If you want to build a robust home security system, motion sensors are a must. They let you know when an intruder has already breached your defenses so you aren’t taken by surprise. With their help, you can formulate a plan of defense and take action.
Motion sensors are just like real estate in that it all comes down to location, location, location. You’ll get better results if you set up your sensors in specific areas — and you can shoot yourself in the foot if you put them in ineffective places.
Here’s our guide to the best and worst places to set up motion sensors, brought to you by our sponsor SimpliSafe.
Do place a sensor on the the alcohol cabinet
If you have teens in the house, you want to make sure they’re safe. When you leave for date night or a business trip, you won’t be able to physically keep an eye on your wine cellar or alcohol cabinet. To make sure your kids are staying away from the hooch, set up a motion sensor that will tip you off when someone’s moving the door or opening up a cabinet they shouldn’t be.
Don’t place a sensor near a heat source
Avoid placement near anything that causes sudden changes in a room’s temperature. So if you have hot air vents, radiators, kerosene heaters or any kind of portable heater, keep your motion sensors far away. The change in temperature could trigger a false alarm.
Do place a sensor in the corner of your master bedroom
Security experts say motion sensors work well when you place them in the corner of a room. If a burglar sees a sensor, they may look for a blind spot to take advantage of, so it’s best to try to hide them. Plus, this placement makes sensors more likely to notice unauthorized motion since they’re covering a large swath of the room.
Many of your valuables are likely in the master bedroom, which is why many home invaders target this room first. They want jewelry, money, personal gadgets and other valuables. So don’t miss out on your master bedroom when you’re setting up sensors.
Do place a sensor on the medicine cabinet
You’d be surprised to find out how much your pain medication can make an unscrupulous house guest. It’s not unheard of for people to sneak into their host’s bathroom and rifle through the medicines to find pills to steal. Catch any potential “entrepreneurs” by placing a motion sensor on the door so you can know right when someone’s breaking in.
Don’t place a sensor in direct sunlight
Miscalculations can occur when sunlight hits your motion sensor. This is especially true if yours tracks infrared radiation. To make sure the light doesn’t trigger it, place your motion detector where it won’t come into direct contact with the sun.
Do place a sensor on second-floor room windows
Some burglars are like squirrels hunting for nuts. Nothing will stop them from finding their jackpot — not even climbing.
That’s right: Some criminals will scale your walls and enter through a window on your second floor. They think they’re being clever and avoiding alarms you place on the first floor. That’s why you shouldn’t neglect the upstairs area when securing your home.
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