Alexa+Smartthings+Door Lock and Vacations?


(Mark H) #1

I’ve programmed my front door lock to open many ways (when it detects a phone returning, but also using Alexa voice commands when I leave the house). I now have Dots and Echos throughout my home and if someone yells load enough from outside, Alex will respond.

When I go on vacation, I can mute all the Dots and Echos (but there are 11 currently and will soon be more), I can remove the unlock command from Smartthing apps (but they are scattered in Rule Machine, Core and Routines), or I can simply remove the batteries from my front door lock. (It’s easy to disable the garage doors - also on Smartthings - and I’ve been doing that prior to Smartthings anyway). I don’t see any way to disable Z Wave on my Schlage lock - which would be the best scenario as I would still be able to use the keypad from the outside.

Am I missing another and maybe easier solution to this?

(Edit: While re-reading what I wrote I realized that it might be best security wise to just remove the door unlock feature from every routine Alexa can trigger. I would keep in presence and button commands - via IFTTT and executed from my phone).


#2

I haven’t tried this, but I think if you just change the device type handler on the lock to one that doesn’t work with the lock, then the keypad will still work on the lock but none of the automations will be able to unlock it. That would probably be the simplest way.

Then you would just change the device type handler back when you want it to start working again.


(Mark H) #3

Thanks! That worked!

(But, this made me think more about my home setup. When I am home asleep, if someone outside says the Alexa disarm command loud enough it would disarm the alarm and also unlock my front door. I think I might take out unlocking the front door from any sequence of events that can be initiated by Alexa).


(Ron Talley) #4

Alexa can arm and lock my security stuff but NEVER will I allow voice commands the opposite way. Too much of a security risk.


#5

At our house, we have a touchless switch (a motion sensor in a box) on the side table that will unlock the front door from the inside for convenience so we don’t have to take out the phone or get up and go to the door to unlock it. I also use this when I’m on my way out, which is kind of a process since I’m in a wheelchair. We don’t have echo unlock the door. :sunglasses:


(Mark H) #6

JDRoberts & rontalley - yep, I realized the security risk after re-reading my first post. I thought - what the heck am I doing? :slight_smile:
I had (past tense now), Alexa unlock the door in a sequence of events run by Smartthings when I was leaving the house (the sequence included unlocking the door then waiting 1 minute to lock), and also when someone I knew was waiting at the front door.


(Glen King) #7

I’m fine with using voice to unlock the door at this point, since mine is a voice sequence that outsiders would not easily guess. And really, unless the windows are open (and the house thereby rendered unsecure), people shouting from outside won’t be able to trigger Alexa.


#8

Are you on an android phone? A better way would be using Tasker and AutoVoice to do the voice unlock. this way, it is restricted to the way you have to invoke via your phone and tasker (when your phone detects the home wifi or a sensor)


(Glen King) #9

I set that up almost 2 years ago. Alexa hears me more reliably, so that’s where I ordinarily do it from.

Actually, I rarely do it at all. But it’s nice to have the capability. :slight_smile:


(Mark H) #10

I too use phrases that outsiders won’t easily guess for my front door as well as my garage. (It used to be ‘open garage’, but I changed it something else soon after installing the z wave garage opener). The unlocking of my front door was associated with disabling the alarm - since the tasks went together. Even though someone won’t easily guess the phrase, I’m now being overly cautious and already removed unlocking the door from Alexa driven sequences. I’ve left opening the garage available with Alexa as I use that frequently, and the Alarm state remains unchanged.

I have Dots in my garage, a room by the front door and a couple in the kitchen area in the back of the home (one Dot and one echo). Speaking loudly (not shouting) in front of the house is heard by Alexa. The back of my home is surrounded by woods. You do need to (almost) shout to get Alexa to respond, but my neighbors are too far away to hear someone doing that.


(Mark H) #11

We are on IOS