Email based central alarm monitoring

smart_alarm

#1

My new home owners insurance wants proof of central monitoring. I have zwave smoke detectors and door/window contacts. I dont have or want a traditional alarm panel (yes I’ve procured, installed and programmed my own DSC before…it sucked in lotsa ways). So I’ve been looking for a UL-certified central monitoring station that will support smartthings reporting of burglary and fire triggers.

I found a st app that integrates w alarm.com but its abandoned and requires a panel. I also found the scout system which does integrate with ST. I signed up for the rediculous monthly price of $20, but they wont monitor my smoke detectors and their certificate reflects it, and only says burglary (I submitted it and the HO Ins nazis called me out bc it was missing fire monitoring). Finally I looked into the IP protocols that alarm panels use to report to central stations (SIA and DC-09) but they’re all proprietary. I did find the SIA-HD source but it looked painful to port to groovy. I looked at buying an IP transmitter and just triggering a relay to emulate a panel but none are “dumb” enough for that.

I think I finally found my solution with American Digital Monitoring. They are UL listed, support email triggers (1 each for burglary and fire) and are $6/mo. The only bad thing is they charge $20 for the certificate which I need for the HO Ins discount. So I’m looking for tips on how I program ST to send an email upon a sustsined smoke or contact-opened-while-armed event. There needs to be some delay to give the opportunity to clear it. I’m assuming I’d use web/core, but wanted to see if anyone has novel ideas. The email doesn’t need to say anything specific and as I said there’s a unique one for fire and burglary.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #2

I’m surprised that HO Insurance will accept email based monitoring - but this whole industry is weird.

You may want to take a look at Noonlight which
@heythisisnate has assisted with integration via their official direct API. They might not have insurance certification worked out yet.


(Mark) #3

How substantial is the discount on your homeowners’ insurance if you add centrally monitored fire and burglary alarms?

I’ve always thought of that discount as “nice to have,” but only if you’re genuinely interested in having the central monitoring for your home. It sounds like you’re doing it primarily for the discount?


(Nate Clark) #4

Hi Kevin,

Check out Noonlight. Here’s a post about it from a couple weeks ago:

Noonlight uses modern APIs and SmartThings’ cloud to send signals to the central station, so no email triggers or additional hardware is necessary.


(Mavrrick) #5

There is always the ADT Smartthings panel that will do all of what you are asking for. It does mean a new panel and ADT monitoring but it does seem to check all the boxes mentioned here.


#6

so far I don’t think anyone has answered my question.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #7

Do a Forum search on “email” (and get creative with your keywords and the advance search option).

Search is tedious on this Forum but it works.

There have been many questions about email from SmartThings over the years. The “short” answer is “no” - there is no easy way for a SmartApp to send email. I don’t recall if there are any practical workarounds.

SmartThings can easily talk to a REST-API, and I presume you could find or run a service that turns the API request into an outgoing email. That’s what some of the Topics you may find discuss, for example.


#8

I guess I’m not communicating the question very well. Sending an email is trivial with webcore or iftt. The real question was how to implement the delay after an alarm from shm is triggered. Looking at webcore there seems to be a timer function and I can see the shm triggered variable from webcore as well. I guess I trogger the timer upon shm variable change and then reevaluate after the timer to see if its still true. If so, send the email. Any better ideas?

edited for @Ryan780 please see above solution which worked great ^^^^


#9

You’re missing the point…your insurance discount is dependant on the certificate which is dependant on CENTRAL MONITORING. Which means that a system off-site is monitoring your home and can contact emergency services for you. Anything you set up in ST in “self-monitored” and therefore would be ineligible for you to get the discount. You discussed several options in your original post, all of which should qualify as central monitoring and get you the discount.

Keep in mind this…the discount your are going to get is meant to defray some of the cost of the central monitoring. But total cost for insurance + alarm is always going to be higher than insurance alone. Otherwise, why would they do it?


#10

Hi Ryan, I think you’re misunderstanding and incorrect on a couple things you mentioned above which I’ll list below to assist. Also, again, I didn’t ask your opinion on whether you think this is a good idea or how to do it differently, I asked for help in setting up a delayed email based on fire and shm triggers.

  1. incorrect: My HO INS savings for central monitoring is $180/yr. Cost for central monitoring from this monitoring company that accepts email triggers: $73. Net savings, over $100. This company gave me a UL certificate for central monitoring after I confirmed communication and signed up. I provided this cert to my HO INS.

  2. misunderstood: The point of getting ST to send the email upon an ST SHM intrusion or smoke detect is to add central monitoring to the standard self-monitoring ST solution…which I have now done.

Does this help you understand?


#11

Quite frankly, no.

If you already have it set up, then what more is required? I’m confused. If you already have the discount, then why are you still looking for setup instructions?

What monitoring company are you using that accepts email notifications as an alert that there is a problem on the premises? And what insurance company is giving you a $180 discount for a monitored alarm system?

And you might get more help if you were a little nicer to people. This is not a support system but a community forum of individuals taking time out of their day to help others. So, the people here should be treated with a little more respect than you are giving them. So, I’ll thank you in advance for speaking with a little more courtesy. Thank you.


#12

Thanks Nate. $20/mo is a bit too high for it to make sense with my discount, but thanks for the recommendation.


#13

Hi Ryan, I’m sorry you’re confused. I’m doing my best to explain it to you but I guess I’m failing. Last try: I had to solve the problem myself, which I resolved last night. Please see my post from yesterday regarding webcore for details.

Regarding your question about the monitoring company, please re-read my original post where I identified them.

Regarding your question about which insurance company: National General

Regarding your comment about being nicer, I went and re-read my posts and I don’t see anywhere where I was impolite. In fact, the only place that I see that, is from your posts. I’m sorry if I upset you. Next time, maybe just ignore the questions that you don’t want to answer?


#14

Thanks for the suggestion @Mavrrick58 but I want to avoid a new panel. Using the ADT panel causes me to lose a whole bunch of other functionality and it’s muuuch more expensive.


#15

@marktheknife yes, the discount provides more savings than the cost of the central monitoring. I probably wouldn’t do it otherwise – maybe if it was equal, since I’m getting some value out of the central monitoring.


(Nate Clark) #16

It’s $9.99/mo. Not sure where you got $20.


#17

oh shoot, I must have confused it with another solution. That woulda worked if I hadnt figured out this email solution which is $6/mo. Oh well, next time!


#18

Yeah, I looked them up. They’re a wholesale monitoring company that sells their services to alarm dealers or installers. I also found no information at all on their website about allowing email based monitoring service. All of their services require either internet access or cell service.

http://www.americandigitalmonitoring.com/index.html

I did however find that you can submit a form and pay $5 and get an alarm certificate to send to your insurance company without having any of their services at all. So, yeah…that’s real reputable.

So, I dunno what kinda scam you’re running here but your information is completely misleading.


#19

thanks for your help ryan!


#20

Also, there’s this:

http://www.atg.wa.gov/news/news-releases/home-security-company-alarms-consumers-draws-attention-attorney-general-s-office

The company was sure by the state of Washington for deceptive advertising practices.