House alarm advice and thoughts

I’d like to fit an alarm to my house and integrate/link to my Vera system. It has to be wireless as the house is all recently plastered and decorated.

What do people recommend? What things do I need to consider both good and bad and what things can I do once it’s integrated with Vera.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and advice.

Does anyone have any thoughts or guidance they can give.

Note. I am in the UK.

Many thanks.

I just used Z-Wave security sensors to create my own house alarm in Vera.

Door / Window contact sensors, indoor siren, motion sensors etc. Also used a cheap RFID keypad with fobs and a Fibaro Universal Binary Sensor.

Also have a wall mounted tablet running Home Remote app which can be used to disarm the house with a pin code.

I’m sure there are better dedicated wireless alarm systems out there on the market place, but as you say you’d need a way to be able to integrate it with Vera. If they have a software API you might have a fighting chance or doing something.

Search the forums for possible brands?

As for what you can do with Vera? the skies the limit really. I’ve created scenes and automations for when my “alarm” is tripped.

For example if it’s night turn on all lights inside and outside the house, start LAPD flashing lights on light strips connected to Fibaro RGBW modules, sound the siren, open all curtains and blinds, send a text to my phone via Telegram, call my phone using CallMeBot.

You can do much more than a bog standard traditional alarm if you are prepared to program and code some automations.

I personally wouldn’t use my Vera as the hub for a whole house alarm. Due its instability and issues with ghost tripping of motion sensors I wouldn’t trust it and you may end up with a lot of false alarms.

I don’t have another alternative to recommend that’s wireless, I’m using a wire DSC alarm set up at my house. However, if possible I’d recommend against using Vera.

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I agree, you are probably better off with a decent dedicated alarm system from a reputable company brand.

I just did mine myself it works OK.

Apparently Konnected can be used to convert wired alarm systems in to a Smart Home compatible one.

Thanks guys. Does the DCS plugin still work. I see it’s quite old now or the Honeywell plugin.

Am I correct in assuming those plugins let you use the alarm sensors as Vera sensors.

I’m in the UK and not sure if I can get those alarm systems. I guess I could import it.

I’ve got lots of research to do.

I have a local (Italy) alarm. I have two binary sensors to handle different zones and when the alarm is triggered. I lately reserve engineered the local api and wrote a virtual device. Even if it’s possible, I don’t want to arm/disarm via Vera, so we’re doing it via keypad (and rfid keys).

Based on the keypad, I arm/disarm specific zones and change house mode. Lights are automatic if needed, with greetings and other things, like closing the garage door and open the car gate if the alarm is insered in the garage keypad.

After 18hrs, the house is automatically set to vacation, so lights are turned on/off randomly, and plugs attached to appliances are turned off.

I’m very satisfied with this approach, since Vera’s stability doesn’t affect my alarm and we feel more secure.

Ps: look at konnected for a diy alarm.

The DSC plug-in still works, sometimes it hangs and a zone maybe shown open even though it’s not but the system will stay show as ready so not to big of a deal. Otherwise it works pretty well

That’s good. Which model of DSC does the plugin work with.

What does the plugin do? Does it experience we the DSC sensors so they can be used with Vera?

It works with the Envisalink module that you need to connect to your existing dsc alarm panel. The plug-in shows all the zones, and partitions along with their statutes. You’re able to arm and disarm any partition.

That’s an awesome idea! I always either select “AWAY” or “VACATION” depending on the situation.

I opted to keep the alarm separate from HA, but use the Envisalink to extend the functionality of the Vera. The Vera is more likely to fail than the DSC, so at least the house will always be protected.

The DSC1864 is from around 2007, but with Envisalink module as good as a connected alarm could be. The advatage that each PIR/sensor becomes an extension of the Vera, at much lower cost than Z-wave devices.

Yep, I borrowed it from a very smart friend. I’ll also automatically send a screenshoot of cams every 4 hours when in this mode, and I force the house to stay at least at 17° C. Before all this mess that’s today, I used to fly for 2-3 weeks during the winter from Europe to Florida/warmer places, and a couple of times we had snow at home. In one case in particular I had to re-heat from 10C inside to 19C, and it took almost 36 hours no-stop. So, better to just heat a little bit even if I’m not home, than start from a very low temperature. This applies to summer as well, so when it’s hotter than 26, I start the air conditioned for a couple of hours.

A part those cases and turning appliances off, I’m not using vacation mode for anything special.

Good Day Gents,
If I am allowed to contribute my 2 cents here.
I use the “Vera Hub” for 80% of everything automation, security, and fire alarm, " I know many will think me mad!!" My set up is not 100% not even 80% error-proof but it works just about 70% of the time. Along with the Vera Hub, I use REACTOR the key to it all and ImperiHome. REACTOR is a must-have to accomplish this. It took many hours to get it working but in the end, it does I want it to do 75% of the time. I do experience the “ghost tripping” on door and motion sensors if that happens when attempting to arm the system I’ve got a Reactor to disable arming/ stay in home mode and notify me that arming was not possible. I must then find the ghosting sensor change the status and re-arm.
My fail-safe: eg. (1) when in specific house mode and glass brakes sensor/ vibration tripped and door tripped/ open is within 5 min of each other then, send out all the alerts/ emails and trip the siren. (Also 2) House mode condition true, and motion is detected on to close proximity physically then burglar conditions are true within a time window, take action. If only 1 of the two sensors condition/ trip is true then send only and alert/ notification.

I am using the Honeywell app with the AD2usb from the alarm decoder store. Except when lightning hits it I have had no problems. Only issue is that you will have to do some wiring, or keep the vera box near the alarm panel. There is absolutely no way in this world that I would trust my vera to handle security by itself.

Thanks. Are you using this with a Honeywell or DSC alarm.

How does the ad2usb connect to the alarm and to Vera if you don’t mind me asking?

Will the evanslink plugin work with any DSC alarm panel? Or is it specific panels?