Homewatch Group

How Do Security Systems Work With Pets?

person touching a burglar alarm

You want to increase your home’s security, but you also have a loveable pet roaming around your house. So how exactly do security systems work with pets? 

Do pets set off alarms?

You may have heard stories and tales of pets setting off security systems, resulting in false alarms, a stressed pet, angry neighbours and a whole lot of wasted time, energy and money. But is this true? Do pets really set off alarms? 

In short, yes they can. In fact, research shows that one fifth of false burglar alarms are set off by pets. However, it really depends on the security system you have and it’s set up as to whether it will work well with your pets. 

There are many ‘pet-friendly’ security systems on the market and they include a range of features and technologies that enable a security system to remain secure, whilst ensuring it’s not set off by a pet. 

What technology is used to prevent pets setting off false alarms?

A ‘pet-friendly’ security system doesn’t vary too much from a regular security system. The main difference is the type of motion sensors used. 

Regular motion sensors detect any motion at all, which will trigger an alarm. This is great for detecting intruders, but if you have a pet roaming the house, jumping on countertops and pawing at a door, you’re going to be receiving a lot of alarm notifications. This is because they can’t tell the difference between a human and your four-legged companion. 

Security systems manufacturers have realised the issue associated with pets and false alarms. They have therefore invested significant time and money into creating ‘pet-friendly’ or ‘pet-immune’ motion detectors and sensors to solve the issue for homeowners. 

These new systems are effective and have been created based on analysing the movement and behaviours of various domestic animals and converting these observations into sophisticated, coded algorithms that can separate human movements with animal movements.

The technology within these motion sensors will determine the weight, speed, mass, movement and body temperature of the detected moving object, and can then rule out any pets being the cause. Most security systems will use weight as a major way to identify if a detected movement was caused by a human or animal. Many will not trigger an intruder alarm if the pet weighs less than 35kg, proving particularly useful for cat, small dog, bird and reptile owners. However, pet owners may face issues if their pet weighs more than this, for instance if they own a large dog. This doesn’t not mean that there isn’t a solution. A good home security company will be able to find you a solution that works with your home, pets and lifestyle. 

PIR (passive infra-red) detectors are another type of technology that can be used to prevent pets setting off false alarms. They are designed to detect the movement of body heat by continually checking for any differences in the thermal environment. A human will therefore make a bigger thermal change when entering a room than an animal and therefore the types of motion detection can be separated and identified. 

Does it always work?

It’s really important to explain to your security system provider the types of pets you have and their habits, in order for them to design a security system that works for you and your lifestyle, including your pets. 

Once they have the full picture, they will be able to suggest the most appropriate technologies to ensure you will experience the least amount of false alarms from pet interference. For example, does your cat jump on the countertop? Is your dog kept in one room or allowed to roam where they like when you’re not at home? 

Your security provider will therefore carefully place motion sensors around your home to give you the most effective yet pet-friendly security system. 

Get in touch

Homewatch understands that your pets are important to you, as well as your home’s security. We are very conscious of the welfare of pets when installing security systems, as well as wanting to provide you with the most efficient smart home security system. Get in touch with us today for a free quotation by calling 0330 094 7404. 


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