Security Sensor Arming Question

So, how do others arm their sensors for security purposes? Do you rely strictly on the built in Vera notification and typical sensor arming? Are you using Reactor to more granularly arm sensors and weed out false positives?

I have a myriad of devices that can be used as security sensors:

  • GE/JASKO Switches: Work pretty well, but sometimes generate false positives. Managed to weed this out by checking a small sustained time duration.
  • Ecobee Sensors: Will show occupancy for 30 minutes after last movement. So, need to arm these after the last movement has ceased. Not sure if these show any false positives yet.

Sounds like my best bet is to use a Reactor security sensor, and when away mode is triggered, check another Reactor group which aggregates sensor status. Alert if something goes true.


I don’t arm sensors and instead have my own logic (via code) when sensors are tripped.

This way, I can filter false positive, add debouncing and send alerts (to Telegram, TV, or Alexa) based on different criterias (ie: it’s dark, house is away, it’s winter, it’s summer, party mode is on, etc). In theory, if you’re using a Reactor Sensor, you could arm based on conditions, but notifications cannot be customized.

Agreed there. I have my own logic for setting the house mode, but also have logic to accept an override change (ie, by setting it via Vera). Based upon that changing, I reset the group latch for checking house mode (being away) and a sensor group resetting itself. So once that is normalized, I check to see if that latch group is TRUE (ie, virtually armed via Reactor) and if motion is detected (ie, after being armed, if the separate reactor tracking motion with dedup and false positive filtering). On that, I have the custom alert logic to send Text and app notification.

So think I have pretty much arrived and adopted a similar model to yourself. It is cleaner and more granular that strictly relying on Vera modes and auto-arming of sensors. Found out I cant really arm a Reactor sensor, as its not possible to poll the status of a trip within the same sensor. For aesthetic purposes, I still arm and disarm the reactor sensor, based upon that group, just so I can see quickly which rooms are armed (once the Ecobee sensors timeout upon sensing no motion post leaving the house).

So you mention Alexa alerts, can you actually have Alexa automatically say something like ‘Motion Detected in Master Bedroom’ using an alert via Vera or Reactor? Should I be looking at some app/module?

Look for VeraAlexa :wink: