Alarm system suggestions for a new build

Hello,
I am not a hubitat owner (yet), but suspect I will be before long. I am going to build a new house on a recreational property. It is about 14 hours drive from my primary residence. I am thinking of setting the property up with security cameras to help with remote monitoring. Since it is a new build, what would you recommend installing for a security system? I am leaning towards a self-monitored one, rather than one with a monthly subscription service. However, seamless integration into a control/monitoring system like Hubitat would be a must.

Any advice/suggestions would be welcome!

SimpliSafe has an active HE integration, and though I haven't actively monitored it, the system does seem to get a lot of good reviews.

Anything you do through Hubitat is going to be "consumer-grade," something to remember going in.

Also, if you are accessing a hub on a remote location you're going to need a VPN on the router at the site or other method to connect to the remote network from a distance.

If your planning to self monitor why not just use Hubitat Safety Monitor. If you were looking for professional monitoring that would be different and HSM probably wouldn't be the best choice. If I were building new I'd plan on wired contact sensors, motion detectors, water detectors, sirens, and temperature/humidity probes and use Konnected.io boards to make them available to Hubitat (Local integration) that way your not having to deal with dead batteries. I'd also plan on a water shutoff valve.

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Thanks @danabw! I did a little googling on SimpliSafe and it looks like its primarily designed for a retrofit (all battery powered devices). I was thinking more along the lines of a pre-wired system without batteries. My current house has a DSC board with pre-wired door contacts and glass break sensors. A few years ago I added an Envisilink 4 to it. One thought I have is to buy a HE and try it here. Perhaps what I learn through that will help me.

Yup, sounds like you have way more experience w/this than I do - I've never had a secuirty system and never really looked into one. :slight_smile: I rely on my dogs to keep me safe. Here they are guarding me:

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Thanks @Terk. I am sort of leaning that direction. So I guess I'll need to see if there is a security system installer that is comfortable with installing Konncted.io and compatible devices.

While I am on the subject of pre-wiring - is there any value in strategically placing pre-wired z-wave or zigbee repeaters to promote a solid mesh coverage through the whole house?

Yes (most likely). :slight_smile:

Benefits depend in part of size of the property (how far the hub has to reach) and how many devices you were going to install, but it is a good thing to have a strong mesh.

You'd want to make sure you (or your installer) joins the repeaters to the hub starting nearest the hub and going outward. After repeaters are in place add other devices.

For Z-Wave just put in some Z-Wave Plus light switches, they all repeat. You could use one of the few Zigbee light switch options to repeat as well otherwise most reliable Zigbee repeaters come in the form of plug in modules, Zigbee bulbs that repeat generally make bad repeaters.

That makes perfect sense. Thanks!

Privacy aside, etc. etc. I'm happy with Ring Alarm, in general, and overall as I also have Ring Cameras and it's nice the monthly pricepoint covers both together (camera storage and ring alarm monitoring).
There are also various ways you can integrate it with HE;
a. Alexa via virtual switches (one way from Ring to HE)
b. The community integration

I use both. For example when I turn my Ring Alarm on to away/vacation I have HE trigger HSM and do specific things for my 'vacation mode'.

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If you are going to self-monitor, are you going to have your phone with you 24/7, always charged and never in silent mode? In the shower, while sleeping, etc.? You're never going to be in a place with poor or no cell signal? For most people that's impractical.

Are you willing to take the chance, however small, that the alarm will go off and you didn't hear the notification on your phone and missed the fact that someone broke in, or worse, that a smoke detector went off? Or the internet and/or power at your vacation house goes down?

Home automation systems and security systems are two completely different animals. It's one thing if a light doesn't go on or off at a scheduled time; it's an entirely different matter if a security or safety event occurs and nobody knows about it. Home automation systems are simply not designed for that level of reliability.

If you're really concerned about costs, look at the Ring Alarm. At least it's UL rated and meets certain criteria for reliability and robustness and I think it's only $10/month. Personally, I would not trust the safety of my family and property to anything other than a professional-grade alarm system that uses cellular communications. You don't have to spend a fortune for one, you can install it yourself and I'm only paying $25/month for professional monitoring services including real-time two way voice communication with the monitoring center from my alarm panel.

There are various ways you can connect an alarm system with a home automation system, depending on the particular systems you choose.

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I know plenty of folk who have self installed pro grade security systems and had them monitored by one of the lower priced services that shook up that industry.

You are right about a home automation system not being a UL class security solution. It didn't take long to see the things in HE that just aren't set up to satisfy that level of protection. Nor should HSM be confused as such.

I wish for improvement in this respect and increasingly feel HE development should rise up from "hobbyist's tolerance" to hard core home/business security & safety level failsafe given what controls & oversight folks are entrusting to these systems.

But yah gotta realize, Hubitat doesn't make the sensors...that changes the whole proposition. This is where security system folks like Visonic excelled...sensor AND station reliability. Of course their software was about as user friendly as a mule....but it was robust.

I think today's HA systems are a compliment to a good security system. Just wish more of the security system vendors would play nice w/ HA so integration/communication was painless across the board. But I'm sure the security system vendors fear losing market share down the road and are protecting turf.

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Konnected alarm interface kit is a piece of cake to install. Basically your just connecting a wire from each of your zones in your pre existing alarm panel to a zone on the konnected board. It's not a complete teardown of your alarm system. Your original keypads still work AND your able to see on Hubitat, all your wired sensors which you can create all sorts of rules using hubitat HSM. Plus you can add wireless motion detectors in Hubitat and have them work all together . I've had it for over 1 1/2 years and love to know I don't have to be connected to a monitoring service to check on my home. You really should check on some Youtube videos on Konnected interface kit.

One other note- in the case of Konnected interface, you still have full control of your old wired system. In effect you can use each system independantly . Just use your original alarm system as you did, use Konnected with your old system or actually you can use BOTH at the same time if your worried about batteries with Hubitat devices

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I just did the same. I have gone with the community integration. I turn on HSM via that and also turn off the alarm based on codes in my door lock. I like the $100 annual monitoring.

Almost forgot to mention the insurance discounts paid for the alarm and the monitoring. I also added some First Alert z-wave smoke/CO2 and moved them from Hubitat to Ring.

Wait, what?

I got about $350 off for alarm with all entries, smoke and C02. That paid for the Ring (on sale for about $200) plus the monitoring. I moved the First Alerts I got from Costco to the Ring.

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Spend some time making this decision - I'm in the UK so can't advise really what's best. I chose wrongly a while back and have regretted since. I am just making the change over to a replacement system.

I personally would recommend wired in a new installation but with ability to supplement wireless zones for future or unexpected needs. An Ethernet interface with an open API and, if you are having it installed by an external company make sure they will provide you the installer access code and be supportive of your intentions with the system.

I got 2.5% insurance discount for having a monitored alarm system - and when I said I later didnt want that discount anymore they said it would be a 20% increase in premium. Ho hum.

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Every homeowners policy I've ever had gave me a discount for having a professionally monitored burglar and fire alarm. A few times they asked me for a certificate, which monitoring companies will give you at no charge.

I don't know that you'd get a discount for a DIY home-automation based system though. I'd think it would need to be a UL approved system.

There's really no need for this anymore. Today's wireless systems (the professional ones) are as secure if not more so than a wired system, and can be installed in a fraction of the time and at a much lower cost.

You also don't want to depend on internet for monitoring, you should have cellular communications, perhaps with ethernet as a backup.

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I guess we just disagree ... my wireless system trials didn't prove reliable.

I have dual path signalling with cellular and Internet on mine but Ethernet is a required feature for local home automation connectivity.

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