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DIY Security Alarm Installation: Tips for Setting Up Motion Sensors

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Having an alarm system set up at your home can be a great way to increase security and give you greater peace of mind. And these days, you don't even need to hire a team of professionals to install your new alarm system; plenty of companies offer DIY installation kits, which can save you a great deal of money. Before you get to setting up your new home security system, however, there are some things you should know--particularly in regards to installing motion detection sensors. 

Keep Infrared Sensors away from Heat Sources

Many DIY home security systems these days come with several infrared motion sensors, which utilize infrared technology to sense body heat. If your system has come with these, then you'll need to be careful to keep them away from other heat sources that could potentially trip the alarms otherwise. Specifically, be careful not to install infrared sensors near heat vents or radiators. Even areas that receive a great deal of sunlight throughout the day could lead to accidental tripping of an alarm, so be sure to keep this in mind as you position your sensors.

Look for "Choke Points" throughout Your Home

Before installing motion sensors as part of your new home security system, it's also a good idea to scope out your home for so-called "choke points," which are essentially areas of the home that a burglar would have to work through to gain access to main areas. For instance, the bottom of a set of stairs that leads to a second story of your house would be considered a choke point, as would a front hallway or entry foyer. These are all great places to set motion detector alarms.

Place Sensors Perpendicular to Movement

Finally, understand that most motion detectors operate best when they're placed perpendicular to a potential burglar's path of travel throughout the house. For example, if you're setting up motion detectors in a hallway, you'd be better off setting one perpendicular to the hallway's path rather than at the end of the hallway facing parallel. If a detector is facing directly at a burglar's path, it unfortunately may not be tripped--although this will vary depending on the specific type of sensor.

Overall, setting up a home alarm system is a great idea for any homeowner. By keeping these tips in mind throughout the process, homeowners can get the most out of their new security systems as well.