Guinea Pigs and Security Alarm Systems?

Post Reply
Supporter since 2011

Post   » Tue May 31, 2011 4:34 pm

I looked through the forum and haven't found a thread on this particular subject. Please re-direct me if one exists.

Does anyone here have any advice on guinea pigs and security alarm systems? Where I am moving, it is probably wise to have a burglar alarm just in case.

The home alarm companies I've spoken to have the insanely loud, high-pitched, pulsating alarms that would just about drive me deaf, let alone a poor little guinea pig. I have explained the situation and asked about silent alarms but haven't had much luck; one company said there was no point to it if was silent, which I obviously don't agree with.

Has anyone had any experience with this issue or have suggestions for an alarm system that won't hurt guinea pig ears or overly stress them should it go off?

(Just so there is no confusion, I do not have guinea pigs yet. I want to settle in and make my home 'piggy-friendly' before I try to adopt.)

Thanks in advance for your replies.


Post   » Tue May 31, 2011 4:46 pm

The only alarm systems I know of are the really loud, high pitched ones.

I used to live in a house with one of these. I did sometimes cover the exposed areas of their enclosure with a large towel to stop the piggies setting the alarm off but if I ever forgot to do this they still didn't set the alarm off.


Post   » Tue May 31, 2011 4:51 pm

Several of our friends who live where their houses can't easily be seen from the street, have installed security systems that run a series of cameras and alarms, and send alerts to their phones if a camera is activated by motion, or a beam is broken by someone opening getting too close to a door/window, etc. Recently some men tried to break into one of the houses, broke the beam, sent an alert to his phone, he called the police and the men were caught at the scene.

Those loud alarms do more to annoy the neighbors than anything. They get tripped by power failures, wind and lots of other things. I would talk to the people at Radio Shack or Best Buy, if you live in the US, about what's available for security cameras, etc. There should also be some online home security sites with info. I will ask the friends with secuity systems where they bought their items and got their ideas. I wouldn't go with one of those loud alarms. I think it would terrify the pigs.

I just googled home security systems, and found these on Amazon. There are some basic examples of monitoring systems, ways to send alerts to cell phones, etc. Hope it helps.
Last edited by NHWheekers on Tue May 31, 2011 4:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Post   » Tue May 31, 2011 4:52 pm

I have a home security alarm at my house. I am able to control the volume of the alarm. I also have the control panel(where the noise emits from) set up at the opposite end of the house from where piggies home is. My fire alarms (should they go off) make a far worse sound than my home alarm.

User avatar

Post   » Tue May 31, 2011 6:37 pm

You can have 'external' alarms which is where the alarm goes off outside versus 'internal' alarms where it goes off inside. My mom has an internal one and one of her neighbors has an external. Internal ones are generally a little (and I do mean LITTLE) quieter. However if you have multiple floors, you alarm box will be on the first floor, if you keep the pigs on the 2nd floor it will be much quieter.

My mom's went off once when I was in the house, on the 3rd floor and I could barely hear it, there are alot of things that you can do.


Post   » Tue May 31, 2011 6:47 pm

I don't know anything about alarm volumes. I do know that if your pigs are prone to running laps in a room with sensors, your alarm will go off in the middle of the night. Every night. Sometimes several times each night. Your neighbours will get pissed off. The company you call to check the 'faulty' alarm can't find anything wrong. Even lifting your stair carpet to check connections yields nothing. Nada. Zilch.

I won't go into details about how I know all of this, you'll just have to trust me on it. ;-)

This may belong in lessons learned the stupid way thread.


Post   » Tue May 31, 2011 7:54 pm

My sensors must be different. I have them in each room, including where my 3 girls are. I set my alarm every night at bedtime and everyday when I leave for work. They have never set it off. When we bought it, (9 months ago) we were told it would take movement from a mass weighing at least 50 Lbs. to set it off. My cat weighs 15 Lbs. and he has never tripped it. I wonder if the sensors are made with different sensitivities? I know it works, my adult son set it off the 2nd week we had it. We had 3 police cars at my house in less than 5 min.

Supporter since 2011

Post   » Tue May 31, 2011 8:26 pm

Thanks, 8Ball, LilIriDai, and Magicmoo regarding the possibility of the piggies setting off the motion sensors. One company assured me that their motion sensors can be set so that they are not tripped by pets.

KrazyKawaii, your suggestion about putting the alarm box on one floor and the pigs on another sounds good. The same company I mention above said that I could adjust the volume (like yours, LilIriDai), and if I put the box at the opposite end of the basement with the sound down, maybe that will dampen the noise enough for the pigs.

But I'll check out camera systems as well, NHWheekers. I was planning on having a pig-cam like Alden's anyway, so why not the whole house? And if it could be set up to send a silent signal to my phone, even better!

Thanks for the replies.

If anyone else wants to weigh in, I'd appreciate additional input.


Post   » Tue May 31, 2011 9:15 pm

Our alarm was installed in 1997, so isn't the newest thing out there, but we did the internal and extrenal sirens. The volumes are adjustable. We also have motion sensor that can be set at a threshold that will tell the difference between a house-pet and a hooman. The six cats that run by it don't set it off unless they gang up and do acrobatics in front of it. It's gone off a couple times. but not terribly often. Maybe once every few years.

I believe technology has changed dramatically since we had it installed, and is able to read small animal activity so the piggies wouldn't set it off to begin with. If it does go off, you should be able to adjust how loud it is. The sound inside the house doesn't do much except maybe "scare" the guy or gal who had the guts to break in in the first place. It's greatest value (for me, that is), is that it calls the police and/or fire, depending on which alarm sounds. So, if you can silence it inside the house, your greatest benefit is that it automatically calls for help.

I think about these things a little too much, sometimes....Hope it helps...

User avatar

Post   » Tue May 31, 2011 10:57 pm

Wait, did you say Alden has a pig-cam!!! She didn't mention it to me, tsk, tsk!


Post   » Tue May 31, 2011 11:22 pm

Don't install a motion sensor in the room where your pigs are! We have a security system, and the room is protected with a window sensor, so it will only be set off if someone tries to open the window.

Honestly, as much as it would hurt the pigs, I would be very happy if the alarm was loud and irritating because I would want them to be safe. It's pretty hard to set it off accidentally, and I think what we hear when we set it to leave is the same volume of the actual alarm, which is in another room and not too horrible.

Supporter since 2011

Post   » Wed Jun 01, 2011 1:22 pm

"It's greatest value (for me, that is), is that it calls the police and/or fire, depending on which alarm sounds. So, if you can silence it inside the house, your greatest benefit is that it automatically calls for help."

Yes, that was what I was thinking, too, Shanachie05. If the sound can be turned down so that it doesn't scare the pigs nor harm their ears, that would make it worthwhile for the automatic alerts to fire and police.

A window sensor instead of a motion sensor in the pig room makes sense to me, dmpiggie. Thanks!

Ah... SwtMelly, Alden did have what she was calling her pig cam. Not sure if she still has it. Look in the first few pages of her current Cavy Chronicle about Ouiser and Snickers, I think she mentions it there.

Thanks again, everybody, for your input. :-)[/i]


Post   » Wed Jun 01, 2011 5:19 pm

I also should mention that it takes A LOT of movement from smaller objects to set off the motion sensor. I've had garland fall or sway from leaving a ceiling fan on accidentally and it doesn't set it off (you can tell because the motion sensor light will change color). I don't know if I'd risk it with guinea pigs, but if it was an only option, it might be okay.


Post   » Wed Jun 01, 2011 5:43 pm

After his house was broken into my boss installed a set of security cameras in his home that he can access via his smart phone. He has set it so that if any suspicious movements occur, the phone immediately texts him the photo. (This results in him receiving lots of cute photos of his dogs, really.)

To prevent burglaries, he has also put sticks in the windows (so no one can slide it open with a crowbar.)

Post Reply
14 posts • Page 1 of 1