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Your Pets and Your Alarm System

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April 8, 2011
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Your Pets and Your Alarm System

There are two important areas where your pets and your alarm system intersect:

1)      Motion sensors that are “pet-friendly” – these are normally passive infrared devices that will “ignore” the motion of smaller pets.

2)      Smoke/heat sensors – your pets deserve fire detection when you are not home, and the normal non-monitored smoke/heat sensor won’t do them much good – or you, for that matter - when you aren’t there.

Let’s revisit those pet-friendly motion sensors first. I have covered the topic of pets and motion detection in prior posts, explaining the best way to work around pets (especially larger dogs): How to design your alarm system, How to arm your alarm system, and How motions sensors work.


The key point is the following: Today’s sensors are “pet-friendly” up to 40 pounds, which means cats and small dogs. Large dogs with the run of the house all day and night make it more of a challenge to use these motion sensors – except for when you go on vacation, and take (or board) your critters. Your system may require more window sensors or glass break sensors.

As for fire monitoring, we recommend it with every residential system. That means smoke/heat sensors that are part of the alarm system – and, you should not pay a penny extra in monthly fees for this service. It’s not that I suspect your pets of playing with matches – any more than I think they can dial 911! Fire detection was a major incentive in getting our alarm system up and running right after we moved to DC: we have two doggies, home alone all day.


I’ve read too many sobering news stories of pets and fires – and they all make me sad – especially when they are situations that could easily have been avoided with monitored fire detection. The first is about a breeder and her dogs in Florida, where a monitored smoke/heat sensor could have saved human and animal lives. Two other stories, one from Memphis, TN and the other from Berkeley, CA, describe fires that occurred when the owners were away – with tragic consequences.

At FrontPoint we go out of our way to provide monitored fire detection that’s as easy and affordable as possible. Our customers expect us, as leaders in interactive, wireless home security, to offer life safety monitoring for fire and carbon monoxide, along with intrusion and environmental monitoring. And we do just that. Maybe you could say that FrontPoint is your home’s – and your pet’s - best friend!

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