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Mon, Jan 27, 2020 9:43 PM

False Alarms - faulty motion sensors?

I'm posting this here because it appears from other forum topics that customer service may not respond.  I installed the SS system 4 years ago at my home and business.  At first, it was excellent and I was so happy.  Over time, we've started to have intermittent issues with motion sensors creating false alarms and it is creating a lot of stress.  We've tried testing them and moving them to other locations, but they have issues at random times of day or night and then sometimes weeks or months go with no problems.

The last time, the monitoring company told me they had motion in a 2nd room in my home, so I told them to call the police without checking the cameras....and it was a false alarm.  At my business, they call my manager and he has gone down to our warehouse several times in the middle of the night to let the police in only to find out, yet again, that it's a false alarm.

Putting cameras for visual verification of all the rooms seems expensive and impractical (we don't have electrical outlets in the right locations, so I would need to hire an electrician to install outlets in the right places or run long, unsightly cords....but I thought I had a "wireless" system!).  We do have one camera in each location, but they never seem to be in the place that the motion sensors go off, so it's helpful but not a solution.

I'm not sure what to do, it feels like without functioning motion sensors, I don't really have an alarm that will do the job.  False alarms are stressful, annoying, embarrassing and a waste of time for the police who should be focused on better things....I also now have a $115 bill from local police department for the last home visit!

Advocate

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2.8K Messages

Il y a 3 y

Have you kept a log of the times the motion sensors produced false alarms?  So that you could determine what might be setting them off?  As you probably already know, they detect heat - so depending on your location (colder winter in some areas), are your furnaces coming on more often, for example?  Have you replaced their batteries?  Have you adjusted the sensitivity levels in the sensors?

Unfortunately, if you got them 4 years ago, they're no longer under warranty, so if you need them, you'd need to replace them with new purchases.  But, they may be defective and may need replaced.

If you have the interactive monitoring plan for the home and the business, you won't pay more for the camera subscriptions if you bought more cameras (you can have up to 10 cameras on one account/location, but be mindful each one uses 1-2 MB upload speed from your internet).  You can keep an eye on Best Buy for sales on the cams (they had them for half-off from Nov through the holidays, not sure if they will continue to have some of those sales, but worth watching - SS will honor the 3-year warranty from products bought from their "partner" retailers; Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Amazon, QVC, Sam's Club, Costco and Woot).  

With new motion sensors combined with the cameras, you could use the 'secret alert' setting for the motion sensors, where it only sends you an SMS text message or the phone app sends a push notification - it won't result in the alarm sounding, it won't result in  a call from monitoring, and no dispatch will be sent - if a motion sensor triggered, you'd log in to your phone app to view your cameras, and make the determination if you'd need to call dispatch on your own.

2 Messages

Your suggestion of the secret alert option is an excellent solution.  I wish it wasn't necessary, but it will definitely work to eliminate false alarms.

I'm embarrassed that I didn't know that the motion sensors pick up heat, I thought it was actual movement.  We live in a place that is warm year round, so we have large windows try to leave some open so the house isn't an oven when we return.  Your comment also explains the motion sensor issues because as the sun moves or clouds go over head and a breeze comes through, it would make sense that a small "cloud" of heat could move across the room and trip a sensor....and it would be totally at random depending on the weather that particular day.

Thank you very much.

Thanks,
Mike

Advocate

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2.2K Messages

Il y a 3 y

They are only required to replace them for 3 years.  If you report them as defective, they may not replace them, but if you don't ask, they will not replace them.

1.2K Messages

Il y a 3 y

The sensors are looking for heat changes.  Slow moving heat like the sun casting shadows in the room is not going to set them off.  My house is full of windows and we don't have false alarms.  Quicker changes, like being to close to a heat vent can set them off tho.

Use of the secret alert is temporary.  Gets you through the troubleshooting phase.  Once enough time has gone by that you are confident false alarms have ceased, change them back to alarm mode.

18 Messages

Il y a 3 y

I have the new system and my  2 dogs kept setting my kitchen motion detector off. My dogs are 20lbs each. I've lowered it, turned it upside down, etc. Now we only use them in away mode. Home mode we've disabled them. Hope this helps.