Scout Alarm and SmartThings

Looks like Scout Alarm has some official integration now. Anyone in the community currently using Scout?

https://smartthings.scoutalarm.com/

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This is awesome. I can’t tell you how much I hate having double sensors on my doors. There isn’t enough detail about this yet, and I am not quite sure I would want to rely on SmartThings to be in charge of my home security until I see more stability (granted it has improved significantly recently). Also, two showstoppers for me with Scout were the lack of centralized CO/Smoke alarms since we have a pet and lack of a pinpad to enable/disable alarm. They do support Nest Protects which I have also, but they won’t call your local fire department if they go off. I’ve been watching Scout closely though and waiting for them to improve their offering as well. It seems this integration is just to leverage ST hardware with Scout’s 24 x 7 monitoring.

Very interesting. I’ve been considering switching to Scout from my current alarm provider because of their IFTTT integration.

Always glad to see more integrations, but, Yeah, they say nest will not allow them to call the fire department if the nest goes off. I don’t quite understand what I was going on there, but for me, a monitoring system that won’t call 911 if the smoke alarm goes off doesn’t help me a lot. As a quad, fire safety is one of my biggest concerns.

http://community.scoutalarm.com/t/can-integrated-nest-protects-be-used-to-notify-the-fire-dept/595/3

Yes. This is what I was told also. Scout did tell me they planned on making their own Smoke/CO detectors for the purpose of calling the Fire dept. but they didn’t commit to a date.

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The problem appears to be the nest. No one uses nest protects to trigger direct calls to first responders.

In Contrast, if you’re using their professional monitoring plans and their equipment, simplisafe, front point, and ADT all can call the fire department on your behalf in most jurisdictions.

This is why you need to check the exact features for each security system before making a decision based on your own priorities. Like I said, as it happens, in my case the fire detection is the top priority.

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Does Scout rely on SmartAlarm or another app?

Didn’t see anyone else post this yet, so for those that are interested:

http://support.scoutalarm.com/category/110-scout-alarm-monitoring-for-smartthings

Looks like this doesn’t require any additional hardware and is just for monitoring smartthings through scouts service.

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Yes this is what Scout sales confirmed with me also. I want more details on how it works though. Do you decide which actions call the monitoring service? How does that process work? Anyone from ST care to comment?

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Very cool indeed, though without the call center being willing to call EMS in response, might not be a compelling offering at $19.99/month. That being said, need to check out the quality/features of their SmartApp and look into the delta cost after a potential homeowners insurance discount. On the insurance front, I have a feeling they will be reluctant to provide a substantial discount without Fire protection. Still, coupled with with Hub v2 and some tweaking, this could be a winning offering. Add Fire/CO support, cloud video recording with ST integration, and an optional cellular backup and I’m in.

According to Smarthings support, any ST “thing” that has on/off capabilities, smoke sensing, motion and moisture can be used to trigger a emergency call from Scout’s central monitoring station. So I am thinking if you have a zwave Lock with a PIN, you can use that to enable and disable the alarm (this way your not relying on unreliable presence indicators). I am thinking you can use the Nest Protects for alarm triggers also…

A call to you, maybe. But not a call to 911 for a Nest Protect alert.

I suspect ST Support does not yet understand all the distinctions in this area.

According to Scout’s documentation:(although all of the details seem unclear)

Scout Alarm now provides professional 24/7 monitoring for SmartThings. If you are a SmartThings customer, you can now use Scout’s professional monitoring to dispatch police on your behalf.

“Police.” Not “Fire Department.”

Correct. Although if central monitoring calls you, I would imagine if you told them there was a fire, they would hopefully contact the Fire department, but it’s not as seamless as my SimpliSafe fire central monitoring.

The conditions under which a paid third-party can call in a fire report on your behalf are actually super restricted in most US jurisdictions. Sending out a fire response team is very expensive and removes resources that might be needed elsewhere. For that reason, cities are really reluctant to license paid third parties to call in fire reports. ( in some jurisdictions, you have to get your own license to allow someone to call on your behalf.)

Based on what they are allowed to provide for their own customers who are not smartthings customers, I don’t think Scout will be allowed to call the fire department for you. Maybe if you have some specific equipment but right now they can’t call for their own clients.

As I’ve mentioned before fire safety is my main priority in home monitoring systems, and I do pay for my security system. I have looked at a lot of these in detail.

But maybe I’m wrong? Hopefully someone will get the exact details. Just make sure you are very specific in the questions that you ask and don’t read anything into the answers that you get isn’t actually written there.

So Scout uses C.O.P.S Monitoring as their central monitoring command center which is exactly who SimpliSafe uses(I am a customer of theirs). Simplisafe calls the fire dept for Smoke/Co detectors so I know C.O.P.S is certainly licensed and cabable of doing this. However, I am sure they have agreements with Simplisafe to do so, where as with Scout, they don’t since Scout doesn’t have any Smoke/CO devices yet and all of their documentation at this point references the Police only.

I am tempted to try this service out with Smarthings just to see how well it works but I highly doubt I’ll keep it as it doesn’t appear to be as reliable as Simplisafe. I am just fed up with Simplisafe’s lack of innovation but there doesn’t seem to be a good, affordable alternative now that has IFTTT integration yet which is what I would love at the very least if I am going to keep a dedicated alarm system with the associated hardware and sensors. ADT Pulse announced they would support IFTTT and that’s been a year in the making and is more expensive as well.

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With SimpliSafe at $14.99/month and many “wholesale” monitoring services being even cheaper, the market has a lot of room to get more competitive.

Of course, there’s a level at which quality will be too poor to justify the bargain; or for which extra features will justify higher prices.

Yep. The monitoring centers get reviewed frequently for how many false alarms they send in. That’s why they care so much about what equipment you’re using. The first generation nest protect had a reputation for a lot of false alarms. They were trying to fix that in their second generation, I don’t know if they succeeded. But my guess is that nest did not want to be held responsible by the pro monitoring centers, which is why they don’t let them Do third-party call ins based on their alerts.

I’m actually pretty surprised that Scout is willing to do the police call ins without limiting them to specific devices. But I guess everybody’s willing to try and see on those.

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While I still wish they had a true smoke alarm integration, it’s interesting that Scout has added integration with echo. They’re using a four digit number that you have to say as an authentication code. But I like the concept of voice for a lot of use cases, particularly in emergencies:

https://www.scoutalarm.com/integrations/amazon-echo

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