Indoor Camera that recognizes Home and Away

I didn’t have any intentions of adding indoor cameras but after a false alarm on our smoke detector Friday night I’m looking at options now. We were about 45 minutes from home when Smartthings alerted us that the smoke detector detected smoke. I have a Ring doorbell that continued to work and I still could access all of our smartthings devices so I was fairly confident that it was a false alarm. We called our local police and they went to the house and didn’t see anything unusual. We ended our night early and headed home, my girlfriend was very upset as she’s the 3rd generation in her family to own the house. It was in fact a false alarm, no indication that it had gone off.

After this event I see the benefit of having at least 1 indoor camera on each floor. The one requirement is that it be as close to turned off as possible when we are home. Is there anything like that available that recognizes Home and Away modes?

P.S. I do plan to report the false alarm to Smartthings.

Couple of ways I can think of.

One would be to get a camera with PTZ and the ability to integrate with ST so that when you’re home, the camera is set to a PT preset that points it against the wall or ceiling. When you go away, camera pans to another preset that’s actually aimed in the room you want it to see.

Another way would be to plug the cameras into pocket sockets that can be toggled off and on when you leave or arrive.

Edit: which smoke detector are you using?

I have been quite happy with my Arlo cameras. One plus is that they integrated with Smartthings a long time ago and can be controlled by Smartthings. I use the original, less expensive models for my indoor use and the Pro models coupled to the Arlo solar panels for outside use.
I use the temperature readings in nearly all the Smartthings sensors to alert me if the temperature in the area rises above my preset level and start the cameras to recording video or view the cameras live.
I am sure that you could use your smart smoke detector to trigger the cameras.


It’s a First alert Smoke and Carbon Monoxide with Z-Wave. I have a second one for the first floor that I hadn’t installed yet. We had bought new ones for the whole house when we moved in so I’m planning to slowly replace them with one’s that integrate with Smartthings.

I like the idea of the PTZ but because I don’t plan to use them very often I’d rather not spend a ton. Sounds like the pocket socket idea may be the best option.

Thanks for the info on Arlo, I didn’t realize how well they integrated. I just watched a YouTube video of how to turn them on and off via presence, that’s exactly what I was looking for. I’d rather focus on more outdoor cameras or a door lock next but after what happened Friday night this may need to be what we do next.

I got a couple zcombos when I first setup my ST hub about three years ago.

Last Fall one of them alerted that there was smoke, both through the ST app and the detector’s siren itself went off (I was away, someone else was home). There was definitely no smoke.

I replaced that one because I didn’t want to take a chance that it was somehow defective. The other one I originally bought, and the replacement have both been working as expected.

I also have a Halo smart smoke/co detector and I’m pretty happy with it.

If you’re not familiar with Leeo you should look into that too. It’s not a smoke detector, but it’s a plug-in device that listens for the standardized pattern (in the US) of smoke or CO alarm tones. It makes an audio recording then notifies you through their mobile app so you can confirm whether something is really going on or not.

I think it’s prudent to have multiple, independent levels of notifications when I’m out of the house for something as critical as fire safety.


Thanks for all the good info. We’re also renovating the house, at least a project in every single room so the Smartthings projects aren’t my only focus but a false alarm like that was a wake up call. Brian also pointed out temperature sensors, I have an Ecobee on each floor and it didn’t even occur to me to check the temperature readings in the moment that the alert came through. I just setup alerts for min & max temperatures for both thermostats.

I’m definitely going to look at the Leeo.

I use nest cams and they can be turned on/off depending on presence. I also use nest smoke and co detectors. :slight_smile:

A Foscam camera like a R2 might be ideal, it can move around, has set presets, you can view it remotely and you can turn it on / off through SmartThings based on the modes (away/home etc).

So mount it inverted on the ceiling on the corner of a wall and you can get a neat 90 degree view or mount it centrally and you can get a 270 degree view by moving it around in all directions. Set it to point at the room when in away mode and point away from the room when at Home.

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There is also arlo pilot for enhanced arlo integration as well. It expands on the functionality to include some automation based on SHM alarm modes along with some other stuff. I use that as well. I have two Arlo Q cameras and they work really well.

Dont forget the arlo cameras can also be used as motion and audio sensors to.