S

Thu, Oct 14, 2021 2:56 PM

Remotely triggering an alarm

I was alerted to movement by outdoor cameras while remote and found there were people on the property trying to get into the house  I discovered then that there is no obvious way via the app or website to set off the alarm.  Am I missing some way to trigger the system alarm remotely similar to the panic button or  is a break-in/indoor device trigger required for an alarm to be sounded?

Thanks

Captain

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4.6K Messages

10 m ago

@simpli_9GFS2Y currently, there is no remote way to set off an alarm, by design. It has been requested by many but as of yet not done by Simplisafe. I can understand the heistancy by SS for numerous reasons, however, in your scenario I have asked SS for the ability to sound the siren(s) upon demand within the camera inteface, whether the doorbell pro, simplicam or the new outdoor cameras.

Johnny M, want to pass on, again, to the dev team?

Advocate

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108 Messages

10 m ago

I could see a use for a type of remote/panic button in the app.  What about a "siren test" button in the app that would sound the siren without triggering a call from the monitoring center?  I mean, you are just being proactive to prevent a break-in, and if that does occur then the alarm is triggered as it normally would.  As a workaround, you could maybe get an extra entry sensor, use a cheap PTZ web cam, attach a string to wrap around the camera and the other end to the magnet.  See if turning the camera would pull the magnet away from the sensor.  You could get fancy with relays and servos, but there are some cheap cameras available and it gives you an extra view.  Not ideal, but if it's a function you NEED...

Captain

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4.6K Messages

10 m ago

@hondaman88 great clariiication, and that was exactly what I meant and intended. The ability to sound the siren in many instances is what you would use, not a full alarm state.

3 Messages

10 m ago

Thanks for the response. Were I not paying them for monitoring and protection I might be inclined to argue the merits of their hesitancy.   However my desire to alert them of a situation based upon their own device detections should be no different than if I were standing on the property with the keyfob in my hand.  They could cancel the service of customers they felt were too nervous or alerting without decent corroboration.

Im now lead to wonder if I actually call the monitoring center if I will discover that only cancellation of alarms are possible and my reporting of verifiable recorded trespass will be ignored.

Advocate

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108 Messages

10 m ago

Well, their alarm system is designed for a building/residence and not a "property".  While it's creepy as heck and disturbing to say the least to have someone walking around your house and looking in windows or even trying a door to see if it's locked, they are only guilty of trespassing.  So there may be a legal boundary where a security system is involved.  Once they break a window or force open a door, then that's a different story and also where the alarm system should respond.  You could try the two-way audio to alert the trespassers that they are on camera and you will be notifying the police yourself.  Call your local non-emergency number and ask for an officer to check on the house or at least to a drive-by (throw some search lights on the property).

One of the first results when searching online:

Burglary and Criminal Trespassing are two different crimes that involve unlawfully entering or being present on another's property. However, from a legal standpoint, the two are defined very differently. The consequences of each act also vary depending upon local laws. Read on to learn about the differences between burglary and criminal trespassing:

Definitions of Burglary and Criminal Trespassing
Burglary is the entry into a building illegally with intent to commit a crime, especially theft. The crime of burglary is very specific. At its purest definition, it means a person illegally entered a property with the ‚ÄØintent to commit a crime. For instance, if a person picks a lock or breaks a window to enter a house with the intention to steal jewelry and money, this is a burglary.

Here's another example, if someone entered an unlocked door with the intention of causing harm to a person inside, this too is a form of burglary. According to the ‚ÄØU.S. Bureau of Justice, the four types of burglary are: Completed burglary, forcible entry, unlawful entry without force, and attempted forcible entry. If authorities arrest a person for burglary, the charge could range from a misdemeanor to a felony.

Criminal Trespassing
Criminal trespassing is intentionally entering, or remaining on, someone else's property without their explicit authorization. It's also defined by when a person intrudes or remains on someone else's property without their permission; it is considered a criminal offense. Like burglary, the key word here also is‚ÄØ intent.‚ÄØ To meet this criterion and be considered to be unlawful, the person must have:

Knowingly gone onto the property without authorization

Remained on the property after learning their presence is unwelcome

Owner specifically directed visitors are unwanted and was ignored (i.e., a posted sign, fence around the property, verbal statement, or a locked structure)

Accidentally wandering around someone's wooded property isn't deliberate and would not be considered criminal trespass but traipsing through their woods to go deer hunting after reading a "no trespassing' sign would be. Most of the time, criminal trespass is an infraction or misdemeanor, however, there are some states that consider it to be a felony. If any‚ÄØ damage is done to the property during the trespass, the consequences are typically more severe.

Key Differences
To charge a person with burglary, law enforcement must be able to demonstrate they intended to commit a crime when they knowingly entered someone's property. They typically do this by establishing circumstantial evidence and showing the person threatened or harmed a person or had stolen goods in their possession. On the other hand, while criminal trespass is also committed with intention, the key difference is that it doesn't necessarily have to be with an intention to commit a crime. Just the sheer fact of‚ÄØ being there without authorization‚ÄØis enough to warrant criminal trespass.

Other Things to Know
Most burglars try to determine if an alarm is present before attempting a burglary, and empirically, a clearly visible security system deters them from further illegal activity or malintent.

Source: https://brinkshome.com/smartcenter/burglary-versus-criminal-trespassing

Captain

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4.6K Messages

10 m ago

I am all for keeping the system "all Simplisafe". Yes, you have to wait (3 + years for the outdoor camera) but at least for me worth the wait. COnfident that as the product settles in SS will do incremental improvements and add features as they go. A great example is he install process in the phone app. It's very nice across the board for all type of sensors and the cameras. For those that remember the original Simplicam install process, I think you will agree.

Advocate

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417 Messages

10 m ago

@simpli_9GFS2Y,

I can fully understand wanting to set off an alarm if someone is on your property and triggers a motion alert near your house. FYI, there are definitely products that can do exactly what you are asking for, that are relatively inexpensive, and do not require string, duct tape, a hope and a prayer. :)  Unfortunately they aren't SimpliSafe products so you would need another app / vendor but if your need is strong enough then that may not be an issue for you.

Advocate

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417 Messages

10 m ago

@captain11,

For the record, I am cautiously optimistic that they will add some of the functionality that's been requested by you and I and others. I am also realistic that there is functionality they cannot add w/o releasing new hardware (ex. recording to local SD storage) and given their release schedule we're likely several years from an update coming out that might (stress, might) add that functionality. For some of us, that means looking at alternatives because we can't or don't want to wait years for a 'maybe'.

As I've mentioned before, if their products fully meet your needs (or you are confident they will in the future) then I am happy you have found the right product for you. Not all of us feel the same way however and that's not an attack on your opinion. (Or vice versa)

Captain

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4.6K Messages

10 m ago

@Worthing not taken anyway except interested parties discussing various points in the forums. I really enjoy the threads and different, same or opposite views.  Years back the hot button was wheher to post SS signs and stickers or not, and what either position would mean to your overal security.  Different strokes for different folks, as they say.

Have a great weekend.

1.3K Messages

10 m ago

Can think of a number of ways to do it but, yeah, all involves additional, non-SS interaction.

Advocate

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108 Messages

10 m ago

The forums seem to have been corrupted and are no longer the constructive environment they used to be.  One bad apple...

Advocate

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417 Messages

10 m ago

Years back the hot button was wheher to post SS signs and stickers or not, and what either position would mean to your overal security.


I feel like every community, no matter how big or small, has their "ford vs. chevy" intensity topics. I can see that topic being particularly contentious especially when there were reports of vulnerabilities in the SS system way way back.

I don't have any signs or stickers up for the record but if I did I'd prefer generic alarm signs and stickers of some sort. I think it strikes a nice balance of saying, "hey, there are easier targets on this street, move along" without saying "but if you're hell bent on trying this house, here's what you're up against". Maybe I'm paranoid but I generally believe in giving the enemy as little information as possible. In the same way that Boston drivers don't use their turn signals. :)

1 m ago

Hi, in answer to the original question, if an intruder is spotted outside the property, I presume this is via the outdoor camera? Would the easiest way not be to notify the intruder via the broadcast function that they have been captured on video and no further action will be taken if they vacate the property immediately. Alternatively could you not broadcast a siren noise via the camera which would have the same effect?

5 Messages

1 m ago

If you are handy, there is a way to implement remote alarm triggering using only SimpliSafe components, that can be triggered from the app, and that will generate a call from dispatch.

Use the knob on a smart lock to move the magnet of an entry sensor (mounted adjacent to the smart lock) to close and open the sensor and trigger an alarm remotely.  Unlocking an exterior door to trigger an alarm when an exterior threat is present is not a good strategy so a dedicated smart lock not installed on a door might be the better solution albeit somewhat expensive. 

But it is probably no more expensive than implementing a non-SimpliSafe solution and it has the benefit of being fully integrated into your SS system.

The video shows a proof of concept demonstration of the method using heavy wire for the bracket that needs to be fabricated.  The actual bracket would need to be more rigid, but must still be light weight or at least counterbalanced so it doesn't stress the smart lock motor or unlock the door (I originally used more wire in the demo bracket and just this weight was sufficient to turn the knob sufficiently to generate an unlocked notification though not quite enough to completely unlock the lock).  Properly implemented, the bracket would be a frictional fit on the knob and would be easily removable when not in use.

MP4 video won't play and I'm not going to create a YouTube video so I posted a couple of photos showing locked and unlocked positions.  The wire fits snugly and the rubber insulation provides friction so it stays in place really well.  The actual bracket will need to fit similarly.

Name the entry sensor "Remote Alarm".  Set Instant Alarm to ON.  Set Off to Disable, Home to Disable, and Away to "Alarm".

Name the smart lock "Remote Alarm".  Set Auto Lock to Disable, Off Mode to "Do Nothing", Home Mode to "Do Nothing", and Away Mode to "Do Nothing".  Do not sync the entry sensor with the smart lock.

Unlock the smart lock from the app to trigger the alarm (make sure the magnet aligns with the sensor when the smart lock is in the locked position).

(edited)

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