Can I Use Alarm Equipment With Pets in the House?


Installing alarm equipment in your home can make you feel more secure. Not only will you have warning if someone breaks into your home, but the sight of alarm equipment can deter people from breaking in. If you have pets, take them into account when choosing your alarm system.

Alarm Types

  • Alarms come in two basic types: passive and perimeter. Passive alarms use motion sensors to detect intruders in your home through movement. With perimeter alarms, sensors are placed on all areas of entry and exit of your home. If a door or window is opened when the alarm is set, the alarm will go off. While you can choose to have one or the other, the most effective home alarm systems combine both passive and perimeter elements.


  • Pets cause problems with motion-sensitive alarms. If your alarm is set to detect motion within your home's interior, your dog could set it off while you are at work just by walking from its bed to the water dish. Installing a dog door in your house can also make using an alarm a challenge. If the dog door is poorly installed, it can shake a door hard enough when your dog runs through it to set off your alarm.


  • If you have pets, you have a few different alarm options. You can choose a system that only detects when windows or doors are opened. A cat walking around in your house will not set this system off. Other alarm systems allow you to set the sensitivity at a certain height, so the system ignores all movement that takes place three feet and less from the floor. These systems work well with dogs but not with cats that leap on furniture or counters. Birds need to be confined to a particular room without internal motion sensors; they can set off alarms by flying around within a cage.


  • If your alarm system silently alerts the police and other authorities when it is set off, your pets probably won't notice it. If the system blares out a loud alarm, the sound could badly frighten your pets. This is most often a problem with dogs. See that your dog has a safe place to run to if the alarm goes off while you are not there. A kennel or crate works well for this. If you have a cat, remember that it might be hiding after the alarm goes off, and check its favorite hiding spots to find it.

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