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igloo425's profile

Tuesday, January 30th, 2024 10:45 PM

Motion Sensor False Alarms

The last two times I have gone out of town and had my alarm system on "away" mode overnight, my motion sensor has triggered, prompting an alert and call at like 3am that my alarm is going off. 

I don't know what causes it.  The motion sensor is probably 7 ft. or more off the ground in the corner of my living room.  The closest vent is probably 10 - 12 feet from the sensor, but I verified on my thermostat app that the heat was not running at the time of the motion sensor trigger.  We also have a cat, about 10lbs., but I didn't see her on my camera system at the time of the motion trigger. 

The switch for sensitivity is on the lowest possible sensitivity setting. 

Anyone else have these issues?  Any solutions?

Thanks!  

Captain

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5.8K Messages

3 months ago

@igloo425 I have 10 motion sensors all over the house and for years, no false alarms. Now ask me when I first got the system in 2017...yeah, a few and it took a while to get it to where it is today.  First, no pets. Second, put all on secret alert for a week for home and away (the first floor is home only, 2nd and first floors are on for away.  After a few false starts, I thought I was good to go..until my kitchen motion would sometimes pick us up entering from the garage and would beat the signal to the base before the door sensor did.  A click down on the sensitivity reduced the range a the problem was fixed.  

That all said, I think your cat is at play here and suggest the secret alert method until you believe it is "cat-proof".

BTW, the new motion sensor Gen2 is more pet-resistant by design. I have tested it myself with my neighbor's dog.

3 Messages

Yeah I just realized that they have come out with a new motion sensor.  I got two when I bought my ss3 system and upgraded from the ss2.  Only realized they had a new motion sensor today.  I’m pretty sure they say they won’t pick up anything smaller than 30 or 40 lbs though.  Then again, why create a “new” version of something that is living up to expectations (advertised specs)?

Community Admin

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5.3K Messages

@igloo425​ that weight estimate is a general guideline. Since the sensor works by detecting heat, it's not really about how big a creature is, and more about how much heat it's able to generate. Also, if a creature is able to get up closer, it would naturally appear larger to the sensor as well.

The Gen 2 Motion Sensor has a larger array, so it can be more accurate when it comes to differentiating pets than the previous version.

Community Admin

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2.6K Messages

3 months ago

Hi @igloo425, 

The Motion Sensors work by detecting sources of heat in contrast to the rest of its environment. Common culprits of a false alarm could be things like:

  • Direct sunlight hitting the sensor
  • A sudden burst of hot/cold air hitting the sensor
  • Pets if they get too close. Generally, pets under 30 pounds should not trigger a false alarm, but if they get close enough smaller cats and dogs could still trigger it
  • A sudden burst of sunlight/lighting through a window
  • A very small insect or animal crawling right in front of it.

Since these false alarms are happening at night, and the heat wasn't on at the time the alarms went off, I wonder if your cat may have triggered them.

To rule this out, I would recommend changing the orientation of your Motion Sensor by lowering it to about 4 feet or so, and flip the sensor upside down so its test button is facing the ground. Doing this will make the Motion Sensor look for motion at a 45° angle upwards, instead of downwards as it currently is, which should prevent it from detecting your cat.

3 Messages

@emily_s​ unfortunately if I lower the sensor that much it will definitely be an issue with the cat.  The cat would be able to reach the sensor if I did that.  I have it at the height I do in order to prevent her from being able to get close to the sensor and trigger it.  So I have it over a doorframe where she has no way to get anywhere near it.

Community Admin

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5.3K Messages

@igloo425​ we make the suggestion of about 4ft, because that's about the height of a typical human intruder. Could you get away with maybe lifting it to 5ft?

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