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Motion Sensors for Dummies

Motion sensors can be installed both inside and outside of your home. These nifty security systems can ultimately detect when someone or something is in or around your home when they shouldn’t be. Tracking any physical movement, motion sensors will alert you immediately when suspicious activity is occurring on your property.

The Overall Objective of Motion Sensors

Motion sensors are designed to sense intruders. After a user hears the alarm, the alarm company would call and act. If the system is not disarmed or the alarm goes off, then the alarm company will start to call the emergency contact list. Motion sensors work when you are away or at your home.

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Common benefits of using a motion sensor are:

  • Monitor a large area. While sensors on doors and windows monitor just one point of entry, motion sensors can detect movement anywhere from 15 feet or more,, depending on the type and model of detector you choose.
  • Double up on your home’s security. In the unlikely event that an intruder makes it past other sensors in your home (door entry, glass break, etc.), indoor motion sensors will provide another opportunity to catch them.
  • Additionally, motion sensors are great for other purposes:
    • Monitoring your teen breaking curfew
    • Kids entering restricted areas of the home (medicine cabinet, basement, etc.)
    • Ticket gates or Parking meters
    • Automatic doors, water faucets, toilets

Types of Motion Sensors

How a motion sensor detects movement depends on which of the 3 types of sensors you choose:

  • Active: These types of motion detectors use radar technology (ultrasonic waves, microwaves, lasers, etc.) to detect movement. The sensor constantly sends and receives signals and, when an object interferes with that signal, the alarm triggers.
  • Passive: These types of detectors use passive infrared (PIR) sensors to pick up body heat. If the sensor detects infrared energy (i.e. a sudden, dramatic temperature change), the detector will trigger the alarm. PIR sensors can be set to ignore moving objects beneath a certain weight, which means you won’t have to worry about pets triggering the alarm.
  • Dual technology: These types of detectors have both an active and passive technology sensor. Because dual technology detectors require both sensors to trip before triggering the alarm, these detectors have fewer false alarms compared to active or passive sensors on their own. However, that also means that if an intruder is able to fool one sensor, the alarm won’t trigger.

What To Look Out For With Motion Sensors

Unfortunately, motion detector waves cannot go through walls or hard objects. When setting up your motion sensor, imagine the sensor to act as a light bulb. Anything that may cast a shadow will block the infrared energy waves. This will allow your motion sensor(s) to function optimally.

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Should You Invest In Motion Sensors?

Wondering if motion sensors are really worth installing? In our professional opinion, the answer is a resounding “YES”. We believe that this type of security system is essential as it is a great method of detecting intruders in addition to other security alarm measures.

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Need help finding the right motion sensors for your security system? We’ll send one of our specialists to talk with you about your security needs and design a security system to cover every inch of your home.

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