Recommendations for Reliable and Simple Panic Button

Looking for recommendations for a panic button that will not cause any false alarms and can be relied on to work when needed. Also something very simple, i.e. only one button to push, only one way to push it. And one push to activate and a subsequent push to deactivate.

TIA

I guess it depends on what you expect from this. If I really needed to have it work, positively, absolutely I would:

  1. Direct wire a mechanical button to a light and sound generator. It would be powered by an A/C supply and backup battery.

  2. It would have an input to Hubitat (there a number of options here) and then command Hubitat to do what you need.

I use the Samsung Button for that. Like you, I wanted a button that was dirt simple and single function to serve as a panic button. For $13, this fit my goal exactly.

https://amazon.com/gp/product/B07F8ZFFQK/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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Do you find the Samsung button works on the first-press reliably? I've been looking at them and wondering if they need a couple pushes to wake them up. WAF would be very low if that were the case.

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If you need reliability, do it through a wired and UL listed alarm panel. These typically have multiple communication options as well, so if someone cuts your phone or internet, they can communicate wireless over cellular or a security relay system.

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I didn't experience anything like that when doing initial testing. As a panic button, though, it has not been used. Maybe I'll test it out when I get a chance.

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I have this same requirement... I only want a few thing from home automation- reliable dusk to dawn light control and a panic button.

IMO - I have not gotten either of these with ANY home automation system. It is VERY frustrating.

My current panic button is the Samsung button mentioned above. It instructs Hubitat to turn on everything in the house and send a text to my phone.

In general it works- but not 100.00%. Sometime it has a problem... and who knows why. I agree with others... if you want a reliable panic button... it has to be wired. I haven't gone to that extreme yet.

It also has to be tested regularly...

I am hoping other people chime in on this... b/c I'd love some good ideas as well.

I could live with it not being 100% reliable in activating the siren but I could not live with a false alarm. What failures have you encountered with the Samsung button? What percent of the time?

I am actually thinking about using the AeoTec Doorbell 6. I already have the AeoTec Siren 6 which I hope to have activated by my motion sensing cameras. Hopefully I'll get this working soon once I unbox the HE and AeoTec this coming week. I need a button and a siren/chime which the AeoTec doorbell has. Hopefully the button and the siren/chime are considered separate devices in the eyes of Hubitat.

We used an IRIS V2 care pendant for my wife. When I had ST it worked great. Never had a problem. Admitily if our internet was down, then it wouldn't work.

But, Alas, it won't work with HE.

I haven’t had any issues with my Samsung buttons. I even have a couple in the refrigerators for temperature sensing and they report reliably, although I drilled holes in the backs of those and connected 2 AA batteries so I wouldn’t have to worry about changing them. Whatever you choose is only going to be as reliable as the network it’s connected to. Mine never need pressed twice to work, but my zigbee is very stable, and they had an update for this kind of issue I believe when I had them on SmartThings.

A few questions that might help you find your answers;

  1. How easily do you need to be able to disarm? For example, I'd highly recommend you use a physical button and have it only "set" panic mode, so in a true panic you can keep hitting it and know it's going to work and not 'toggle'.

  2. How accessible do you need it? Are you worried kids, cleaners, friends, etc. might run into accidental triggering?

I also use the samsung as a panic button. It has to be held to initiate the sequence. In testing over almost a year, it has functioned perfectly and never fallen off. The strength & quality of your zigbee mesh is a crucial factor.
And if used as a panic button, don't trust the battery reports, to play it safe, change the battery regularly.

Panic button? This implies security. What Security System/Panel do you have? If you don't have one then that's problem #1.

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Yup. Depends on how reliable you want it to be, and how secure.

I was reading an interesting security article the other day about how it is more common for some robbers to use wifi jammers (in addition to cell jammers/fake cell ap) to help reduce internal response mechanisms, as they are cheap and easy to obtain.

That would likely cause issues with zigbee buttons, too.

Probably most likely in high end robberies, but still.

Re strength of Zigbee, the button would be the only Zigbee device. The others are all Z-Wave. The button would be about 25' away with one wall between HE and the button. There is a scenario where the button could be 30' and 2 walls away.

You would need/want zigbee repeaters then. That's too far to guarantee reliable zigbee connectivity.

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Re wifi jammers, would Z-Wave at 908 mhz be an advantage in this case?

It would.

I will say, though, that I'm not super concerned about it personally. I don't think I'm a high value target.

And I don't believe in panic buttons or rooms - just triggers and barrels.

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I will be (the lone, so far?) voice of dissent on the Samsung buttons. For a "Reliable in a panic" situation, I would have no faith in them. --And it's not about the strength of the mesh. It's about the fact that, after a period of inactivity, I believe they sleep. So, if you leave it alone as a panic button, it's likely going to use your first button press to wake it up. I would find that unacceptable.
There's a little delay once they wake up, before they've found their place on the mesh and start receiving commands. Those who have no problems with "first click" on these probably use them frequently. They sleep for battery protection, so just keep that in mind.

I agree with the others that "truly reliable" is going to be going with something hard wired and/or UL listed, which means underwriters have certified something for you to trust with your family's life.

As for general stuff I have lying around that I'd trust over a Samsung button (of which I have a couple, and use them--they're fine, not knocking them in general), I'd trust a Lutron pico through a Smartbridge Pro. Picos communicate through a much simpler RF to the hub, consume basically no power on standby (and thus don't need to sleep or stay awake to stay "on the mesh," and then they send a signal to the Smartbridge, that signal is sent to the Hubitat hub via telnet. SO no issues about "Strength and reliability of your mesh," etc. Of course, none of this will work unless your networking switch, Smartbridge Pro, and Hubitat have power. This is where, once again, a UL listed security system shines, as they are required to have backup power. Of course, there are UPSes available.

Good luck with whatever you're trying to achieve! But I would not personally go with a Samsung button for "first click in a month" reliability. Not by a long shot. Even when I was on SmartThings, I was annoyed at how unreliable they were from sleep. These days, I usually use them as triggers for RM4 things I'm testing.

just my $.02

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My Xiaomi buttons are absolutely rock solid. I've never had one drop off or not work on the first click. They seem to be one of the most reliable device I have. Cheap too. But if you want to use for a panic button YMMV given some of the issues others have with Xiaomi gear.