Local alarm system options??? Nest, SimpliSafe, Ring or Others?

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KNMLHD
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Local alarm system options??? Nest, SimpliSafe, Ring or Others?

Post by KNMLHD »

We have a parent struggling with dementia who has woken up in the middle of the night, wandered outside, confused, scared, etc.

Asking if anyone is aware of a system of sorts that will detect if one of multiple doors are opened, and send an alert to a smartphone. Presumably, the alarm "system" would operate via wifi, and thus reliant on all the components being connected to the same network. Not looking for a service like a First Alert where someone calls the home, and then calls 911 if a passcode is not provided within a period of time.

If the system can accommodate other options like glass breakage is not necessary, but would be good to know if the system could expand. One requirement would be that everything is managed by a central "hub". My parents do already have a couple Nest devices (unrelated to security), but when you look at the Nest website store, all of the "security related" devices can no longer be purchases, but there is a note that everything will continue to be supported. Not sure if they are getting out of the business or working through a product refresh. They are still sold in Lowe's stores.

Aside from Nest, I do see options by Ring and SimpliSafe that "may" meet their needs...

The parent not suffering from dementia is extremely tech savvy - set-up/maintenance/etc is not a concern.

Any recommendations and/or advice?
retiringwhen
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Re: Local alarm system options??? Nest, SimpliSafe, Ring or Others?

Post by retiringwhen »

If they are tech savvy, the best system I have found is Qolsys-based systems. These are in a class similar to what you get for central station monitoring systems like ADT or Comcast. It is based upon the Alarm.com ecosystem of devices. I have setup and used stuff from Nest and Simplisafe, I believe the quality of the product and service is much better with the alarm.com systems.


There are several DIY companies who sell the equipment and monitoring. You can probably go for the cheapest central station monitoring service.

Look at https://suretyhome.com/ as an excellent provider. Buy the base station and initial sensors from them but you can shop and buy the devices from Amazon or a dozen other providers online like alarmgrid.com.

Here is the system I would start with: https://suretyhome.com/product/essential-equipment/ you will just need to decide how many contact sensor or motion detectors you need to cover the space.

BTW, this is a great home automation platform for many other technologies as well.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Local alarm system options??? Nest, SimpliSafe, Ring or Others?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

I have converted my house to be part of the Ring/First Alert system. When doors open after a scheduled time, you can set outside lights to turn on, video cameras to record, send notifications, etc.Amazon Echo can “listen” for glass breaking.

All in all, it’s a cost effective and scaleable solution.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
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Re: Local alarm system options??? Nest, SimpliSafe, Ring or Others?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

SimpliSave has easy, wireless components that you can decide what you want to add. So a central unit monitors everything and sends alerts and images (if you have a camera unit) to your phone. You can add whatever you want, whenever you want. So I'd think you'd add door sensors and maybe a couple cameras.

I know Ring and Blink have similar systems but don't really know them.
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ensign_lee
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Re: Local alarm system options??? Nest, SimpliSafe, Ring or Others?

Post by ensign_lee »

I like Nest and have one, but you should know that google has discontinued its existing Nest alarm line. Presumably they are replacing it with a fancier version soon, but it's not out yet.

I personally don't like the Ring ecosystem, though if you are already invested in Amazon's ecosystem, you may find that it meshes well.

My recommendation of the three would be SimpliSafe. You know it's their main business model, and you know they won't dump it like Google or Amazon might.
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KNMLHD
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Re: Local alarm system options??? Nest, SimpliSafe, Ring or Others?

Post by KNMLHD »

retiringwhen wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 5:44 am If they are tech savvy, the best system I have found is Qolsys-based systems.
retiringwhen wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 5:44 am BTW, this is a great home automation platform for many other technologies as well.
Do you mean the system may work with existing units from Ring or Nest? I only ask as they already have a couple Nest devices and if they can integrate with another common hub, all the better. Or, is the extension more through something like the Alexa ecosystem or IFTTT or something along those lines?

Edit: And thank you! This was not on their radar.
niceguy7376
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Re: Local alarm system options??? Nest, SimpliSafe, Ring or Others?

Post by niceguy7376 »

We had Simplisafe and then moved to Ring in last year. Both are pretty much similar that you buy the products and install it on your own and register.
Ring has $100 per year plan while Simplisafe monitoring starts at $15 per month
jerryk68
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Re: Local alarm system options??? Nest, SimpliSafe, Ring or Others?

Post by jerryk68 »

Research Home Assistant. It works with different detection devices and it's free but you have to be a little techie to understand and install.
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anon_investor
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Re: Local alarm system options??? Nest, SimpliSafe, Ring or Others?

Post by anon_investor »

I got SimpliSafe about 3 years ago with the $15/mo plan. I have had no issues. If I was buying today, I likely would go with Ring since the annual fee is cheaper and includes smart features (SimpliSafe charges $25/mo for smart features).
golf101
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Re: Local alarm system options??? Nest, SimpliSafe, Ring or Others?

Post by golf101 »

I wasn’t aware Nest was making updates to theirs but we’ve had Nest Secure for a couple years and really like it as it’s all part of the same app we use for our thermostat. I didn’t want a system that required any sort of monthly fee. We get a notification to our phone if the alarm goes off. Very easy to set up and use.
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Re: Local alarm system options??? Nest, SimpliSafe, Ring or Others?

Post by Info_Hound »

I have been slowly adding to my RING alarm system for the past year. I looked at Simplisafe and decided their setup wasn't as 'independent' as I wanted.

Added open and close sensors for my garage doors (not the interior door going into the garage, the actual garage doors). A listener for the interconnected CO and smoke alarms. Both will alert on the phone app if triggered.

External cameras alert to motion and record what is there. The batteries are recharged via small solar panels, ending the up and down ladders drama to recharge the batteries.

My neighbor and I 'share' our alarm system and camera access with each other when one of us is out of town. Not a feature I have seen offered with other systems. For example I can see all of his cameras (that he chooses to share with me) and he grants me access to his alarm system to disarm and re-alarm via the phone app when I need to drop packages and mail inside. Once he returns he changes the settings and I no longer have access to his system, until the next trip.

All doors and windows have sensors installed, so if opened, they alert and identify which one signaled via the app and/or the 'chime' that is plugged into an outlet in the house. The cost for 3 cameras is $90 a year with self monitoring. Once you reach 4 cameras, probably should go with their monitoring $100 a year plan but opt to 'self monitor' instead of them monitoring. What you get is unlimited camera recordings (so add as many cameras as desired) at a set price. Of course it is easy to switch to RING monitoring if you decide to go that route.

I've found there are many places that sell RING products (usually cheaper) vs going to the RING store. Costco regularly has the Alarm system kit on sale and is an easy way to get started.
Supergrover
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Re: Local alarm system options??? Nest, SimpliSafe, Ring or Others?

Post by Supergrover »

There is a baby-monitor type alarm camera called SAMi. Sleep Activity Monitor. It is NOT connected to your home alarm. You can view your loved one from anywhere in the house on your phone or ipad. You can set it to be so sensitive that a ceiling fan sets it off, or not. You can set it for 10 seconds of continuous movement.

Although it's not along the lines of what you described, it's a pretty neat product. Parents in Colorado started company. Once the alarm goes off, it starts video-recording what's happening. The other adult in the house could easily work with this.

We used it for a few years and loved it.
momvesting
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Re: Local alarm system options??? Nest, SimpliSafe, Ring or Others?

Post by momvesting »

In addition to these suggestions, we have a very low tech contact alarm on our doors. It is turned off for the day, and when we go out of town or lock up for the night, we switch it over to "alarm". With someone with dementia, I'd probably leave it on "chime" during the day. They are not wifi or connected to anything, just small, battery-operated connectors that go off when the connection is lost.

Here is a link to the ones we have:
https://www.dobermanproducts.com/products/se_0129.html
We've had them for about six years and they work great.
ElJefeDelQueso
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Re: Local alarm system options??? Nest, SimpliSafe, Ring or Others?

Post by ElJefeDelQueso »

KNMLHD wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 5:35 am We have a parent struggling with dementia who has woken up in the middle of the night, wandered outside, confused, scared, etc.

Asking if anyone is aware of a system of sorts that will detect if one of multiple doors are opened, and send an alert to a smartphone. Presumably, the alarm "system" would operate via wifi, and thus reliant on all the components being connected to the same network. Not looking for a service like a First Alert where someone calls the home, and then calls 911 if a passcode is not provided within a period of time.

If the system can accommodate other options like glass breakage is not necessary, but would be good to know if the system could expand. One requirement would be that everything is managed by a central "hub". My parents do already have a couple Nest devices (unrelated to security), but when you look at the Nest website store, all of the "security related" devices can no longer be purchases, but there is a note that everything will continue to be supported. Not sure if they are getting out of the business or working through a product refresh. They are still sold in Lowe's stores.

Aside from Nest, I do see options by Ring and SimpliSafe that "may" meet their needs...

The parent not suffering from dementia is extremely tech savvy - set-up/maintenance/etc is not a concern.

Any recommendations and/or advice?
Look at abode. Goabode.com.

It has the wireless alarm system with integrated zwave home automation control. It can use wifi but works without it.
targ
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Re: Local alarm system options??? Nest, SimpliSafe, Ring or Others?

Post by targ »

Sounds like you're not really looking for an "alarm" system per se, just something to let you know if a person leaves the house. If your loved one doesn't mind being "watched," a set of Wyze cameras could accomplish what you want. Just point one at each exit point (and turn on motion detection) and it will send a push notification to your phone and upload a video clip when it sees movement at the door. It also gives you two way audio so you could talk to the person.

If there is a concern about the loved one being "watched," you could use one of their newer water resistant v3 cameras and place it outside looking at the door.

Wyze cams are cheap. I've been running them a couple years now and they have been *extremely* reliable. I get notified when anyone approaches any door. I even have some outside so I also get notified when anyone comes down the drive. Easy setup, no fees of any kind.

The Wyze ecosystem can also have alarm/monitor functions (similar to SimpliSafe et al) added now if you want.

You can order the cams from Wyze direct, Amazon, or even pick them up at your local home depot already bundled with an sd card.
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RickBoglehead
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Re: Local alarm system options??? Nest, SimpliSafe, Ring or Others?

Post by RickBoglehead »

Avid user of SimpliSafe. You can set "secret alerts" to send notification to anyone, i.e. the lucid parent as well as other family members. That doesn't trigger central station. You can also NOT get monitoring, and have the alarm sound locally, but no one gets an alert on their phone.

SimpliSafe allows you to get alerts via the push notifications on the app, via SMS text message, and via email.

If you have motion sensors, it would also let you see movement. Two sides to this. First, the parent is in the living room, now the front hall, now the front door opened. Maybe you have secret alerts on the two motion sensors, and the alarm only on the front door.

Second, as a parent ages, the secret alerts let you see they're up and about. Of course, so does arm and disarm, but if they didn't leave the house that wouldn't help much. If there was a motion sensor that triggered a secret alert outside the master bedroom, you'd see activity.

If you do get monitoring, and set sensors to alert via Home or Away settings, vs secret alert, central station will call one person. If no response, they will dispatch and then call person 2. Sounds like you would only want secret alerts or no monitoring.

You can easily modify sensor settings via desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone.

SimpliSafe uses WiFi AND cellular (if monitored). So if WiFi is down, or power is out, cellular still does it's thing.

Feel free to ask further questions of me, happy to help.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.
Topic Author
KNMLHD
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Re: Local alarm system options??? Nest, SimpliSafe, Ring or Others?

Post by KNMLHD »

RickBoglehead wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 6:29 am Avid user of SimpliSafe. You can set "secret alerts" to send notification to anyone, i.e. the lucid parent as well as other family members. That doesn't trigger central station. You can also NOT get monitoring, and have the alarm sound locally, but no one gets an alert on their phone.

SimpliSafe allows you to get alerts via the push notifications on the app, via SMS text message, and via email.

If you have motion sensors, it would also let you see movement. Two sides to this. First, the parent is in the living room, now the front hall, now the front door opened. Maybe you have secret alerts on the two motion sensors, and the alarm only on the front door.

Second, as a parent ages, the secret alerts let you see they're up and about. Of course, so does arm and disarm, but if they didn't leave the house that wouldn't help much. If there was a motion sensor that triggered a secret alert outside the master bedroom, you'd see activity.

If you do get monitoring, and set sensors to alert via Home or Away settings, vs secret alert, central station will call one person. If no response, they will dispatch and then call person 2. Sounds like you would only want secret alerts or no monitoring.

You can easily modify sensor settings via desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone.

SimpliSafe uses WiFi AND cellular (if monitored). So if WiFi is down, or power is out, cellular still does it's thing.

Feel free to ask further questions of me, happy to help.
Thanks Rick and everyone else whose responded. Very much appreciate the advice - lots of great info here!

With respect to SimpliSafe... if I'm digesting everything correctly... it sounds like they can skip monitoring, leveraging "localized" alarms either in the form of secret or audible alarms, and each sensor can be set to do one or the other. If monitoring is skipped, silet alerts/alarms can be delivered through push notifications via the app, SMS and email? ie none of those delivery methods require monitoring. Is that correct?

Is it possible to set up a specific sensor to be silent during a set range of hours (ex: morning to evening) and audible otherwise?

Thanks again Rick!
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RickBoglehead
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Re: Local alarm system options??? Nest, SimpliSafe, Ring or Others?

Post by RickBoglehead »

KNMLHD wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 10:49 am
RickBoglehead wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 6:29 am Avid user of SimpliSafe. You can set "secret alerts" to send notification to anyone, i.e. the lucid parent as well as other family members. That doesn't trigger central station. You can also NOT get monitoring, and have the alarm sound locally, but no one gets an alert on their phone.

SimpliSafe allows you to get alerts via the push notifications on the app, via SMS text message, and via email.

If you have motion sensors, it would also let you see movement. Two sides to this. First, the parent is in the living room, now the front hall, now the front door opened. Maybe you have secret alerts on the two motion sensors, and the alarm only on the front door.

Second, as a parent ages, the secret alerts let you see they're up and about. Of course, so does arm and disarm, but if they didn't leave the house that wouldn't help much. If there was a motion sensor that triggered a secret alert outside the master bedroom, you'd see activity.

If you do get monitoring, and set sensors to alert via Home or Away settings, vs secret alert, central station will call one person. If no response, they will dispatch and then call person 2. Sounds like you would only want secret alerts or no monitoring.

You can easily modify sensor settings via desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone.

SimpliSafe uses WiFi AND cellular (if monitored). So if WiFi is down, or power is out, cellular still does it's thing.

Feel free to ask further questions of me, happy to help.
Thanks Rick and everyone else whose responded. Very much appreciate the advice - lots of great info here!

With respect to SimpliSafe... if I'm digesting everything correctly... it sounds like they can skip monitoring, leveraging "localized" alarms either in the form of secret or audible alarms, and each sensor can be set to do one or the other. If monitoring is skipped, silet alerts/alarms can be delivered through push notifications via the app, SMS and email? ie none of those delivery methods require monitoring. Is that correct?

Is it possible to set up a specific sensor to be silent during a set range of hours (ex: morning to evening) and audible otherwise?

Thanks again Rick!
Not quite.

Yes, they can skip monitoring, and the system will sound an alarm if a sensor is triggered.

No, you cannot have secret alerts without paying for the Interactive Monitoring Plan, $24.99 a month, no contract.

No, if you don't pay for monitoring, the only alarm you will get would be from the base station (or remote siren) in your home.

You can set everything to secret alert, paying for monitoring to be able to do that, and no dispatch will take place.

Also note - if you want to change a sensor from secret alert to alarming (either in away or home mode or both), then you go into the app and change it (or desktop).

No, you cannot set hours for different behavior.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.
Freefun
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Re: Local alarm system options??? Nest, SimpliSafe, Ring or Others?

Post by Freefun »

I have different systems. The alarm system I like the most is Ring.

It sounds based on your post that you're not looking for an alarm system but just something to send alerts when doors are opened etc.

For this I recommend Yolink. It works well and a cool feature is it can send reminder alerts (timing is up to you in the app).

Prices are very reasonable. You can also interface them with Alexa, Google etc. if desired (but not necessary).

Example kit linked below.

https://smile.amazon.com/Wireless-Smart ... 186&sr=8-5
Remember when you wanted what you currently have?
Topic Author
KNMLHD
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Re: Local alarm system options??? Nest, SimpliSafe, Ring or Others?

Post by KNMLHD »

RickBoglehead wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 11:29 am
KNMLHD wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 10:49 am
RickBoglehead wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 6:29 am Avid user of SimpliSafe. You can set "secret alerts" to send notification to anyone, i.e. the lucid parent as well as other family members. That doesn't trigger central station. You can also NOT get monitoring, and have the alarm sound locally, but no one gets an alert on their phone.

SimpliSafe allows you to get alerts via the push notifications on the app, via SMS text message, and via email.

If you have motion sensors, it would also let you see movement. Two sides to this. First, the parent is in the living room, now the front hall, now the front door opened. Maybe you have secret alerts on the two motion sensors, and the alarm only on the front door.

Second, as a parent ages, the secret alerts let you see they're up and about. Of course, so does arm and disarm, but if they didn't leave the house that wouldn't help much. If there was a motion sensor that triggered a secret alert outside the master bedroom, you'd see activity.

If you do get monitoring, and set sensors to alert via Home or Away settings, vs secret alert, central station will call one person. If no response, they will dispatch and then call person 2. Sounds like you would only want secret alerts or no monitoring.

You can easily modify sensor settings via desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone.

SimpliSafe uses WiFi AND cellular (if monitored). So if WiFi is down, or power is out, cellular still does it's thing.

Feel free to ask further questions of me, happy to help.
Thanks Rick and everyone else whose responded. Very much appreciate the advice - lots of great info here!

With respect to SimpliSafe... if I'm digesting everything correctly... it sounds like they can skip monitoring, leveraging "localized" alarms either in the form of secret or audible alarms, and each sensor can be set to do one or the other. If monitoring is skipped, silet alerts/alarms can be delivered through push notifications via the app, SMS and email? ie none of those delivery methods require monitoring. Is that correct?

Is it possible to set up a specific sensor to be silent during a set range of hours (ex: morning to evening) and audible otherwise?

Thanks again Rick!
Not quite.

Yes, they can skip monitoring, and the system will sound an alarm if a sensor is triggered.

No, you cannot have secret alerts without paying for the Interactive Monitoring Plan, $24.99 a month, no contract.

No, if you don't pay for monitoring, the only alarm you will get would be from the base station (or remote siren) in your home.

You can set everything to secret alert, paying for monitoring to be able to do that, and no dispatch will take place.

Also note - if you want to change a sensor from secret alert to alarming (either in away or home mode or both), then you go into the app and change it (or desktop).

No, you cannot set hours for different behavior.
Thanks! Very clear now.
Topic Author
KNMLHD
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Re: Local alarm system options??? Nest, SimpliSafe, Ring or Others?

Post by KNMLHD »

I think I may have found what I'm looking for... thought I would mention in case anyone else stumbles in this thread.

Secrui: https://www.amazon.com/Operating-Adjust ... B07HSLB3BL
Looks to be local (doesn't connect to a backend alarm system/company)... alarm module can be configured with different sounds, and sound levels... multiple contact sensors that connect to a similar alarm.

I got there from running into a refridgerator alarm: Fridgi
https://www.amazon.com/FRIDGGI-Fridge-A ... 0813GNDB8/

Looked a little big/clunky but got me pointed to the first one.
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