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Motion Sensors

Motion Sensors

Getting motion sensors installed in your home can be one of the most effective ways to prevent burglaries and break-ins. Known as the lynchpin of your security system, motion sensors are one of the main devices used to detect movement around a room or area around your home. When the sensor detects movement, a signal is sent to your security system’s control panel. From there, your monitoring center can alert you and the authorities of any threats or disturbances in your home.

Motion Sensors in your Home Security

While motion sensors are mainly installed to sense intruders, they can also have other uses. There are some motion sensors that can be programmed to allow a security camera to record events when any motion is detected.

Some other uses for motion sensors include:

  • Alerts you if your pets try to escape
  • Alerts you when your kids enter places forbidden to them, such as the basement, the master bedroom, or the workout room
  • Saves energy by using motion sensor lighting for empty rooms
  • Triggers the doorbell when someone’s at the door
  • Alerts you if your children try to throw a party without your permission
  • Alerts you if your teenager tries to sneak out past curfew

Effective Placement

Sensors can be useless if they are placed without proper planning. To maximize their effectiveness, you need to position the motion sensors in unlikely places. Think like a thief — where would they expect a motion sensor to be?

It’s best to place motion sensors where they can cover the widest area possible. There are motion sensors that can cover 50-80 feet, so place them where they have a full view of the entire room.

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There are, however, some places to avoid when thinking about where your motion sensors will go.

Where Not to Put Motion Sensors

  • Directly across a window – if your motion sensor is heat-activated, it can trip an alarm during a hot day or when anything blocks the light. Sensors work best when the burglar walks parallel to the sensor, instead of straight towards it.
  • Directly across a door – infrared sensors work by assessing any changes in temperature or infrared lighting. These need a wide view to work, and any action made directly in front of the motion sensor won’t show dramatic changes, only slight alterations. It’s best to put your sensor somewhere else.
  • Near a Heat Source – don’t put it near a radiator or a hot air vent. When the heater turns on your motion sensor could mistake it for an intruder and trigger the alarm.

Examples of good placement need a bit of creativity, but here are some ideas:

Behind Your Valuables

Thieves, burglars or nosy children are interested in a room because of what’s in it, so placing a motion sensor behind the expensive stuff in your house like the computer, television or jewelry can be effective. Put it on the item or equipment itself, or on the wall behind it. When the item is moved, the sensor will notice something is missing and will trigger the alarm.

Hallway Outside your Bedroom

Most burglars will try to go for the master bedroom. Placing a motion sensor in the hallway leading to your bedroom can be effective, but avoid placing it above your door. Placing the sensor near a choke point — an area that they absolutely must pass by if they wish to enter your room — is a good idea. Motion sensors work best when they can detect movement from the sides, rather than head on.

Motion sensors are best paired with door contacts for maximum security. If you're interested in getting extra security, contact ADS Smart Security today.