Security system arming delay when using STHM?

I’m setting up a security system and have done a lot of reading here to work out the best solution. SmartThings Home Monitor has come a long way recently and a lot of the information is out of date.

I have contact sensors on all the doors and windows and motion sensors and all are working and in the SmartThings ecosystem. I have set up presence detection with the phones and the SHM ‘Arms’ when we are out of the house. I also have five 8" wall-mounted tablets that I can use to manually Arm or Disarm the system.

The part that is missing is the delay before arming with a ‘beep’ or spoken warning so that we know when the system is about to arm. Similarly on entry, there needs to be a beep or spoken warning that the alarm has been tripped and will sound unless disarmed on the keypad.

Has anyone mastered this? It seems to be a fairly simple implementation - especially in comparison to some of the complex implementations that you guys have done! I’m interested in thoughts, links to threads/YouTube videos etc.


There are ways to do this, so I will leave that discussion to people who have all the details. But it should certainly be possible.

One small note: SHM was the first generation security feature in Smartthings called “smart home monitor.“

The current security feature is the newer generation, STHM (“Smartthings home monitor”).

That distinction can be important when reading through the forum because the features of SHM and STHM are somewhat different.

Good catch. Yes I am running the latest version with STHM.


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FWIW, IMO ST is insufficiently robust to meet the requirements for a real security system. Its fine for a “best effort” approach, but just be clear on its limitations before investing too much effort. Many posts on the topic can be found. My personal favorite is the perennial dysfunctionality of the IOS mobile presence detection, which I gave up on as a method to reliably arm/disarm STHM.


Following, as I’m in a similar boat. A somewhat related q I have is, what is the difference between location modes and STHM? Atm, I have routines that mirror the location mode. So if location.mode = home, then STHM = disarm. I did this so that I can use a widget on AT for selecting modes.

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Yeah, Samsung doesn’t do a great job of explaining the difference. :thinking:

Fortunately, there’s a community FAQ on exactly that topic. Although it was started many years ago, and some of the terminology has changed over time, the FAQ has been updated as you go through the thread and the basic concepts are the same.

FAQ: Armed/Disarmed states vs Away/Home modes confusion

:arrow_up: This.

Unlike Ring Secure and other security systems, smartthings is not UL listed for security, and can’t be because of several important missing features.

  1. it’s very cloud dependent. All notifications require an active Internet connection. The app requires an active Internet connection. And There’s no way to arm/disarm it without an active Internet connection. In contrast, even the quite inexpensive Ring system has a cellular option for notifications and can be armed/disarmed without the Internet. You do lose most of the app functions if the Internet is out, but the core security functions on ring continue to operate.

  2. there’s no battery backup except for the now discontinued V2 model. Most security systems switch over to battery use for 24 hours if the power goes out. Even the V2 didn’t meet UL requirements because it didn’t last long enough.

  3. the company can and does push out hub firmware updates that can take your system off-line any time without pre-notification. Usually it’s only off-line for a couple of minutes, but it can be more than that, and that’s not what you want in a security system. But with smartthings, there’s no way to defer or deny system updates.

Smartthings can give you useful convenience notifications and often serves well in addition to a separate dedicated security system. You can create some partial integrations with quite a few other security systems if you want. You can find project reports on various integrations on the following list. Some of them will only work with the old architecture but several of the more popular ones have been updated to the 2023 architecture.

In any case SmartThings certainly shouldn’t be your primary security system, and Samsung knows that. The terms of use that you agreed to when you first set up your smartthings account say the system should not be used for anything which might affect health or safety.

Also, it should be noted that you cannot get a security certificate to use to get a discount on your homeowners insurance If smartthings is all that you have. The discounts aren’t big, and they do vary from insurance company to insurance company, but they can be enough to help pay for professional monitoring if you want that. Ours offsets about half off the monthly cost of the professional monitoring through one of the inexpensive dedicated systems, and every bit helps. :sunglasses:

Obviously, what system you use is a personal decision, and smartthings may be all that you need/want, it’s just important to be aware of why it isn’t a UL listed security system when you make your choice.

I’m surprised nobody has answered the original question yet, hopefully will get some more interest with some of the new posts.

We should ask if you do have a Smartthings/Aeotec hub, and if so, which model, as it does make a difference in the delay, options that you will have.

Thanks for all the great info. Your post on the limitations of SmartThings vs a ‘real’ security system were great. I am still looking to pursue ST as a quasi-security system and will accept the limitation that it is cloud based and lacks a battery backup.

My hub is the V2 Hub.


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I may have gotten a little bit ahead but not fully. I have an echo show as well. On it, I can create a routine if a contact sensor is open to announce something. I created a virtual contact sensor but I don’t know how I can “open” the sensor in ST.

When my routine is kicked off for arming the system, I’d like to open this contact sensor and thus have announce system is arming or alike.

Do you have a SmartThings/Aeotec hub?

If so, there is a popular custom edge driver that will run on your hub that can create a pair of synchronized virtual devices, a virtual contact sensor that echo can use to trigger one of its routines and a virtual switch that you can use by voice or in smartthings routines. With that synchronized pair, when you turn on the switch, it opens the virtual sensor and when you turn off the switch, it closes the virtual sensor. So that’s quite an easy way to handle things without having to do any programming yourself. See the community FAQ for more information and a link to the custom edge driver that will do this.

FAQ: Can I trigger an Echo Action without Speaking to It?

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Thanks will explore that. Yes I have an ST Hub, don’t we all in this community?!

The vast majority of SmartThings app users don’t have a hub, and indeed may be completely unaware that there is such a thing.

I suspect that the majority of the users of this community do have a hub, but there are enough who don’t for the question to be worth asking.

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TIL that you can use SmartThings app without the hub. Interesting.

Yep. Because the smartthings app is used for galaxy phones, Samsung smart televisions, Samsung smart appliances including robot vacuums, probably 90% or more of smartthings users don’t have a hub at all.

You can still have a nice home automation setup if you’re interested in that using cloud to cloud and Wi-Fi integrations like ring or Arlo cameras, Philips Hue bridge for smart bulbs, some switches, and some sensors; Meross or TP Link Wi-Fi switches and smart plugs; Shelly relays, SwitchBot automated curtainbots, flic buttons, Yale by August WiFi bridged locks; etc. Lots of choices and most device categories are available.

You only need a hub if you want to use zigbee, zwave, or thread devices.

It is likely true that most of the users in this particular forum do have a hub, but not all and you definitely don’t need one to use smartthings. :sunglasses:

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I got the Alexa setup to work which is great! When I switch to Arm Stay mode, my virtual contact sensor opens up, then auto closes in 10s. My alexa routine is to broadcast when this sensor ever opens. I didn’t need to use a synchronized switch as well.

I assume I can do a similar broadcast message for Armed Away with a long message: “System arming in 10, 9, 8, 7, …, 1 second, GTFO!”

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Thanks for sharing this information.