Choosing the right home security system when you have pets

Many homeowners with pets are concerned that having a security system will mean it being repeatedly triggered accidentally by pesky pets, and so decide not to invest in one at all.

But having pets in your home doesn’t mean you have to compromise on security. We here at National Home Security Month have put together some household hacks to give homeowners a thorough understanding of the different products on offer and how to make your security system pet-friendly.

Take a look at the advice for each device below:

Home alarms act as an excellent visual deterrent with statistics illustrating that 60% of attacks on homes with alarms fail. But pet-owners ignore this device for fear that it could be accidentally triggered.

However, there are measures that can be taken to prevent playful pets from setting off false alarms. Make sure the alarm package includes a pet friendly motion sensor, which uses a combination of several different technologies to determine mass, speed, movement patterns and body temperature, to rule out household pets. As a result, you can set your alarm, while still having the comfort of knowing your furry friend can walk around freely.

There are two main types of motion detectors – passive infrared (PIR) and active infrared (IR). Active systems emit energy waves that detect movement searching in their field of view, whereas passive detectors look for changes in the area such as body heat.

Some security companies have mixed technology motion detectors using both PIR and IR technology that won’t alert the homeowners unless both sensors are tripped.

When thinking about the positioning of sensors, consider your pet’s day-to-day habits and what areas of the property they are allowed in. For example, if your pet stays in the living room and can climb on the sofas, try pointing the sensors away from this space.

Also, the higher you place the sensors on the wall, the better, as pets can’t get close to the detectable areas – go for approximately 5-6 feet high.

Additionally, you can consider different methods of arming your alarm. For example, a Night Arm setting would mean your door and window sensors are armed but motion detectors are disarmed. This allows pets to move around inside your home, and the alarm is triggered only when an individual gains access through an entry point to the home. However, this should only be used as a last resort.

Strategically placed internal cameras allow you to easily keep an eye on playful pets while you’re out the house, and new smart technology enables you to access the cameras via a smartphone so you won’t miss a moment. This gives added peace of mind and can even give you a better understanding of your pet’s daily habits, which can inform you when deciding on where to position motion sensors for your alarm.

Why not go one step further and throw out your old mechanical lock in favour of a smart door lock? These digital devices mean you can remotely lock and unlock your home via a smartphone app or using a temporary PIN code. This is a handy feature if you employ dog sitters or allow neighbours access to your house to check on or feed your pets, as some systems will even notify you when someone has entered and exited your property.

Our friends at Yale offer pet friendly sensors, CCTV systems and smart door locks. There are also many other products on the market available from your local locksmith, DIY store or online.