Assistance / Panic Button

Hello there. Quick run-through of the assistance button I recently made for my grandma (91 years old!).
I initially planned on using a flic bluetooth button but the range wasn’t good enough for the house, so I went down the zigbee mesh network route.

I used the RaspBee II zigbee adaptor on the pi 4. A few updates to config.txt to enable (link), and also to disable bluetooth/wifi (link) and it worked with ZHA fine.

For the network I went with IKEA’s Tradfri zigbee devices. I used three signal repeaters to place around the home and one of their shortcut buttons. All discovered through the ZHA integration easily. This ensured coverage of the whole house, including front and rear gardens. The button also roams around the network nicely, only occasionally requiring a second press (I guess to latch on to the nearest signal repeater).

For notifications, I used pushover and set up a delivery group to send notifications to several family members.

Learning points - a couple of days in and we’re getting some very good user feedback :slight_smile: The IKEA button seems very easy to press by accident, so we’re seeing quite a few false alarms! I have updated the automation trigger to be a press-and-hold to see if that is better.


Thanks for posting this. I’m currently looking for something very similar. At my own home I use Aqara buttons but they don’t roam as far as I know so I put the idea on hold. I hadn’t considered tradfrii buttons.
How has this worked out for you in the time since?

Hi. Overall it’s been pretty good.
Range is good. Think about your placement of repeaters and you’ll be fine.
The ikea button turned out to be too sensitive for a panic button that’s carried around all the time. Loads of accidental alarms. I searched eBay for a random zigbee sos button which does the job.
Good luck!

1 Like

Which model did you go with? My experience with the IKEA buttons was problematic in a different way: I have 3 of them for different usecases, and all of them usually work great, but randomly need multiple pushes or stop working alltogether. Not cool for a panic button :-/ So I’d like to find a more reliable one

Hi. I think it was a Tuya one. Looks like this:

I’ve found similar behaviour with several zigbee networks - devices lose their connection and require a couple of attempts to reconnect. Not ideal for a panic button as you say, but possibly in an emergency the person would be pressing it over and over anyway.