Do people use SHM? Confused with it vs modes

Hi everyone,

So I have SmartThings integrated with my alarm. If the alarm is armed away, SHM changes to away, if it is armed stay, SHM changes to stay. I liked SHM because many things were just built in, like if a leak is detected send me a notification, vs using CoRE to write it out “If leak is detected, and mode is away, then send notification” etc.

What I really don’t get though is if I’m armed stay or away and I open the door (since you obviously have to open the front door before you can type your code into the keypad) it freaks out saying intrusion alert on my phone vs say waiting 10 seconds or something like with the alarm.

Because of this I don’t see SHM being overly useful. I just also hate to note use it, and then have something sitting there that doesn’t work, as the Dashboard seems like a big feature of SmartThings. There’s a Thing for my alarm, which has Arm Stay, Arm Away, Disarm etc, so I can use CoRE and instead just say “If alarm is armed away and the time is 5pm turn on the lamp” or whatever if necessary. I’m just wondering if people actually use SHM or if it’s better to do all your own monitoring events via CoRE, or if it’s good to use SHM but instead not track doors for intrusion at all and instead use it more for leak sensors etc.

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SHM has various pros and cons; but the lack of exit and entry delays is the biggest known problem.

I presume this was dropped from SHM because:

  • (a) Customers were expected to use “presence” as an arrival / departure trigger

  • and/or (b) Customers were expected to use their mobile phones to activate / deactivate “armed mode” after exiting / before entering the home.

Yeah that’s what I assume as well. I absolutely hate presence based detection stuff. Maybe if I was single and lived alone, but I prefer using the hard wired alarm for that. If the alarm is armed away, then 100% the house is empty without question otherwise motion sensors would be setting it off. So I prefer using that as my presence sensor.


As far as mode versus SHM armed states, it’s easy to get confused. The following thread should help:

As far as whether SHM itself is useful, different things work for different people. It has two advantages that you can’t get just from core. First, it can be linked to the scout monitoring system. And second, some parts of it run locally (although you can’t arm/disarm locally :disappointed_relieved:).

But if you did want to have a valve connector turn off the water valve when a leak is detected even if the Internet is out, you can do that with SHM and you cannot do that with core because core does not run locally.

The lack of entry/exit delays is very strange for a security system, no question, so there’s not much to say about that except that there are obviously advantages to using core as well.

So it just comes down to a case-by-case evaluation as to which you use.

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Great thanks that helps and makes sense. Just wanted to check as I didn’t want it to be one of those things where I’m using it and then everyone says that no one uses SHM :slight_smile:

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I use SHM for simple custom alerts, like knowing that the linen closet has been left open for more than two minutes. They’re fast and easy to set up that way. They don’t run locally, but I don’t care in these particular instances. :sunglasses:

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If you are using a connected lock with a keypad, there are apps that turn off SHM when the code is entered on the lock.

Besides security I use SHM to monitor water leaks, smoke detectors, the medicine cabinet (kids!), if the front door or garage door has been left open for an extended time, monitor temperature around the house to (e.g. prevent pipes from freezing) when I am not home, and if someone is ringing the doorbell. This could all be done through other apps but it is nice to have all of the “safety and security” items in a single place.


Yeah I agree, I like using it for those things also, that’s why I just wanted to check as I didn’t want to set up like 10 of those then 3 months from now find out people all use CoRE and that SHM is garbage or something. :slight_smile: Good idea on the lock, I have it set like that with HomeSeer now which is really handy.

It’s more the family is bad for getting up in the morning and then with the alarm armed stay, they open the kitchen door to let our rabbits out onto the deck, but they always open it before typing in the code. So then I get my phone freaking out INTRUSION ALERT!

Again, mostly wanted to find out if people actually use SHM as then I can make it work for me. Happy to hear people use it as that’s one of the reasons I switched from HomeSeer even though I think HomeSeer is more advanced. I just hate having to write it all out manually always “If leak is detected in the basement, and house status is set to away, then send pushover notification to this phone saying this message” etc. Love being able to click a leak sensor and have the device be smart enough to have common tasks built in, like send an audio alert.

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Well, I believe I’m one on those in the minority, but I truly like my SHM setup. I did add a LED light outside my primary entry door in the garage that is simply connected to an ZWave outlet and is automatically turned off/on with one of my 3 routines, (enable, disable, goodnight). All arming and disarming is done via one of these routines. My wife and I both have Minimotes in our cars so we can arm/disarm easily when we pull into the garage…the Minimote triggers the appropriate routine. We also keep a Minimote in the bedroom primarily for the Goodnght/Asleep configuration. The Minimotes are also a great solution for those instances that we are out of town and have someone to care for the pets, etc.

I just recently incorporated an Echo Dot with which I can trigger any of the three routines…this was accomplished with three virtual momentary switches. May add another Dot in the garage and eliminate the car Minimotes.

My other HA use is just turning on a few lamps/lights for added convenience.

Other than the virtual switches my setup is truly “plain vanilla”…no CoRE, no custom code.

I always hate saying this, for fear of jinxing myself, but after more than six months, I have had very few issues, and my response time and reliability are good. For me, it’s a good basic alarm/security system and very cost efficient.

My $.02


I really like SHM as well
I use Samsung arrival sensors on my key ring as backup (because their range sucks) in case my phone battery dies, my phones act as primary arrival sensors (great range) and I have Schlage BE469NX locks the kids use these keypads to unlock and disarm the alarm when they come home.
For the morning or late at night when we are home the house goes into armed/home mode which only uses exterior sensors (exterior doors) and a motion sensor inside the garage.
To disarm the home/armed in the morning or night (say if someone rings the front door and I have to answer it) I put motion sensors near the stairs (away from washrooms you do not want to disable the alarm if someone just uses the washroom) and when they sense motion on the stairs it changes the mode to disarm.
When no one is home the house goes to armed/away the house uses all the sensors including these stair motion sensors to trigger alarms.

True that keypad locks are able to disarm SHM when code is entered but the delay is ridiculous. I have 2x schage zwaves that take almost 30s to disarm SHM after codes are entered.

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30 seconds that is odd I have 2 as well and there is a slight delay but it is only a 1 second delay.
I am using Rboy’s DH and smart app to manage my Schlage BE469NX locks not that that should matter.