Alarm advice with cats in mind.

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I wish to install a basic alarm system to protect kitchen back door, dining room patio doors (both at rear) and front door/hallway downstairs and just landing upstairs which should be enough for attack via any bedroom. Only thing is we have two cats 15 and 17 years old,not overly active but still walk about and have access to all the house. What sort of alarm system should I go for, PIRs seem simple to source and install but are there any that ignore cats and only react to humans?
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On 15/01/2004 Mortimer opined:-

No, but you could probably site them so that they wouldn't 'see' a cat on the ground. Even a bit of black insulation tape is enough, when placed across the lens to restrict the field of view of a PIR.
--

Regards,
Harry (M1BYT) (Lap)
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On Thu, 15 Jan 2004 21:18:09 GMT, Harry Bloomfield

Sorry, this is rubbish. Pet Immune sensors are readily available, from RS for one, and they work perfectly well. I fitted several in a house with an extremely large active cat and never had it trigger them.
Typical specs:
"1 or 2 animals up to 13.4 Kg" "Pet immunity up to 33 Kg a dog or 4 cats"
--
Niall

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Mortimer wrote:

TLC do them, but no idea if they are any good
http://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Main_Index/Alarm_Index/Detectors_Animal/index.html
Jon
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I'd love to tell you, I changed one in my mums house to a tlc pet immune, still trying to get her to test it fully.
On Thu, 15 Jan 2004 21:31:33 -0000, "Jonathan Pearson"

Lawrence
usenet at lklyne dt co dt uk
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No, impossible. What "pet proof" PIR's actually do is see the area on just one plane - horizontal from the sensor. Normal PIR's see on at least three planes - usually 7 degrees 22 degrees and 35 degrees from horizontal. Some have more sensitivity and include full 90 degree protection both vertically and horizontally.
Relying on the fact that your pet will not venture higher than the height of the unit itself it needs to be positioned at least the cat + tail (!) above any surface that the cat could get on - and that obviously includes kitchen worktops.
Now then... problem is that worktops are around three feet high so that added to the cat + tail is around 5 ft. So, positioned on the wall at 5ft high your "pet proof" PIR will probably not detect your car BUT it won't detect anyone less than 5ft in height either and considering that many burglars are kids you immediately have a problem.
Also consider that burglars do what they do for a living and tend to be anything but stupid. A quick look through your window will reveal the fact that your PIR is half way down you wall and is therefore pet proof. The thief then simply enters the room and stays low.
In my experience pet proof detectors (sometimes called pet alley too) are a waste of time. They offer minimal protection and should the pet venture any higher than usual (up against a window for example) then you have a false alarm.
Consider using alternative type of protection such as perimeter protection u sing contacts, inertias or vibration detectors. If you don't fancy that or if it's not feasible then consider a dual tec PIR/microwave which has sensitivity settings and pet alley on the PIR section.
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The ones I've got had a choice of lenses and also allowed some adjustment in the horizontal plane. So they're mounted in the 'conventional' place. They seemed to cope ok with a cat when I last had one, but she was fairly old and didn't jump that high. ;-)
--
*Shin: a device for finding furniture in the dark *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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Yes. I'm familiar with those types of PIR. Problem is that if they're mounted in the conventional place and a pet alley lens or PCB position is selected the overall sensitivity is quite poor in relation to a standard setting/lens. You can't have it all ways. Pet proof always means less coverage/sensitivity. The other common method is to use multiple pulse count. Most PIR's have the capability to pulse count to 4 but to be honest the average person moving at normal speed will only cause the average PIR to actually trip once or maybe twice at a push so it would be possible to walk through the room without activating the alarm.
So, it's either per alley dual-tec, perimeter protection or poor protection!
The other line of thought of course is does the kitchen actually need space protection anyway. Kitchens are notoriously bad for alarms. Cookers, hobs, hoods fridges and washing machines can all cause false alarms with space protection whereas perimeter is OK with these. Smaller kitchens, like bathrooms, suffer from condensation problems and that isn't good for any sensor. OK, if there's a Hi-fi, TV, PC and a whole load of NEFF appliances then the area may need protection but if it's just a bog standard kitchen why bother?! Protect the "house", not "the kitchen"!
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Well, I did a walk test, and it proved impossible to cross any room from door to window without triggering it.

I tend to think of the PIRs as last ditch protection as I've got switches on all the external doors and windows, and a few pressure pads too.
--
*Women like silent men; they think they're listening.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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With respect Dave... PRESSURE PADS??!! Christ, they went out with the arc! They are unreliable, cause more false alarms than any other device, damage carpets and are extremely inconvenient when it comes to moving furniture etc. around. They are also (most of the time) noticeable as there is usually an obvious bump in the carpet. They also wear out as we stand on them in normal day to day living. As for "switches" on doors and windows... a complete and utter waste of time and money. Contacts on windows are all well and good providing the burglar opens the window! Most of the time they smash through leaving the opening frame in place and therefore not causing an alarm. Contacts on doors is also (in my opinion) a waste of time - except when necessary to start a setting or an entry procedure. Doors and windows should always be locked and bolted thus rendering any contact useless in anything other than a complete gross attack. I specified alarm systems for over 25 years and always avoided contacting doors and windows (front door was usually contacted to form the exit/entry route) and as soon as space protection was introduced in the late 70's pressure pads were dropped like a very hot brick in favour of them. Ultrasonic first, then PIR's and microwaves etc.
Pressure pads?! I suggest contacting your local museum as they may be interested in buying them from you!
Sorry Dave, I had total respect for your postings until you admitted that one!

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I've not had one false alarm, they've never failed, and they're nowhere near furniture.

If they're simply thrown under a carpet, yes. If they're cut into the underlay they're undetectable - unless you're really checking for them

Mine are in the most heavy trafficked part of the house - and are fine.

I've been burgled once and had a couple of attempts (before the alarm was fitted). Each time they levered open - or attempted to - a sash window. Most casual burglars don't want to crawl through broken glass - would you? Same with my neighbours that have been burgled.

Of course they're locked and bolted. But on a wooden sash, such locks won't resist a determined attack with a jemmy, etc.

Strange how I never have false alarms - unlike the professionally fitted systems either side of me. ;-)

Each to their own.
--
*Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere may be happy.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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You will. It's just a matter of time.

Oh so the bump becomes a dip instead of a bump! Oh please!

Have you looked at them? Checked their condition? Is the foil and foam protruding from the split edges yet?!

Yes, if I did it for a living like burglars do!

The PROPER locks will.

False alarms are caused by two main factors - pressure pads and poor installation techniques such as not soldering joints etc. I happen to know this as I've been an alarm engineer for many many years, unlike yourself.
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Well, just about everything fails eventually.

Hmm. Ever heard of packing something square? Of course judging by most of the pro burglar alarm installations I've seen in houses, care and neatness was the last of the priorities. I hope you're different, although given the cost in time of concealing all cables and switches etc, I doubt it.

They all still work, so no, I've not done a physical check.

Most burglars aren't pros. They are druggies etc looking for a quick buck. A pro burglar would pick somewhere with richer pickings than my modest pad.

I'd love to see the lock which makes the surrounding frame etc stronger. No locks will stop a determined attack on a wood sash window. I'm surprised at you if you're in the trade.

To the best of my knowledge, non of the nearby systems that constantly give false alarms have pressure pads. To install them *properly* is too much work - as is fitting window and door switches *properly*.
I'm afraid you're coming across as so many other pros - you recommend as gospel that which is easy to install.
--
*I finally got my head together, now my body is falling apart.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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Doubt what you like but I can assure you than I have NEVER shown a cable on ANY installation and that includes not only houses but industrial buildings, shops, ships (yes, ships!) and even the odd Royal Palace.

Ah, right. So, your waiting for the alarm to give problems and annoy your neigbours jost like the professionaly installed systems which you mentioned earlier?! Ever hears of preventative maintenance. It'll also be interesting to hear what you do when your pads do pack up because (and I may be wrong) I don't think you can buy them anymore! Most of the major alarm wholesalers I know stopped stocking them in the early 90's. I think that says a lot?!!

pad.
You'd be surprised.

You simply bolt the two halves of the sash together and they then cannot be opened. Forced out yes but not opened.
As for securing the frame. Yes I agree - it's difficult. In th epast I have used ally angle which the bead fits over to hide it. Very effective indeedie!

It's nothing to do with fitting the contacts (or other devices) properly. It's all about care of installation. Soldering joints, avoiding EM interference, using proper clips - not a staple gun, etc.

You're totally wrong. What I advise is the best options. I have had very few "easy fits" and have never been in the "cheap brigade". I have never installed a system in a house - even a very small house - for less than 500. Why? because I did it properly. I never had systems which troubled and many systems I installed over 20 years ago are still working just fine having only had the odd battery or sounder replaced. As a general rule I was only ever called out to systems when something needed altering such as customers replacing doors etc.
So please, don't paste me up with th evast majority of pricks who call themselves alarm installers. I'm one of the few remaining good boys!
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That's excellent to hear. But I think you'd agree the vast majority of domestic installations fall far short of this? To fit the switch to my front door involved chasing in the cable and re-decorating - I really can't see many installers doing this, somehow, apart from perhaps on a new build.

Well, once in 10 years will still be better than several times a year.
FWIW, they're still listed by TLC.
If they did go wrong, it would be a simple matter (for me) to isolate them since they work via a home made relay interface.

I'm talking about probabilities, not exceptions.

That's how mine was opened - forced until the sash gave way. Bolting the two sashes together will weaken the top/bottom rail. If you really want to fix them closed, use screws through the sides and bottom or top into the frame - much stronger. Do this beneath the putty so they don't show.

Looking at the front doors and frames they fit in 'problem' council estates, etc, it would need more than a bit of angle ally to stop a determined thief. Plate steel seems more like it. But at the end of the day, given time and not being overlooked, you can get through near anything.

Could well be. But like everything else, speed and cost of installation seems to be the prime consideration, rather than making a decent job. Same as kitchen fitters etc.

I didn't for one moment *actually* think otherwise. ;-) But I'd say you're in the minority in your trade.
I'm certainly interested in what you say, as being a self installed system it would be easy for me to alter it to the latest standards.
--
*Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery? *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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Many do do it properly. I could have fitted your front door contact in the proper place WITHOUT chasing or re-decorating! That's doing it right. Your way probably took 10 times longer than my way too. Perhaps it's called training?!!

But it won't just be once will it?! It'll be lots of times while you try and fathom what it is causing the problem. OR are they all on independant zones??!!

WHHYT too though? And FFGHT. AND what's TLC?

Oh, right. A home made relay interface eh? That's secure innit?! Can you bake little butterfly cakes too?

And as a security advisor I'm talking about both.

When I worked on the security team for a major alarm company we used brass, concrete, steel, ally, titanium plate, etc. The risk was high and money no object though. Not like your average semi! Good home security using proper pucker equipment needn't cost the earth. The problem with most people, especially DIYers is that they just hate spending money on it. Hence cheap crap equipment sold by B&Q, Wickes, etc. sells plenty. Once major retail chain is still selling an alarm system with a plug in PSU. Another uses PP3 batteries for the backup. The problem is the great buying public. They're gullible an ill informed most of the time.

Why are you digressing so much? From what you have posted in this thread I can judge that you have made a pig awful job of designeing and installing your alarm system. No cables on show maybe, but the system is crap and you took too long messing about instead of just buying proper dedicated equipment and doing the job like a pro would. Or do you think the way you did it, with your home made relay interface, chasing and re-decoration is better?

Agreed. And it's no longer my trade.

Disagree. The latest EC standards for intruder alarms are exeptionally stringent. I can't say I agree with them and in fact I absolutely disagree with most of the new regs but that the way it is. Trust me, your home made relay interface and pressure pads don't even scratch the surface!
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wrote:

As a matter of interest, how would you do that? .andy
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With a little skill and care, the proper tools and most importantly... experience.
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I think your both correct in the things you say, but an intruder is going to attack if they want to, no matter how good your alarm system is. If you have something in your house they want, they'll come in and try to get it. If your want to put the most determined burglar off attacking your property, then empty it of all the contents and leave the doors and windows open. That way they think there's nothing there to steal.
A proper security system stops the would be opportunist from thinking of attacking your property long before they even get to boundary. This is done mostly by psychology in the use of signs and visible warning systems. Lighting and sound puts most chancers off when they encroach into the perimeter of your land, so they don't want to come in any further and increase the chance of being caught or injured.
So you can put as much equipment in the house as you like, and wire it all together properly or otherwise, and I still bet I can stop your property from ever being a target in the first place with use of simple screw on devices that look nasty to any would be intruder.
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On Sat, 17 Jan 2004 20:40:52 GMT, "BigWallop"

Such as ??? .andy
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