When ST glitches become major safety/fire hazard

(Realy Living Dream) #1

Okay, I don’t like having to unplug, plug in kitchen appliances. So waffle maker is plugged into a Peanut and the " George Foreman grill" is plugged into a ZW outlet. The only automation on these is they are on the list to make sure are off in Good Night and Good Bye. They are also in Echo so it is just " Alexa turn on/off waffle maker" , “Alexa turn on/off grill” .
The wife came down about 6:15 this morning to " smell something like burgers" in the kitchen. Checked it out and found the grill on. Looking at recent activity the outlet was turned on at 5:04am. Nobody was awake at 5:04, so it had been on for well over an hour unattended because ST decided to just turn in on.

I can handle lights coming off/on randomly or not coming on when they should. However when ST starts turning on kitchen appliance in the middle of the night trying to burn my house down there is a big issue.

For whatever reason ST reran Goodnight at 3:22am with no prompt this morning too. I was fast asleep at 3:22 this morning so I don’t care what the log says, I know I did not run Good Night.

(Bruce) #2

It’s only a matter of time before there is a real tragedy from something like this.

With the state that ST’s platform is in, prudence suggests not plugging anything into power controlled by ST that cannot be safely powered on at any time, even for 24 hours a day.

(Chick Webb) #3

Given the experiences that I’ve had, and those of others that I’ve read about here, I’m shocked that you would even consider such a thing.

(Someday my dog will be automated) #4

Because of these phantom things happening and my impending move, I decided to remove everything from ST and go back to the good old safer days of manual control. I hope nothing really bad comes out of these issues.

(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #5

Sorry, … but… It’s important to read the Terms of Use. I presume most people haven’t?
Well… you violated them. (Just being a Devil’s Advocate here… :smiling_imp:).

As part of using the Services, you may create connections between various physical devices (which may be provided by SmartThings or by others), third party services, and the Services. You acknowledge and agree that you will not connect any physical devices or third party services to the Services (or otherwise use the Services) in a manner that could be dangerous to you or to others, or which could cause damage to or loss of any property (whether real, personal, tangible or intangible). For example, you should never connect heavy machinery, power tools, medical equipment, or other similar devices to the Services.

(Realy Living Dream) #6

Pretty certain every single person has voluntarily violated the TOS as soon as they plug it in and start loading it. Automating your locks violates the TOS since a malfunction could endanger your building’s residents when ST decides to just unlock the doors because the presence decides you are on the porch and not in your bed.

LOL :innocent:

(Barton.) #7

My GE outlets (both in-wall and plug-in) will turn on when I reboot the hub. Unfortunately, I have a humidifier with warm-mist (heating element) on one of the plugs. I now turn it off manually, even though I set up a rule to notify me if turns on when I’m not home.

It seems like common sense to me now. I’m not sure most appliances need plugged into a smart outlet.

(Kurt Sanders) #8

The SmartThings lawyers or outside counsel created a very broad TOU that protects them against delivering reasonable expectations of their products and services. However, any reasonable jury may award a win fall decision to the first class action suit that results in a wrongful death case! McDonalds thought that they were exempt from being sued for providing “hot coffee”, so anything is possible when reasonable expectations are at play for companies, even if there is a TOU that seems to have specific language that negates all risks. Game on!

(Brian) #9

This stuff is consumer grade. I’d never trust it with my life or that of my family. And I love my hub and it’s been very reliable for me.

I look at it this way. Would you fly in a plane that cost $99?

(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #10

Oh gawd; not the $99 argument again. :rolling_eyes:

It is all relative. Even the cheapest automobile on the market is required to meet Federal and State safety and emissions requirements. That automobile is not as safe as a high-end Volvo (?), perhaps, but, even though it is the cheapest, it meets a “minimum” legal and expected requirement. You can, for example, expect the seatbelts, steering, airbag, and brakes to work, with just a little reasonable maintenance.

If SmartThings is priced too low to meet a “minimum expected reliability level” (and/or whatever requirements could be legally required!), then that’s not our problem, that’s SmartThings’s problem: They should not be selling a product at a price too low to provide that “minimum reliability”.

Of course; the Terms of Use are important here. Even if the hub cost $999; I’m pretty sure the disclaimer clause would still be included. In other words, aside for the UL requirements of the outlets and switches line level wiring, there is no legal minimum safety requirement for a smart home system. …

Or is there? What standard are Alarm Companies required to meet? What liability do they face if an alarm fails to sound, thus resulting in significant loss or damage?


Many US jurisdictions, although not all, there are special legal requirements placed on two classes of companies: alarm monitoring services, and alarm installation services.

Not coincidentally, these are two separate UL listing categories as well.

Neither applies to SmartThings.

Separately, there is a federal safety standard for certain kinds of monitoring equipment specifically residential smoke detectors. Even though these commonly may cost as little as $15, they are still held to very high standards of reliability.

But again, SmartThings doesn’t actually sell branded versions of this type of equipment.

DIY installation security devices like sirens and sensors typically fall into a separate category and don’t have to meet the same reliability standards, regardless of price point. US law as it currently stands just basically assumes that if you’re getting nonprofessionally-monitored or installed equipment, you yourself won’t have the expectation that it is as reliable as the professional stuff.

That’s 20th century thinking, and to be honest I have no idea what the FTC would think of advertising like SmartThings’ which claims to be superior to traditional security systems. Is that intended to mean superior to older DIY systems? It’s not really clear.

But in any case pretty much any Z wave equipment You buy in the US except for smoke alarms has a warning that it is not to be used for medical equipment or life-support. I don’t think the Samsung verbiage is unusual for the industry.

(Fast, Good, Cheap...pick two.) #12

Don’t the waffle make and grill have separate on / off switches?

I assume you were leaving the power switches set to “ON” and then using ST as the “ON”?

I can see this for a coffee maker maybe (never saw the need when they can be programmed independently) but I have to agree with the gang here and say that’s a bad plan no matter how reliable the system.

If my doors unlock in the middle of the night they don’t cause a fire…besides, everyone here has gone to bed and forgot to lock a door on more occasions than ST has cause I’d be willing to bet.

I personally am about 0 - 10 (SmartThings casued unlock 0 vs. me 10 - I’m a dumbass)

(Realy Living Dream) #13

The old Warring pro waffle maker did, but the new one does not have a switch. I have never seen a counter top grill with a power switch of any kind. I assume the manufacturers (mistakenly) think people will not leave it on the counter and will put it away in a cabinet . Just take it out and plug it in when you want to use it.
I don’t like the wear and tear on the cords and outlets caused by constantly plugging and unplugging them. Waffles are on the breakfast menu 3-4 days a week. Grilled chicken breast is also a staple in our diet.

(Convinced ST will never be unbroken…) #14

So is Hue, My Q, Venstar, and TiVo. All of these systems use the cloud, yet I have no problems with any of these.

It is not a matter of whether it is cloud based, or if consumer grade… the problem is SmartThings’ implementation, which they haven’t been able to effectively address in over two years. That’s a very telling statistic.

(Realy Living Dream) #15

To " be fair" though, ST is 50x more stable and reliable then other Hubs like Wink and Securifi. I wouldn’t put Tivo in HA platform. In the 6 months since I moved over to ST I have doubled if not tripled the number of sensors and gone from a remote control house with a control panel to having " shit just happen" and the only human input required is to tell Alexa to turn something on/off .
For instance the back porch and yard lights come on when you open the kitchen or back door or there is motion on the porch. I do not want the yard lights to turn off when I close the doors or no motion on porch, simply because chances are I was letting the dogs out. So that require somebody to " Alexa turn off back porch lights" , or touch the wall switch when they let the dogs back in.

(Dan P Parker) #16

“Using” the cloud and being “cloud based” are two very different things. Neither Hue nor Venstar are cloud-based. They make use of the cloud to provide remote access, but their functionality is implemented in the local devices themselves, and is not dependent on internet connectivity.

(Convinced ST will never be unbroken…) #17

Agreed, but are you suggesting the latter is impossible to implement properly? In that case I would disagree.

(Dan P Parker) #18

No, I’m not suggesting anything, and there’s no reason you should feel at liberty to put words in my virtual mouth. I’m explicitly stating that your attempt to cite the reliability of non-cloud-based systems as though they are examples of reliable cloud-based systems is logically fallacious.

(Geko) #19

I don’t see any logical fallacy in @scottinpollock’s statement. Read it again:

It is not a matter of whether it is cloud based, or if consumer grade… the problem is SmartThings’ implementation, which they haven’t been able to effectively address in over two years.

There’s no doubt that this statement is correct no matter how you slice it and dice it. There’re many cloud-based consumer grade systems in operation today that work reliably and SmartThings is not one of them.

(Dan P Parker) #20

It’s not surprising that you don’t see the fallacy, given that the statement that I quoted and responded to is NOT the statement of his that you quoted in your response to me. The logical fallacy is exactly what I said it was. Namely, that Hue and Venstar “using the cloud” in a way that has absolutely no bearing at all on their ability to provide their core functionality in no way pertains at all to the reliability issues that ST has experienced due to it actually being “cloud-based”. That is what I was clearly addressing.

But his citing the fact that they “use the cloud” makes even less sense if his point is truly that “It is not a matter of whether it is cloud based”.