Security Best Practice


#1

Greetings!

I am new to Hubitat but not to security and automation. My programming skills are novice, to say the least. Seeing both sides of the fence, it seems automation does really well in its own realm and security does really well in its own realm. Coming from the security side it seems there is a struggle in the integration of the two. HE is an automation platform but seems to lack security basics without extensive input into the system. It seems some of these basics should be in HSM, but are not. My hope is to look at best practices being used in HE from a security point of view. I am posting this in rule machine as it is much more robust than HSM

I want to kick off the discussion with a basic feature of an alarm... The alarm! Trying to do things on a budget I am using my Amazon Echos to be my audible alarm. When a door is opened while the mode is away, a virtual switch is triggered sounding my echos. The trouble is it won't turn off. Here is my rule...


#2

Using your Echos is not very reliable for security. It relies on your internet working and your home having power, both of which are big no-no's when it comes to any type of "security" system. However, if not getting the alarm if your internet is down is a risk you are willing to take, then that's completely up to you.

Also, doing it this way will not give you an audible warning during the intrusion delay. The siren will just go off all of a sudden. There are several devices which can alert you during the intrusion delay but you would have to set that up separately. You could also have a different sound play through your echo speakers during the intrusion delay but again, that depends on the internet.

If you're willing to take that chance then I would change how you are triggering the alarm. I would pick an audio clip that lasted for 10 minutes or longer to use for the alarm and I would trigger that off a Virtual Contact Sensor/Switch. I would tie that switch into Alarm Intrusion directly into HSM. That way, it would read open when the alarm alerts intrusion then when you clear, it would read closed. You want to have the contact sensor closing STOP your alarm in your Echo, that's what gets it to stop. But the de-bouncing of the switch from on to off would happen via HSM built-in functionality.

What specific functionality do you think that HSM should have that it doesn't? Maybe we can help you find it.

Again, this is not what is thought of as an Alarm device. An alarm is something with a battery backup that can work even when the power is lost.


#3

In regards to a battery backup, that is correct. I know the recommended power for burglar alarm is 24 hours of operation. HE does not have that capability on its own. How do you set up your system?


#4

My Hubitat is on a UPS. But the power isn't my biggest concern. It's the internet. If your internet is down, you also won't get an alarm. That would be a big concern for me.


#5

100% agreed to @Ryan780
for very important things, avoid cheap and internet-only.

I managed to update a vista alarm panel with internet home phone to a cellphone: always functioning, always in charge mode.
I managed to replace my french drain / flood drain system from a 120V AC to a 12V DC battery bank who can works for days. Because when you need those pumps (flood), the electricity can be down too.
Alarm management is a separate story, not related to any home automation. I can have additional info (motion, open doors, etc) but the management is totally separated (and monitored, the price for that is almost recovered with my insurance decreased fees)
Mike


#6

I dumped all of my local alarm panel devices into Konnected boards, including the local physical siren.

Yes, it takes power and wifi, so has multiple places it can fail. To help with that I have enough UPS to maintain wifi, HE, and my Konnected boards for a long duration.


#7

So best practice is non-internet driven devices, battery backup. Prior to Hubitat, I was using a 2gig gc3 panel. The panel is battery backed up and is dual path communication, cell/WiFi. The problem I found is the automation end is very limited.

I guess my question is what is the best setup in HE for notification (doors opens/closes) and alarm. In addition to be locally automated and battery backup?