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One of the most common questions I get asked about alarm systems is whether people can have an alarm system, if they have pets. The simple answer to that question is yes. The reason that it’s an issue in the first place is because of these little things.

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This is a motion sensor or a movement sensor, technically known as a passive infrared detector or PIR for short.

And this works on the principle of the movement of heat. It divides its field of vision up into a grid, and as it sees a cell triggering with heat, then moving into another cell it says “that’s movement. I’m triggering an alarm.”

Obviously we as humans have body heat. It’s the same principle as when you’re watching a David Attenborough documentary and they use the night vision camera, and it’s the body heat of the animals that gets translated into the images you see on screen. 30 years ago, detectors couldn’t easily tell the difference between a human being and a cat or a dog. So with older systems you’d often find false alarms because a cat would move past the detector, so it would see movement of heat and say, “I’m triggering an alarm.”

These days, of course, detectors have moved on with their technology, and they’re much more able to detect or sense the difference between a large human being, and a small cat or a small dog. Typically what they do is ignore, the area a meter or so up from the ground. But there are other ways and other algorithms built into the sensor technology that helps to stop false alarms being given off now.

You do have to be careful where you place your detector. It’s unwise to have a detector looking directly facing the stairs, for instance, because that will definitely see a cat or dog coming down the stairs and this will set off a false alarm.

But with careful placement of the sensors, there’s no reason why you can’t have an alarm system, if you have cats or dogs. All of our systems come as standard with pet-tolerant detectors

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