Maybe this is real, maybe this is fake. The premise is still true

What a tragic story, that if true, is so avoidable. What a great explanation of what good can come from home automation. I know most of us do it for the fun/cool ideas, but what about the life saving applications that can be done with smart things? What are some of your life saving devices and integrations?

“On February 28, 2016, I changed my precious baby into her tiny nightgown, wiped her snotty little nose, walked through the living room with her in my arms as she proudly said “night night” to her Daddy and big brother. I carried her up the stairs and placed her down in her beautiful crib that was made for a princess. She cried a little bit, and I walked out of the room knowing she would be asleep within two minutes as she always was. I never would have imagined that would be the last time I would see her alive. The desperation and screeching panic in my husband’s voice the next morning as he went to retrieve her from upstairs is something I will never forget. I was in the kitchen making coffee and as soon as he screamed “Keri” I knew something was terribly wrong. I froze and he yelled my name again as he ran down the upstairs hallway. “I think Sammie is dead.” I met him as he rushed down the stairs carrying our precious angel who just hours before had been so feisty and full of life. Attempts to resuscitate her did not work and she was pronounced dead fifty minutes later at the emergency room. Even though our upstairs thermostat was set on 72 degrees cool, the heater was blasting upstairs and it felt like a sauna. The temperature registered 99 degrees on our thermostat which was as high as it could go (meaning it was over 100 degrees.) Sammie died of hyperthermia. Doctors believe she never woke up or made a sound since children (until age 3 to 5) cannot regulate their own body temperature as older children and adults are able to do. Throughout our shock and disbelief, we have researched and found cases similar to ours. Upon preparing to become a mother, I read multiple books and stories on possible dangers that could harm babies and toddlers. I knew blankets, stuffed animals, pillows, etc. could be dangerous to babies before they were a year old. Both of mine slept in sleep sacks with an angel care breathing monitor until they were one. I was such a worrier and they both stayed in bassinets in our room until they were six months old. I wish I had once read about this. There is a cheap temperature monitor I could have had-would have had If I had heard of even one instance where a child could die by a heater not turning off like it is supposed to. Our son, Jackson, is three years old and had been sleeping in our bedroom downstairs for a year because he claimed monsters were in his room! Doctors said he would have likely died if he had been in his room. We want others(especially those with two-story homes) to hear Sammie’s story so that children can be protected and other families spared from the horrific grief we are forced to endure each day.”

As the father of a 4 month old baby, I find this story horrific. Ugh!

This just convinced me to have an IFTTT recipe to call my cell phone if temperature gets too hot in my kids rooms. Uusing Nest and a ST multi sensor so multiple platforms would have to fail me (unless IFTTT fails).


A quick Google search reveals that this incident did in fact occur on 2/29/2016 in SE Parker County, TX (just outside of Fort Worth).

Do you have a link?

Google “Sammie Volmert”.

Very sad.

I was really hoping this wasn’t true.

I’ve read stories right on this forum of heating units under the control of ‘smart’ systems, and those systems somehow malfunctioned in a given moment and got too hot. So I’d be leery of relying too much on such a system in this kind of scenario… That said, certainly an independent temperature sensor that alerts you if the room temps exceed a certain range (in either direction) could be a useful safeguard.

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Notifications not control!

Notifications promote safety. Safety control with a glue all device is insanity.

Another good use for Simple Device Viewer and it’s threshold alerts

I’m just curious… Why it was that hot in only one room of the house? Wth?

Although this SmartApp is useful, it’s still susceptible to SmartThings problems so I wouldn’t rely on it for life and death situations.

You can find dumb temperature monitoring devices with audible alarms for less than $20 so if I had kids and used HA to control my heating, I’d get some of those as a backup.

Yeah. Layers of protection. We also have an AngelCare in the youngests room that has temperature alerts.

It wasn’t just one room. It was the upstairs (2 story house with 2 HVAC systems). The parents and younger child slept in the master bedroom,which was downstairs.

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Gotcha. I somehow missed that.

I have the same situation now. We just did an extension on our house and now my kids bedrooms aree on a separate zone from our master bedroom. Well one morning we wake up and my son’s room got up to 80 and it was stifling in there because when they re-did the heat in my daughter’s room where my Nest is, her furniture was blocking the baseboard and the Nest thermostat kept heating her room. This caused my son’s room to get up to 80 while my daughter’s room remained at 68. We rectified the problem by adding an L Shaped baseboard extension where furniture wasn’t suffocating it. I also placed a temperature sensor in my son’s room as I didn’t want to rely on the baby cam’s sensor as I can now monitor it more closely with Smartthings. Now with Nest Manager by @tonesto7, I can average out these temperatures to avoid a situation like this. Plus, I have those IFTTT rules to call my cell if it gets above 80 or below 50 as a backup plan.


After reading the article, that is some scary crap.

I’ve always insisted that I live in a ranch style home. When I was a kid out house burnt down, and it went fast. I couldn’t believe a 5500 sq ft could go that fast. Luckily we all survived without a problem.

But ever since then I’ve been crazy paranoid.

Smoke detectors in every room, fire extinguisher every where. We built the house two years ago and I had them place studs extra wide in connecting walks in the corners. No furniture goes there and I can go through the walls to get to my kids.

I can’t even begin to imagine the horror that they endured. My baby girl sleeps in the coveted sitting room ofoff of the mattmaster suite.we are upstairs and every room has emergency egress from the house.

I guess you could say I’m insanely paranoid. But I know what it means for someone to die in a fire, not my house, my job.

My wife couldn’t believe done if the things I’ve done to the house for safety.

Do you have multiple levels of failsafes on the monitoring systems?

It was easy to miss, especially since more than one of the stories failed to mention those details.

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