Homey Community Forum

Home security with Homey (creating an Alarm)

Hi All,

I’m sceptic about using Homey for a professional alarm system, but after witnessing that professional alarms are not that great as well I decided to replace my outdated Honeywell Galaxy alarm with a Homey based alarm.

I already have my Homey, router, and WiFI on UPS. The Aeotec door/window sensor 7 seem to be the best choice I could find for that job. The battery lasts about 3 years, it has the highest Z-Wave security protocol in place and has a ok design. Furthermore, it is compatible with the Homey Aeotec app.

Does anyone have any experience with them? According to the manual there should be an open/closed message and a tilt sensor. What events are available on the homey flows? Can we get battery status as well? That is one of the things that are terrible with our current alarm. If any sensor battery is down the console indicates something like “Cannot arm, battery low”, without telling me what battery.

I currently also have glass-breaking sensors. I can’t find any of them compatible with Homey (preferably on Z-Wave). They do seem to exist (https://www.gocontrol.com/detail.php?productId=2), but there is no compatible Homey app for it yet. Anyone found something compatible for that?

Last thing is the motion detection. That worries me most. My Galaxy alarm has rather large motion detectors, but they simply work and never had a false alert. I have some Fibaro motion sensors, but those are terrible. Aeotec has the MultiSensor-6, but their TriSensor seems to be a better alternative, you can see the comparison on the bottom of their page (https://aeotec.com/z-wave-motion-sensor/). The trisensor is using the S2 Z-Wave advanced security. But… unfortunately the Homey App does not support the trisensor (yet). Anyone with experience on these kind of sensors?

The Aeotec Siren-gen5 seems fine to use as a siren and within Homey I could get all the flows in order. The Aeotec key-fob could be used to arm-disarm the alarm. That is another security concern as anyone with that key-fob could arm and disarm, there is no way to enter a pincode, but I think I can live with that as a lot of professional alarm systems also arm/disarm by a simple key tag. Homey itself seems reasonably secure and I am one of the lucky ones where I don’t need to reboot Homey to keep it functioning.

Now I only need some way to notify the security agency in case of an alarm. We are currently at Securitas, I don’t think they have some kind of API available I could use. The siren and push messages to my mobile would be something, but is there also some kind of homey compatible device that can “talk” to the security agency?

Finally I would install the Netatmo cameras to be able to check the inside of the house in case of an alarm message. If I can get all of this in place it seems like a relatively secure setup, with the added benefits of having all those sensors integrated to the home automation.

Any experiences, tips, heads-up, etc. very welcome.

If I were a burglar, I would go out at night using a portable Z-Wave/Zigbee/WiFi/433Mhz jammer to thwart all those wireless security systems :stuck_out_tongue:

and I thought that would be a burglar’s standard equipment ?! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Yes, but that would be a valid issue on all wireless alarms. However, I must admit that my Galaxy has a jammer-detection, the alarm would go off as soon as heartbeats no longer arrive. Would not that great every time you enter near my home with that jammer I wake up, but still. That’s indeed something I don’t know how to setup within Homey yet.

Lol, indeed seems like standard burglar equipment:

Yes, the lockpicking lawyer also had a nice video about the subject a while back: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlNkQJzw4oA

Crap, that is indeed extremely simple. I do think that Z-Wave is on a better frequency and you would need more “special” jamming hardware harder to find than something as simple as that remote, but still… the professional burglar could probably jam everything wireless. I’m going to think about a Z-Wave jam-detector.

Z-Wave would be a (mildly) more difficult target, but jammers are really simple devices: they just overpower other devices on the same frequency(-ranges). For low-power protocols like Z-Wave or Zigbee, you don’t need a very powerful device to achieve that.

I was just thinking about setting up the flows. My current alarm has a nice feature where it checks if everything is indeed closed before you can arm the alarm. We can’t query the sensors, so I was thinking about registering the last status of all sensors to variables within Homey.

Then on the “Arm” flow I check all of those variables, if any of them is still “open” I play a mp3 telling what sensor should still be closed before arming. This notification will also be sent as a push message in case the arm command was given outside of the house by phone. If all are closed then I set the “armed” variable to true and play the “armed” mp3 (also sending by push message).

All sensors that change status to “open” or “detection” / whatever will check the “Armed” variable. If it is armed then we start the “RaiseAlarm” flow, that will first set the “Armed” status to false, preventing the flow to start over and over again by motion detectors, send a push message to my phone, start the siren, play alarm mp3 on all speakers, set all lights to 100% and if possible, notify the alarm servicedesk (still need to figure that out, that command should probably go first).

Except for the front and backdoor sensors. You don’t want them immediately raising the alarm, but give you about 20 seconds to disarm the alarm. So I was thinking about having them play a “Please disarm the alarm” sound and start a countdown timer of about 20 seconds. If the countdown hits 0 while the status is still armed, the normal “RaiseAlarm” flow will start. If the armed status is set to false nothing will hapen.

Now another nifty thing my current alarm has is a difference between arming types. I can arm everything in case we leave the house, or I can choose to arm a “we’re sleeping” mode where only door/window sensors, glass breaking sensors and some motion detecors on zones you normally will not be any more at night will arm, but the motion sensors in the bedroom etc. stay disarmed.

I’m thinking about setting up two completely separate “armed” variables for that. Like “armedAway” and “ArmedAtHome” or something like that.

Any improvements or further ideas for the flow building?

It sounds like you’re trying to recreate Heimdall.

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Hmmm… thought Heimdall was no longer compatible with the latest Homey version, but I’ll dive into that again.

I was also wondering about Z-Wave jamming detection. Would there be a plugged in Z-Wave device like a power socket or switch that sends some command every x seconds? Like the current temperatory etc? In that case I could have Homey check if it indeed receives that command every time. If not, the network would be jammed.

AFAIK, Heimdall is still being actively developed :smiley:

As for an anti-jamming solution, I think that a lot of devices will only report back to the controller if there is something to report about. My Fibaro Dimmer 2 only reports back power consumption if it’s on, for instance. So if you have a device that should be always plugged in, and consumes at least some measurable amount of power, you could take a look at something like the Neo Coolcam Z-Wave plugs.

However, your method does depend on Homey accurately being able to report it has lost connection to a particular device. I can’t comment on that because I never tested that myself.

Maybe to have some spare plug that will be turned on and off every minute. If it doesn’t report back, Homey will notify. There is also functionality “Device hasnt reported in xx minutes”, Im testing it right now.

True, although there hasn’t been a new version for quite some time it still has my attention and will receive updates. There have not been any bug reports lately, seeing the number of users I think its pretty stable and its funtionality meets the wishes from its users.
There will be a new functionality introduced along with support for the Italian language next month.

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@DaneedeKruyff, I just updated my Heimdall knowledge :blush:, thank you so much for all of your hard work. It seems great and a way better solution then what I could ever tinker of myself. It seems great and will soon have another user. Is it usually compatible with Homey upgrades?

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Please let me know Igy! Though checking every x minutes will probably be a too long period. A potential burgler could probably jam and open a door within a minute. I’d like to know how the Galaxy alarm does this.

Also, my Galaxy alarm has sabotage alerts from the sensors. I can’t find if the Aeotec door/window Sensor 7 has a sabotage alert as well and if the Homey app provides access to it (and if we could use the “Sabotage” flag within Heimdall?).

Although I can’t see into the future and predict what Athom will change I’d say it will be compatible with future versions. I have an extra Homey for developing and testing so new versions will not interfere with our daily Homey usage.

The Aeotec sensors have the ‘alarm_tamper’ capability to detect possible sabotage, Heimdall supports that (and also for other types/brand sensors that have that capability)

Tnx! Then with Homey and Heimdall, why would anyone use a regular alarm? This sounds very promising. Can’t wait for my sensors to arrive.

Does anyone have good experience with motion detectors compatible with Homey? I had some Fibaro multisensors, but they were terrible. I now also see that robbshop indicates that they are not compatible with Homey https://www.robbshop.nl/fibaro-bewegings-sensor-met-z-wave-plus?gclid=CjwKCAjw8ZHsBRA6EiwA7hw_sRRObbmQCPqIzzrHvQ4d-O9E_LW-u24mXY8uDuQyn8-pN3oqbtgqyBoCOwAQAvD_BwE

I’d prefer Fibaro or Aeotec as I already have those apps installed. It should at least be a Z-Wave device. Aetec has the trisensor that is using S2 Z-Wave and seems great, but Homey unfortunately does not support it yet (https://aeotec.com/z-wave-motion-sensor/).

Aeotec also has the multisensor 6, it that any good? How are these detectors in comparison with “real” alarm motion sensors? They are all so much smaller.

Also anyone that knows where to find a compatible glass breaking sensor? Guess I don’t really need them anymore if I cover everything with motion detectors, but if they exist I’ll install them.

I have several brands (Fibaro gen 1 and 2, Aeon, Neo coolcam, Aqara).
Fibaro - problem with false alarms and sometimes stuck detection. Had the same problem with fibaro controler. Also battery life is sometimes shorter.
Aeon multisensor - i had a lot of battery drain issue, not using it now. No false alarms.
Neo - without a problem. Detecting perfectly, no false alarms.
Aqara - so far withot any problem (2 months). Using it to detect motion and lit the light on staircase and works 100% reliable.