SmartThings alarm system?

Before I go and shell out £500+ on a Texecom alarm, I thought I’d ask to see if anyone has had such luck with doing something like this in the UK.

The issue I have is that the Texecom and Lightsys systems are both expensive, and also duplicate up on features. For example, they both other alerts and a bit of automation control from things like PIR’s and smoke alarms.
What I would really love to avoid doing, is having 1 set of home automation kit for my alarm and then another for the rest of the house.

I know that in the US at least, door sensors and PIR’s are available which in theory would cover you, however a big thing really is perimeter detection. Ideally what I need is a shock and glass break sensor so I can cover the patio windows at the back, and then create zones to arm/disarm different sensors.

Does anyone know of such devices compatible?

This is one of the reasons I won’t to use smart things , but there doesn’t seem much compatible tech to make a good smart alarm system

There is much discussion in the forums about security systems. Everyone has different feelings about what they need for peace of mind. And what they’re willing to pay for it.

My three minimum requirements for a security system are:

  1. it be able to send notifications even when power and Internet are off

Two) those notifications go to a professional monitoring centre that is authorised to call both fire and police responders

Three) the notifications are sent over cellular/mobile, not landline or Internet.

Currently, SmartThings does not meet any of those. Even though the V2 hub can do some operations when mains power and Internet are off, the operations it can do are very limited. Right now it is only the smart light app. It cannot operate the smart home monitor feature without an Internet connection. And it cannot do any notifications without an Internet connection. It just cues them up to send later.

The other issue with SmartThings is overall reliability. Things just randomly stop working for a while. Sometimes this is because of a bug, sometimes this is because of excess traffic, sometimes is because of maintenance that they don’t tell the customers about in advance. For example, when there’s a new hub update, it gets pushed out as firmware and takes your system off-line for about 20 minutes. Sometimes a very inconvenient 20 minutes.

So personally, I do pay a monthly fee to a different service. I use SmartThings for convenience home automation where an occasional service outage is not life-threatening.

But there are other people who just can’t stand to spend a monthly fee, or who feel the need to have all their systems operate out of one app. So they may use smartthings and just accept the occasional outages and the issue with operation during power loss. There’s a community-created smartapp, smart alarm, which is very popular and very sophisticated and works well for people in this priority group. It has several very useful features which the current official smart app does not have, including zone operation or and a delay before arming.

However, at the present time I don’t believe there is any purpose built glass break sensor or keypad that works well with smart things. But there are new devices being added all the time. Ideally, if they are zigbee devices, they should work in the US and the UK, which simplifies things a bit.

So there’s no one right answer. Again search the forums for “security” and you’ll find many discussions.

BTW, I am quadriparetic, so fire safety is one of my number one issues. I really want professional monitoring for that. Other people will have other top concerns.

I’ve searched and searched after posting this thread, and @JDRoberts has hit the nail on the head. I’ll give some of my reasons too:

  • Whilst SmartThings has some of the sensors required, it doesn’t have everything required for an alarm. For example, Dual Tech PIR’s or Shock Sensors with contacts
  • SmartThings is also missing an external bellbox which is a bit useless for external alerting and deterrent
  • There is no backup. If theres a power outage, or the net is down, your home security system is down too

What I have done is gone with a fairly common alarm system, the Texecom Elite. It’s not compatible with SmartThings or any home automation system, however I can put SmartThing door sensors on my doors too. That way I can get alerts if anyone is entering the house etc, then I can trigger the camera to come on.

It’s a bit of a duplication issue, but both systems work, and I wouldn’t want my alarm to be easily hackable. It’s mostly hardwired and using proprietary wireless communication methods.

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