How would you use the Virtual smoke detector?

In the new update, they added a Virtual smoke detector. I'm trying to understand why and when would you use a virtual smoke detector, what can I do with that?

I have Wyze cameras and Alexas with Alexa Guard. They can detect the sound of a smoke detector. I have it setup to send notification to my phone on detecting sound of actual smoke alarm. Then, using Tasker on my Android phone, it sends an HTTP Request to HE's Maker API to change virtual motion sensors to Active. Now I can use virtual smoke detector instead. Not a huge deal but more correct.

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I have a Wyze camera. It has a sound detector that will detect the sound of a smoke alarm. I use a virtual smoke detector driver to be able to have my smoke detector represented in Hubitat.


And more specifically be able to integrate with HSM

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Are you familiar with virtual devices in general? Basically, they are devices you can create your hub for any reason you want, and the "virtual" part means that they do not (on their own, at least) correspond to any real/physical device. This is in contrast to "real" devices like Z-Wave, Zigbee, or LAN devices you might add to your hub.

There are already virtual drivers for lots of devices, switches and various sensors, that people have exploited instances of for various purposes (e.g., "only do this automation when virtual switch X is on"). Some people also use them to integrate devices without official integrations, as mentioned above--for example, if you have a device that only works with IFTTT or Alexa, you can create a virtual switch on Hubitat, then have IFTTT or Alexa manipulate the state of that virtual switch when something happens on that device as seen by Alexa or IFTTT (or similar services). I'm using switches as a lot because they're probably one of the most easily integrated virtual devices on non-Hubitat platforms, but there are other uses. For example, Alexa only lets you trigger routines on contact or motion sensors, so I "trick" Alexa into starting a routine based on something in Hubitat by exposing a virtual motion sensor to Alexa (it does nothing for me in Hubitat other than this) and making it temporarily "active" when I want to start that routine.

You can also use it entirely within Hubitat for any purpose. I use some as "dummy" devices on my test hub when creating Rule Machine examples for other people or if I myself want to test a sequence of events with a device I have more control over than a real one. It can also be a way to "coax" an app into working with a device slightly different than one it may be looking for (e.g., I have a contact sensor attached to a pressure mat on my couch that reports "closed" when the couch is occupied; I have this tied to a virtual motion sensor that becomes active or inactive based on the state of the contact sensor, and I use that motion sensor in motion lighting apps because far more of them accept motion sensors than contact sensors for this purpose). You can see another example above with HSM (I don't use this feature but imagine the users might have Alexa or IFTTT turning on a virtual switch when smoke is detected and then setting the virtual detector to its "detected" state via a Rule or custom app)--smoke alarms are first-class citizens in HSM arming rules, so this allows you to use this workaround just like a "real" device.

Just a few more examples to give you a broader picture!


Thank you guys, I was thinking it might have been able to be used with wyze. I do have 1 of those that I need to set up, so that's good. I just wish I was able to use my nest protect though and not have to go through these workarounds :cry::cry:

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Yup, I use my wyze cam's smoke alarm detection through IFTTT to set it up in Hubitat.


I added a Virtual Smoke Detector and enabled it in the Alexa Skill. I also have Guard setup to detect smoke. However, I don't see a way to link these together. The smoke detector isn't showing up as a device in the Alexa app and it doesn't seem like you can have Guard detecting smoke as a trigger in an Alexa routine. What am I missing?

I believe another way the virtual smoke detector can be used is if you have wired your smoke detectors to a relay, such as the Kidde model (Kidde SM120X Smoke Alarm Relay Module), and that relay is then connected to a contact sensor, such as an Ecolink (with the convenient screw terminals) you can create a sensor, using the Virtual Device, that will be "understood" to be a smoke detector and not a door/window sensor. At least I'm hoping I can do that.

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Google is opening up the api in 1q 2020 so hopefully all our nest stuff will be able to be directly reintegrated into HE

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I am not aware of a way to go straight from Alexa Guard notification to Hubitat; a "middleman" is required. IFTTT would work but for something like smoke/fire, I would be hesitant to trust IFTTT to respond in a timely manner.

For me, Guard (& my Wyze cams) sends notification to an old Android phone. I have an app called Tasker ($4 i believe but WELL WORTH IT) that can "listen" for notifications from Alexa then send an HTTP Request to Maker API to change the status of the virtual smoke detector or any other device for that matter. This consistently happens MUCH quicker and more reliably than IFTTT in my experience. Based on what I have read here and other places, IFTTT applets might not happen for hours in extreme cases. Since the old phone is on my home network 24/7, the HTTP Request to HE is local so the only cloud-portion is the original Alexa notification. I do also get the notifications to current phone.

Also, when my Wyze cameras detect motion, I have a similar setup that changes the status of virtual motion sensors representing each camera respectively.

Finally, I have a Eufy doorbell that sends notifications to phone in similar manner that turns on outside lights at night when it detects motion or the doorbell is pushed. There is not direct integration with Eufy to Hubitat.... yet.


Lots of people here iterating the same thing --- I have a LEEO that only works via IFTTT. It's been perfectly reliable so far, and I'd like to tie it into routines in the house (so a 2s-15s delay isn't a problem).

Simple things like IFTTT triggers the virtual smoke alarm, which then shuts off the heat, etc., send a notification to people without the LEEO app in our house. Unlock certain doors. Maybe even isolate where the hottest room in the house is and get that in a notification with that info in case it's not a false alarm.

Shoot. I'm gonna have to go do that...

Edit: I'm grateful to this thread --- I went to check my LEEO and they've completely shut down. Time to buy a new smoke detector!

Stephen, thanks for the reply. Unless I'm overlooking something though, the Alexa IFTTT triggers don't include anything about Guard or smoke detectors. It seems odd that most of the triggers are To Do, Shopping, and sports related. The fact that Guard alerts can't trigger an Alexa routine or serve as an IFTTT trigger seems pretty limiting. Maybe your Tasker idea is the best solution.

Sorry, since I go the Tasker route, I incorrectly assumed that Alexa could trigger IFTTT applets but it looks like I was wrong. I consider that whiff #2 for Alexa Guard. Whiff #1 is that you can't arm/disarm Alexa Guard based on Geofence (unless it's changed recently).

However, I have the Echo Speaks running on my ST hub so I have that Geofence ability now.

I really wish there was a way to just turn on this functionality in Alexa guard.
Right now I also have the light work to look like I'm home and it sets my Ring Alarm.
Anyone know if I can divorce these out for different modes?

It looks like the one thing you can do with an Alexa Routine is set Gaurd to Away mode. So, you could have HE presence close a contact on Alexa to arm Guard. It doesn't seem like you can set back to Home mode though when you return home. It almost seems like the minimal integration capabilities with Guard is from the Amazon lawyers not wanting to be sued if something doesn't work quite right.

I read that also, I'm looking forward to it. then I can link it to noonlight so they can be alerted if there's a fire or break in via HSM

Yup this is exactly what I do. A $20 investment into the relay and a $30 investment into the ecolink contact sensor and my 6 interconnected dumb smoke alarms become very dependable smart smoke alarms.

At some point I'll have to buy the other relay which does the same thing for the carbon monoxide side of the smoke alarms as they are combo smoke/CO alarms but the relays are specific to smoke and CO.


That pushed me over the edge to do this latest update. I loaded up (which was blessedly uneventful). I think I now have it so my Kidde relay will trigger HSM as if it was a smoke detector.

Only one way to find out!