The good weather this summer might appear to be in short supply so far, but there is certainly a warmer, brighter change in the air!  Although this is great news for those who want to get on their summer clothes and enjoy their holidays, it may not always be best for some alarm systems.

Is the summer heat causing false alarm activations on your system?  There are a number of reasons this could be happening…

summer-heat-causing-false-alarms-keybury-intruder-activationPoor design of your intruder system

The most common intruder alarm sensor in the home is the PIR (passive infrared sensor).  These sensors do not generate or radiate their own energy, but work by detecting heat energy given off by other objects.  By registering abrupt changes in temperature at a given point in the room they can identify a presence.  For example, at a given point in the room the temperature may quickly rise from room temperature to body temperature and back again, indicating someone has walked through the room.  These sensors are very common and effective, but not when used in certain rooms of the house, particularly in summer.

PIR sensors are not the most reliable to use in rooms with a lot of glass, for instance, a conservatory, or rooms which experience heat extremes, like a kitchen.  The technology used to determine an intruder would struggle to operate in rooms which have a changing temperature in the extreme.  Conservatories often get very hot in the summer, as could a kitchen when using the oven or hob for a long period of time.  These changes in temperature could trigger the sensors to thinking there is an intruder and cause a false alarm.

Duel technology sensors are a far better fit for these rooms.  These sensors use the infrared technology the same as standard PIRs, but they have a secondary detection system which runs simultaneously.  The second technology works from microwave detection which will not be affected by the changes in temperature.  Having both detection technologies reduces the likeliness of false alarms.

Poor quality of your equipment

Some of the cheaper PIR sensors on the market are manufactured in a different way to the high quality sensors that we install.  This higher quality of product helps to cut down chances of the equipment being affected by lightning storms.  Higher quality sensors are made by machine, creating sleeker circuit boards less likely to attract static charge.  Our sensors also include a Faraday cage and earthed, screened cable.  A Faraday cage is an enclosure formed by conductive material that blocks external static and non-static electric fields by channeling electricity along and around, but not through, the mesh, providing constant voltage on all sides of the enclosure. This technology is used to protect electronic equipment from lightning strikes and electrostatic discharges.  A summer storm could quickly short out a cheaper, low quality system and result in nuisance alarms.

Summer also brings with it more bugs and flies which often get into houses while the windows and doors are open.  Lower quality sensors can sometimes struggle determining the difference between an insect and an intruder if they do not contain the technology to gauge distance.  Zoom optic sensors are much more intelligent and can tell if an intruder is in your home, or if there is just a spider sitting very close to the sensor.  You can read more about these false alarms and how to prevent them in our previous blog.

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