Add a native "Security Alarm System" integration component to Home Assistant Core as a default package of pre-made Blueprints making it simpler for new users to setup an easy-to-use custom DIY Home Security Alarm?

This is a feature request for a custom “Home Security Alarm System” integration component (a.k.a. “IAS” or “Intruder Alarm System”) with a unified UI included by default in the Home Assistant Core.

Please add a native “Generic Security Alarm System” custom integration to Home Assistant Core.

I believe there is a strong use case that Home Assistant Core should by default include a built-in generic “Security Alarm System” integration component with unified UI. It could be a custom virtual integration that included many essential pre-made automation/scripts to enable new users to quickly achieve an easy-to-use DIY Home Security Alarm System, and most importantly is relatively easy to set-up + maintain.

Today each new user more or less need to manually build their own DIY security alarm system from scratch using the “manual alarm” and “template alarm” integrations for alarm configuration in combination with advanced templating (and the alarm panel card) where using YAML is pretty much a requirement, see this example and try to understand how relatively difficult that is for beginners to setup and maintain → here,

The alternative is to install a third-party custom integration like “Alarmo” from HACS or solely rely on commercial/proprietary “Home Security Alarm Systems” for residential use and integrations for them.

I think that building your own DIY “Home Security Alarm System” where a customizable generic integration for this with pre-made automations would act as an all-in-one virrual central CIE (Control and Indicating Equipment) for a custom Security Alarm System could potentially be a more popular concept among new users if the bar for entry could be lowered much further by simply including all-in-one custom integration that already has many pre-made automation for the most common features and functions a local security alarm system for private homes needs.

I would therefore love to see an official all-in-one custom “Home Security Alarm System” integration component (a.k.a. IAS = “Intruder Alarm System”) with a unified UI included by default in Home Assistant Core and maintained there with goals to keep it at platinum-level quality by Home Assistant Core developers so that it is both stable and reliable as well as include most if not all commonly needed pre-made automations and common routines that are normally standardized when you buy a modern user-friendly “Home Alarm Systems” for residential/home use (and some commercial “Burglar Alarm Systems”).

Note that above figure of a classic all-in-one “burglar alarm” central CIE (Control and Indicating Equipment) appliance and does not exclusively include only IAS (Intruder Alarm System) devices meant just for “intrusion alarm”, but also include other common emergencies use cases that, such as smoke detector for fire alarms and/or gas detectors, etc. and more similar sensors that are commonly provided with commercial home security alarm systems for residentual use.

The idea as such would be to follow a Bring your own device (BYOD) concept where users can buy and mix any alarm devices of all types to build their own custom alarm using pre-made templates and pre-made automation/script that would be provided by this custom integration. So it would not specifically be only locked down to a specific technology nor just purpose built devices.

For reference please see these geneic wikipedia articles about what common security alarm consists of:

Please research and look into this, and if there is enough interest try to aim to compete with features and functions available in home security alarm starter kits + solutions and companion apps from leading and popular proprietary home security providers in Europe and North America, such as example Verisure and ADT, or others like Yale Smart Alarm (Assa Abloy), in order to make users feel safe and secure to prefer using Home Assistant as the main control system instead.

Personally I believe that what could be needed today with the new “Home-Approved Smart Home” mission with goal of making Home Assistant more accessible to a wider userbase is a built-in security alarm system integration solution that is very simple with wizard-like guided steps to quicky get started with for first-time users of home security alarm systems, yet something that can be expanded and be built upon for advanced users that have outgrown basic features offered by their existing alarm systems or users want to migrate away from their existing home security alarm system because they are tied to cloud services and/or service fees.

If such an integration could be added as part of that concept then it would not have to include its own native device integrations for alarm sensor and accessories devices like for example indoor/outdoor magnetic contact sensors for doors/windows, motions detectors or siren, and lock, etc., since such devices can be provided as entities, independent of hardware uses, as building blocks from other integrations for Z-Wave, Zigbee, etc. but I think that would need to consist of a unified UI for and all different type of Blueprints for handling the alarm control panel, and automation routines like home + away mode and notifications.

Suggest make the initial configuration super easy in unified way as an MVP (Minimum Viable Product):

  1. Add users and select pin-code(s) or tags + permissions to accounts allowed to interact with the alarm system.
  2. Arm and Disarm alarm system for different modes (home, night, away, and vacation mode), using alarm control panel, or one or more “ACE” (Ancillary Control Equipment) devices like example keypads, keyfob remotes, panic buttons, etc. + the Home Assistant Companion apps also working as ACE.
  3. Add and configure “Warning Device” (WD) like sirens and strobes or other lighting devices.
  4. Create “security zones” and group “alarm sensors” + configuring of different sensors (entities) that alarm system should be monitoring for the different modes (e.g. door/window sensors and glass-break-detectors only for home mode, exterior sensors for night mode, and indoor motion + vibration detect sensors for away mode, plus additional sensors and notifications for vacation mode).
  5. Start delay time before activate alert if alarm sensor trigger to allow some time to deactivate.
  6. Sound sirens and flash strobe or other lights + tigger other custom automations.
  7. Send notification to companion apps, automated voice-calls, SMS, and other message services, etc.

I therefore also believe that it would be a great idea to look at adding something similar to existing Alarmo integration (which is currently only available as a custom component) to Home Assistant Core, perhaps even base a new integration on it or even convce its developer to include it by default with Home Assistant Core (though maybe under a new generic name for broader appeal), as having such a solution including by default in Home Assistant Core could significantly increase the quality of life for members in the userbase that want to use Home Assistant as a base controller for building their own “Burglar Alarm System”.

Note that the Alarmo custom integration already does much of this and it is relatively simple to set up for more experienced users, but is not included by default in Home Assistant Core (nor is its maintainer part of the Home Assistant Core team as far as I known) and it still do not compare to the ease of use and “Home Approval Factor” of commercial offerings like to from Verisure and ADT, especially for less technical users.

PS: This subject is currently very on-topic for the use case of recommending and helping people new to Home Assistant with installing/replacing a security alarm system for the homes of friends and family members now that 2G and/or 3G GSM-mobile networks that many commercial security alarm system control panels depend on are deprecated and being shutdown in many parts of the world in favour of 4G and 5G LTE-mobile networks, (unless you want to retro-fit your old commercial security alarm system control panel a ESPHome based “Konnected” device).

Re: your thoughts on Alarmo…

That is up to the 3rd party developer to decide. Not the Home Assistant developers.

Something similar could be developed by the HA developers.

Personally I like having Alarmo as a 3rd party integration. This way it can be updated at any time, not just with the monthly releases.

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Yeah, I know. Though when I first found out about the Alarmo custom component it surprised me that nothing similar was included in Home Assistant Core as would have thought that building a DIY home security alarm system was another common enough use case why many new users begin to look at home automation applications.

Personally I started to look at Alarmo recently as my parents needed a replacement as their commercial security alarm system control panel appliance like many others is dependent on 2G and 3G GSM-mobile networks became deprecated and as those older cellular networks will soon shutdown in many parts of the world in favor of 4G and 5G LTE-mobile networks.

Regardless, many professional home security alarms also have huge userbases yet I would suspect that there is a high abandon rate among their users since most have service fees that are very expensive in the long-term.

I believe that the interest in DIY home security systems is growing in popularity because a combination of their lower cost today + simplicity of installation and smartphone-enabled implementation are evolving.

PS: Quickly doing searching for some market and growth trends and it sounds as if home security alarm system market (global markets for residential intrusion/burglar alarm systems) was valued at over 50+ Billion USD in the previous year and this niche market is estimated to grow into 90+ Billion USD market within the next 5-years from now.

https://www.google.com/search?q=home+security+alarm+system+market

Home Assistant’s role based access control is a bit lacking at the moment which makes securing a multi user system a bit problematic. There’s also the liability factor to consider.

I vaguely remember a discussion the devs had on discord about this. Interfacing with dedicated security systems was seen as ok but they were not in favour of HA developing a security product.

If Home Assistant did in fact have a security system component, would there be any liability that they could be subject to if the security system failed to do its job? I also use Hubitat and they are adamant that their hub IS NOT a security system.

This is not something, that HA should do, in my opinion. HA is a home automation platform, that brings together all different kind of devices and systems.

This is by definition the exact opposite of what you’re wishing for. :slight_smile: HA is in the home automation market, and develops devices for that, like the GREEN or the SkyConnect (that now has a new very crispy name that I’m refusing to remember or use!).

An alarm system is something totally different, it is more of a construction thingy compared to a software thing.

I do get why people confuse that, because they want to use it in their home, so HA should handle it. And that’s totally ok, as HA is focused exactly on these use cases, integrating all kinds of other systems.

And there you have your answer:
Whoever develops an alarm system, should be intelligent enough, to give it the possibility to integrate into HA, but that’s the other side of the table.

And these are just the general reasons, why HA shouldn’t do that. If you now think of a specific system like an alarm system, how would you imagine doing that? If you would want a reliable system, you’d have to work with your own hardware, beginning with sensors to cables, from hardware panels to sirens - all things, that would have to be manufactured or bought from a third party. In the end, this is an alarm business you want to found.

I can’t see where this is benefitial for HA in any way. If one of the developers, or all, wants to have an alarm system, they would either buy one and integrate it into HA (what would be more than enough work) or they would found a new company for that.

As I said, i can see your point, but I honestly think, this is not thought through. :slight_smile:

And if you want to use HA as an alarm system, taking all the disadvantages compared to a specificly built alarm system into account, you can already built an alarm system in HA, fitting perfectly to your specific use case and needs. You have everything you need, you just need to combine this in a reasonable way. And for that case, HA is prepared. We have an alarm control panel, automations and all you need, to built your own system! :slight_smile:

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Let us agree to disagree on that. I do not think that Home Assistant is only an integration platform, but instead I think it is an automation platform, and personally I am optimistic as based on recent blog-posts on Home Assistant and Open Home Foundation my interpretation is that many developers agree that Home Assistant will try to broaden its userbase to include support for more use cases in the future.

Why would there be a liability factor if a security alarm system component in Home Assistant Core do not work? Or any other Home Asssitant Core integration component malfunctioning for that matter. What would be similar to them being liable for a water heater freezing because the Water heater integration malfunctioning.

I do not even believe companies making/selling or professionally install home security systems are ever liable for their products not working for their intended purpose. I believe the only time a company might be liable to be sued is if and when a defective hardware product catch on fire and cause harm due to a manufacturing defect or overheating if used improperly and there was poor information on how it should have been used. I mean Nabu Casa can probably be liable to be sued if a user’s Home Assistant Green appliance caught on fire if placed under a blanket unless the included user-manual state that it should not be covered.

Anyway, I would think that such a discussion about liability is probably way too off-topic here in this feature request and instead belongs else where than here? It would probably be better to start a new separate dicussion thread with that premise if some one wants to go off on a tangent about liability.

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I don’t get any of that out of the blog posts. :slight_smile: There is nowhere stated, that HA will change its direction regarding being a manufacturer.

The user base will be broaden, but not by getting into the production business. HA will integrate more and more products, but not build them. :slight_smile:

But we’ll see, where this goes, don’t be angry, if it’s not going in the direction you want it to. :slight_smile: I won’t be! :wave:

Well then we can agree to disagree. If it opens up Home Assistant to lawsuits because it failed to protect somebody either in robbery or fire because of a breaking change that owner didn’t notice and he/she sued, than that would be a factor on whether it should become a native integration thereby being relevant to the initial post.

Interesting discussion.

It’s now a few weeks that I’m testing the Alarmo integration after I bought a PN532 NFC reader and integrated that with ESPHome: works like a charm. :sparkler:

Since HA, or any other home automation, uses sensors to trigger actions you have almost everything in place what a burglar alarm uses, so using HA is very obvious.
If your HA is rocksolid, in the sense that the system/it’s basic functionality never has failed on you, that’s the expectation you can have for using it as a security system.

Of course, if the power goes down your HA will not work unless using a UPS.
If you’re only using the mobile app and your internet goes down with the power, you need a backup for notifications.
All this can be solved and just like HA: it’s DIY.

RE liability and even more doomsday scenario’s:

  • You get HA for free
  • You had to install/configure/maintain it yourself
  • You know how reliable it is
  • You decide to use it as a security system

Would that be a risk for liability…
If you want to be more at peace: get a company with certified installers, maybe some necessary paperwork so that in case of a break-in you are safe.
This will set you back a multitude of $$$

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Jeez. I really kicked the hornets nest with that liability comment. Lets see if I can’t stir it up a bit more…

Some countries that are well represented on the HA map are a lot more litigious than others. Well, one in particular.

Don’t get me wrong I am also extremely happy with Alarmo - but I have a UPS that will keep my server, networking, hard wired sensors and cameras up for about an hour. I also have a fail-over backup mobile network if my fibre gets cut. One hour is more than long enough for me to be notified something amiss and for me to send the boys in blue round if I am away from home. Also around here your average thief has zero technical ability and will avoid properties with security cameras.

Now your average new to home assistant user from the aforementioned country may not consider these factors (and others, like how easy it is to jam most wireless networks), wonder why they still got robbed without so much as a peep from Home Assistant and look for someone to blame other than themselves. Especially if the core alarm system is an easy point and click set-up that any ol’ dummy can half-arse.

Having said all of that mildly provocative guff, the main point you should have taken away from my original post was not the liability comment but this:

Doesn’t mean it wont happen or that they would reject a well thought out and documented core integration, but that at the moment none of the core devs are interested in doing it.

At least that was the impression I got from lurking in the dev channels.

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Again I think discussions about liability could be discussed in a separate thread as that could apply to many things.

Regardless I do not believe it is likely that someone will sue the non-profit Open Home Foundation that is now the legal owner over specifically because it having a security alarm system feature. or at least not likely enough that it should be a good reason to high-jack this thread and make the discussion about liability instead of the ”feature” in this feature request diacussion.

@tom_l as a forum moderator I hope that you can take the high road on this and move the liability discussion elseware. Please do not let this feature request be threadjacked.

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HA. Living in TX, I would bet the exact opposite.

I had to testify once in a case where someone was suing a homeowner because his home 'didn’t do all the smart stuff they showed during the walk through. I can absolutely see someone suing the foundation for stupid stuff like that

Did you even read what I wrote?

I assume he was paying the homeowner and maybe the smart stuff was working during the walk through…
Would you back away when you pay for something that isn’t delivered?

If HA gets (something like) Alarmo built-in, nobody tells you that you have to use it, just like HA itself.
Would anybody be able to make a case that (something with) HA is not working?

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It’s not that off-topic, if we discuss things, that could hinder the development of a requested feature. :slight_smile: Liability is one of many concerns, and all of these should be discussed in a feature request. I mean, if the liability would be a show stopper, why discuss other things, if they will definitly not happen?! :slight_smile:

Anyway, as you have asked Niels (@nellis), the developer of Alarmo, to give his thoughts, I’ll just quote his answer from the other thread.

Some interesting points, Niels makes here. :slight_smile:

That I wouldn’t be so sure about. :wink: Nobody forces you to fly, yet if you crash, you or your legal heirs are entitled to some form of compensation…

Liability is a factor, especially in the US, where you have to look out for! :slight_smile: And this is only the US, here in Europe we seem to go in the same direction - not combined with that much of cash, but the rules what you can and can’t do as a manufacturer are getting more customer friendly from day to day! I like that, as I’m mostly a buyer and not a seller. :slight_smile:

Something like that. He (seller) left the panel in the hallway on and showing controls. He had to explain why just having the panel wasn’t a promise of home control. (dumb on many levels)

Is also the same reason I always recommend never handing over a completely built system unless you are a professional installer and have liability insurance for such things.

Again, you pay for a ticket to fly.
I guess you don’t get into a plain if you know it’s not safe/well maintained, you assume to have a skilled/trained pilot.
Getting into a plane has a risk to die, or best case have physical/psychological injuries if it goes wrong.

HA is FREE, everything that you can do with it is a bonus.

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I don’t understand why liability is discussed in this topic. Really, the same could be said about every single other HA feature. You could argue over and over again that any feature cannot be added, because there’s a chance it could not work due to a million different factors. Not only the discussion doesn’t add any value, it doesn’t change whether a feature will be produced or not, but if there is a legitimate issue of litigation, that’s a topic for lawyers, not HA users in here.

The second point that was brought here is that HA devs are not interested in doing it. That’s believable and fine. But again, I don’t see how that matters for this topic. It’s a feature request, the point is to show that users are interested in some new feature (or not). Perhaps if there are few hundred votes here, some developers will become interested in it, maybe even it could show up on Nabu Casa’s radar. Or maybe not, either way I don’t see why it should matter what some devs said somewhere in the past about the topic.

Point is - you think the feature would be useful, vote for it. You want to discuss its details, this is the place. You don’t like the idea, just don’t vote for it. There’s no point fighting against it with people who would like to see it. It’s just some weird gatekeeping.

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Not necessarily, I’ve flown my fair share on free tickets. But that’s not the point, you’re totally right, that the likelihood for a law suit is far greater in an “airplane” case, compared to an “alarm system powered by HA”.

Nonetheless it’s a possibilty, that you have to calculate with. As low as the chances might be, IF one case is succeeding, you’re done as manufacturer. Or you calculate with it, get insurance for these cases, but that makes the product much more expensive.

Either way, it’s something, I would take into account, before starting such a project.

@Fanful
I think you’re misinterpreting what a feature request thread in this forum is. As you said yourself, it’s the place to discuss all things related to such a feature. This is exactly, what we’re doing here.

I can see, that you desperately want that alarm system, but you should at least take into account, what others think about it.

A feature request isn’t something you write and see how it goes. You’ll have to defend it against good arguments. These arguments are made, because people should know, what they vote for, and what others think about that request.

You seem to think, this thread is the feature request itself, it’s not. It’s the discussion topic, where everyone can voice their opinnion, and see what others think about.

It’s not your choice, to decide which arguments are good or necessary, you’ll have to hear all of them, and then you can write a feature request on Github.

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