immune" type a few years ago. This gave me the option of arming my system while my pets were inside, creating little impact on not only my lifestyle, but my pet's lifestyle as well.

Older alarm systems weren't good at identifying between an intruder moving around your home or a dog or cat leaping up on the couch. This is because the older-style motion detectors weren't as versatile at size detection as today's state-of-the-art equipment.

Motion detectors are made up of infrared or passive infrared (PiR) sensors. These sensors alert you of particular levels of heat and/or movement in a particular space. Older-type sensors weren't as precise as to the amounts or sizes of temperature changes that register in a room. This made it almost impossible to leave your pet in any area of your home where a motion detector was installed, for fear of setting off your home-alarm system.

Today's Pet Immune Motion Detectors prevent your pet from triggering a false alarm because these detectors won't detect your animal's smaller change in body temperature. Only larger amounts of heat produced by humans will trigger the motion detectors and alert you of an intrusion.

Make sure your alarm installer doesn't install a pet-alley templete, which is a standard sensor with the bottom portion of the lens masked off with tape. A pet leaping onto the couch will set off the alarm.

A true pet-immune sensor will identify and ignore pets. They often carry a restriction in animal weight up to 100 lbs. If an animal carries more weight than that, it may start generating too much heat in the room, making a hard decision for the motion detector: animal or human?

Pet-immune motion sensors should be installed in all new-home construction, creating a wonderful selling feature for families with current and future pet plans. Why not get a jump on competitors by offering an alarm system that is not only safer but pet-friendly?

Frank Fourchalk

Security Consultant/Columnist
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