ST as Security system - looking for suggestions


(Glen King) #1

So I’ve got everything else going on with SmartThings. All kinds of great automations, routines, etc.

Now I need to tie together the security aspect. My scenario:

  • any valid entry into the home comes via the Schlage smart lock, or a ST presence sensor.
    (But for the moment let’s focus on the Schlage lock.)
  • no one can really see the lock being operated from afar; the only neighbor with a (distant) view of it also has a code to enter the house.

So I don’t need to add a security keypad, and I don’t need to add entry delays. A valid code entry, combined with the door opening within 3 minutes, puts the house into ‘disarmed’ mode in SHM.

The house goes into Armed (home) SHM mode whenever things quiet down after 10pm, and disarms at @6am daily.
It goes into Armed (away) mode on workdays whenever the house has quieted down, and the garage closes.

Within the next week or so, every window will have a sensor.
I have a couple vidcams that activate depending on mode and activities.
The house alerts me if there is a possible security issue, and the cams record.

But I feel like there’s a component missing. Don’t know what it is…
Where do I go from here?

Do I somehow tie this into a larger, commercial security system? Not sure I want that.

Do I ‘unify’ the SHM parameters better? I do occasionally get warnings for activity that I know is perfectly legit. Would I need more motion sensors to do that?

And does SHM get any smarter with experience? Recognize patterns and such?


(Mark) #2

Does your SHM reliably disarm after someone enters the code but before they open the door? That seems to be an issue for some people.

That’s probably a decision that will vary from person to person. ST has several notable flaws that most commercial security systems account for. The most significant is probably it’s total dependence on an active internet connection (and functioning ST cloud) with no cellular backup even if you do pay for the central monitoring by Scout. For some people that’s a deal breaker. Another common complaint is lack of officially supported keypads and entry/exit delays, but you mentioned that’s not an issue for you.

Not at all.


(Antony Pugh) #3

As to disarming I would certainly not have that by time. have it by if the house is in Armed Home and an upstairs sensor is tripped after x time then disarm (this then does not disarm for a toilet trip in the night)

also if you lay in it will stay armed.

As to arming options. I use Alexa to enable good night (you have to use a virtual switch to run CoRE to arm SHM) and I say good night each night. then its only armed as I want it and will shut the house down too for any left on lights. you could pput this on a button by the bed or similar.

When leaving if the garage always closes then that’s fine. or use another motion sensor. but use as little timed arm/disarms as possible to stop false positives.

Maybe if house is quiet and door opened without keypad in the last 10 mins? use presence sensors to accelerate that if needed.

Its all about finding ways to minimise false hits.

I’m looking at setting up CoRE process for motion and have it set a contact open if it hits rules. this allows the sun or my fish etc to set off a motion sensor for 1 min but if it does not continue it will not open the contact and trip the alarm. (something ST need to implement really)

Lots of ideas. but a standalone would always be more reliable.


(Glen King) #4
  1. I would not want that to occur. If for example I enter the code but then remember I was supposed to be at a meeting, I might walk away without opening the door. In that case, the door auto-locks within three minutes… I certainly would not want the SHM to disarm in that circumstance.

  2. I hear ya. Will have to think on those things.

  3. That seems to me the next wave in smart security: a system that learns from experience.


(Glen King) #5

Some further mitigating concerns:

  • I love to sleep with open windows whenever possible.
  • we have pet cats who, despite getting on in years, are still quite rambunctious.

So in Armed Away mode, ANY ‘intrusion’ basically has to start with a forced entry somewhere. Easy enough, though I’ve not tested possibilities with the Schlage lock. But I guess ST could subscribe to its alarm. I’ll have to look at they more closely.

But Armed Home mode? I could easily be the one opening the window in the middle of the night, and my cats might go for a 15 minute run-around at 2am. So while it’s there, I’m somewhat at a loss for finding a truly solid configuration.


(Mark) #6

I might be misunderstanding how you’re trying to use SHM with the smart lock.

I thought you meant: user (outside the house) enters code on lock keypad–>door unlocks–>SHM disarms–>door opens and user enters without setting off the alarm.
If that were the case, I was pointing out that some people have run into the following issue: user enters code–>SHM is set to disarm but there is a lag–>user opens door and alarm is triggered.

But you’re doing something different I guess?

I agree that would be awesome. Not sure how close we are to that though…


(Tim) #7

I think a common hole in security is when burglars throw a rock through a window and gain entry that way bypassing door sensors and also the MOTION SENSORS when in ARMED (HOME) MODE. Obviously this is fine when in ARMED (AWAY) MODE when motion sensors are active.

But personally the MOST important thing about security is when your at home sleeping at 3AM and the idiot(s) break your window to get in and roam around in the dark undetected by motion sensors. What’s going to set that SIREN / STROBE LIGHT off to scare them out and get everyone up heading for the guns? Burglars know to do this. Hell, they’ll just go through the roof or wall in business robberies, but usually those are totally locked down with motion sensors etc on.

Yes, a GLASS BREAK SENSOR which I have, but really don’t trust it to detect 100% of the time for some reason… I just don’t. Also it must be within 12’ radius of the window being broke. (also away from curtains etc) You’ll need a lot of these ugly wall warts and batteries to replace etc.

You can also use multi-purpose sensors to detect VIBRATION I guess when a burglar breaks the window AS LONG as the sensor is on the exact window pane being broke, lots of sensors needed also. There are other so called solutions, but they all really don’t seem practical or completely trust-worthy.

I don’t know, but this seems to be the weakest link and really needs a true solution.


(Glen King) #8

My front door entry alarm is the lock itself; the alarm is built into the lock.

My ‘alarm’ for such things a contact sensors being opened while in Away mode is that my audio system kicks in and plays an alarm MP3. That takes about ten seconds, so I can short-circuit that process by turning off the audio system. Its remote control works for that purpose, and also I have a virtual switch on my control tablets that does that job. Iit takes http command strings, so I can even look at the cameras remotely and turn the audio system off remotely if I see there is no actual intrusion.


#9

Solved problem. :wink:

IMG_3886

Seriously. One study by the Los Angeles police department found that a dog was the only thing that would deter both professional and amateur thieves. It didn’t matter whether it was a big dog or a little dog.

Dogs are unpredictable, they are noisy, they know intruders from family members, and they’re more likely to get a response from neighbors then a siren will.

I’m not saying don’t use other security equipment, because you should. (I’m also not saying use SmartThings for security, because you shouldn’t, as the company’s own terms of use point out.)

But a dog fills that one gap you mentioned. They know friend from foe. :sunglasses::dog:

Therefore, do not use SmartThings to control any device that may have an impact on health, safety, security, property, or financial interests


(Glen King) #10

The “rock thru the window” thing still would, imo, usually trigger the contact sensors. What moron throws a rock thru a window and then decides “yeah, let me climb in thru the jagged shards of glass that are still stuck in the window frame”?? It would be interesting to see police data on the subject, but I’m thinking in the vast majority of cases the rock thru the window results in the burglar reaching in and opening the sash lock - and then raising the window, and climbing in. It would be far quicker and quieter than repeatedly bashing the window frame to get rid of all the shards before climbing thru the broken pane.


(Tim) #11

Moron. Exactly. How’d you like to wake up 3am with that moron hovering over ya?

This moron:
https://williamsonsource.com/burglary-suspect-caught-on-tape-a-third-time/


(Tim) #12

Have one, but a puppy. Either way, would like a good solution to this besides using animals.


(Tim) #13

“Therefore, do not use SmartThings to control any device that may have an impact on health, safety, security, property, or financial interests”

Yes we get that, understood. … so Samsung needs to bring ST up to an acceptable standard to use as a security system like the Nest. BS.


(Mark) #14

Even the new nest security system has its own fine print (granted it’s not even released yet, and maybe they’re planning to offer central monitoring in the future).

It seems to me at this point, ST isn’t trying to position itself as a serious player in the home security side of things, which is related but distinct from home automation. Or maybe they’re trying and just not doing very well.


(Glen King) #15

Well… as I had zero security system prior to ST aside from keyed locks and window sash locks, ST represents a significant step forward. At least I can now know when things are open/closed, who is coming into my house and when, have reasonable control over access, and have the ability to look in based on parameters that make sense to me.


#16

Nest is partnering with a third party for optional professional monitoring. Their fine print is so you know that the nest devices don’t do it on their own.


(Antony Pugh) #17

ST may not be recommended but it is VERY reliable of going off and alerting you the alarm is triggered.

The issue is the Alarm should not be set! But presence is slow to update (at the moment not updating) or the motion sensor go off as the batteries get to 30%.

Often I get home and get a text or app alert in SECONDS of it tripping.

As to the dog idea that is a hassle of a security system. you have to feed it, walk it pick up its Poop! Ill get robbed while asleep thanks!!!