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How to Effectively Place Sensors in Your Home

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How to Effectively Place Sensors in Your Home

Poor Placement Options

Putting your active sensors in the wrong location can lead to blind spots and false alarms. Here are a few sensor locations to avoid.

Behind Large Furniture

Think of your infrared motion detection beam like a flashlight beam. If you place it above a piece of tall furniture that sticks out far from the wall, the furniture could create a “shadow” or a blind spot. Avoid putting motion sensors on a wall near the top of a bulky entertainment center, wardrobe, or other large piece of furniture.

Near a Heat Source

Motion sensor infrared works by detecting sudden changes in temperature. Putting a motion sensor near a heating vent, radiator, oven, light fixture, or anywhere else likely to have a sudden increase in temperature is a recipe for false alarms.

Most modern windows are insulated enough to block sudden temperature changes from direct sunlight, but if you have older windows, you should avoid placing sensors where they could heat up from the sun.

Garages, Attics, Patios, and Sunrooms

Again, motion sensors use their infrared beams for high temperature detection, so it’s a good idea to avoid putting them in non-climate-controlled spaces that might heat up, like garages, attics, patios, and sunrooms. Consider alternative security solutions for these spaces, like door and window sensors, glass break sensors, or a security camera.


If you have pets and you don’t want your motion sensors to get triggered by your dog or cat, avoid putting sensors at the top of stairs. As your pet climbs the stairs, it will look bigger to the motion detector and it could set off an alarm.

Across from Doors

While it’s a good rule of thumb to avoid putting motion sensors across from doors, it’s really dependent on your home’s layout. Remember that PIR sensors can’t see through walls, so you may be limiting a sensor’s detection scope if you put it directly across from a doorway in a confined area.

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