‎arming with open sensor | SimpliSafe Support Home
 
bententious's profile

Sunday, July 31st, 2022 7:03 PM

arming with open sensor

Just came home and backdoor was open despite alarm having been armed Away. Realized the base station voice calls out an open sensor, but if you are arming Away outside the home, there doesn't seem to be any sort of alert or notification for trying to arm with a sensor open.

Am I missing anything or is this a gigantic gap in functionality? Thanks!

Community Admin

 • 

5.5K Messages

2 years ago

Hi @bententious ,

The Base Station does give a verbal warning for an open Entry Sensor, though of course it will allow the system to arm anyway. This is an intentional feature, in case you wanted to leave a window or door open on purpose.

However, if you have a Smart Lock set to lock behind you when the system is armed, you'll get a notification if it didn't lock successfully.

2 Messages

@davey_d​ Hi Davey, I understand the base station gives an audible warning, but for arming AWAY most users would be arming from the app or a key fob as they back out of the driveway. Is there any way to be notified on the app or is this an enhancement request. 

3 Messages

We are also hoping you will add noitification of open sensors. We have never heard the base station since we are outside of the house when arming.

Notificaitons of open sensors seems to be fairly common and a basic feature of most alarm systems. This will help home owners close all windows/doors prior to leaving, especially for an extended period of time. This is something that we may consider to change to a different service. Please make this a priorty. Thank you! 

3 Messages

@davey_d​ 

im not sure when alarm is on.?  The base unit (which I can barely hear ) , does not say when unit is armed.
I thought the base unit would turn red  when system is armed. ?

3 Messages

@davey_d​ 

that is plain stupidity. No alarm should allow you to set it unless you go in and bypass the sensor. 
This is a huge design flaw and you’re trying to cover up by calling it a feature. 
I hope no one believes you because this needs to be fixed. If someone wants an open window they should bypass that entry point. 

3 Messages

@freeheels​ 

you are correct. They have an inadequate system because they’re clueless on how a real alarm should work. This is a flaw. Not a feature that they’d like you to believe. 

5 Messages

2 years ago

there needs to be some warning when armed (home/away) with sensor open.

2 years ago

I just had this same experience. Terrible feature. Bad enough that I may switch to another system. 

6 Messages

Me toi!

2 Messages

2 years ago

I have had three other systems.  All would not arm with an open door or window unless you did a "bypass" on the open sensor.  I believe the way SimpliSafe does this could actually be dangerous.  Please add a bypass feature. 

3 Messages

2 years ago

All the contributors above are correct and the SS staff is wrong.  A system must never be allowed by the software to arm with an open sensor. If a window must be kept open its sensor should be disabled or an attribute of "non-critical" or "bypassed" should be created for it.

The system should POLL the sensors at the moment the user tries to arm the system, post an ALERT to all controllers (KP, website, phone app, base station) that the system is SECURE and ready to be armed, but it must STOP without proceeding to countdown if a sensor is open as a result of the poll just taken.  The user can correct or disable a sensor as desired, and start over.

Never assume that an open sensor is intentional.  The default should be that all non-disabled sensors must closed for the system to arm.

(edited)

1 Message

@coffeewalleye​ I fully agree.  Just set up my system last night and was testing all the different features when I discovered this glaring security flaw, since that's what it is.  A massive loophole for anyone to exploit.  As you said, an open sensor should never be considered intentional.  If you want to leave something open on purpose, then manually exclude that sensor before arming the system.  Even something as simple as "Are you sure?" when you go to arm, would be a step in the right direction.

However, the issue is deeper than that.  I also noticed that if you arm the system with the door closed, then open it and exit the building, and then reopen the door before the exit timer hits zero, you will not get any notification of any kind.  No audible announcement from the base station (if you can even hear it at all from your location), and nothing shown on the keypad.

A nightmare scenario is this:  You live in a city brownstone apartment.  Your front door has 5 steps down to a busy noisy sidewalk.  You press "Away," exit, lock the door behind you, and then turn and walk down the street.  A stealthy criminal sneaks up behind you, and quickly picks the lock (yes, that can be done in a matter of seconds) while the timer is still counting down from 45 seconds (another silly feature, it should have full adjustment from 0 seconds when arming Away).  Or maybe someone stole your key, or maybe they copied your key, or maybe it's an ex you forgot you gave a key - as long as they get the door back open before the timer hits zero, the system will not alarm.

Granted, you will probably have motion sensors inside the house, so if anyone enters the building it will alarm anyway.  However, what if you are an adult leaving your teenagers home alone for a little while?  You will likely have the motion sensors disabled.  You press "Home" and exit, but then someone gets the door back open before the timer hits zero, and your children are now unprotected.

Such a silly oversight, and the fact that people have been asking for more features in this area for two years and they still don't have it, is somewhat concerning.  Overall happy with my system so far, but hoping to see some useful updates down the line.

3 Messages

2 years ago

I can’t arm the system   Does the base unit change from green to red when unit is armed ?  It I don’t hear that system is armed ??

please have one of your techs advise me

2 Messages

1 year ago

It makes no sense for the system to still arm with an open window or door

why would somebody would want to arm a house leaving doors and windows open im seriously thinking i made a mistake switching from adt to this company

they need to change this 

1 Message

@malonnajera79@malonnajera79​ I find it so coincidental that I’m reading your post right now as I just noticed the same issue about 30 minutes ago and I thought to myself this is odd because what if it’s just not one entry sensor I.e. the door I’m exciting from but what if there’s another door open that I’m not aware of. I also tested it, and armed the system with an open door and the alarm remains off it does not get triggered unless I close and reopen the door

2 Messages

@willpliss​ yea im not happy with this i might just go back to ADT 

im willing to loose money on the simplisafe equipment than leaving a door open and get my stuff stolen while the damn alarm is still on

will b alot more expensive 

1 Message

1 year ago

This is by definition NOT SECURE and SimpliSafe should be ashamed to call it a feature! I'm dropping the service I have at three locations if this isn't fixed!

Community Admin

 • 

5.5K Messages

@IamTheJoe​ I understand where you're coming from. That's why when you do arm your system, the Base Station will give a audible warning, and the Keypad will show a notification, both to let you know that a door or window is still open.

1 Message

@davey_d​ ok but what's even worse is the open sensors dont even show up on your dashboard when you click on the simply safe app to arm disarm or just check to see you're systems status, at the very least it MUST show right below the system status of being "armed" "off" or "away" each sensor that's open! No ands ifs or buts about it. It does not that is rediculous you need to update the dashboard to show each sensor that's open when you armed the system with sensors open, come on there isn't one person in the world who wouldn't agree , this is a major flaw it you're going to allow arming with sensors open

2 Messages

@davey_d​ Why not send an alert to my phone if I turn the alarm on with an open entry sensor?

This reply has been converted into a comment

3 Messages

@davey_d​ 

Davey D.  :

Incredible!  You are not paying attention at all to the complaints, or you are willfully trying to describe this bug as if it was a feature. Quit it!

Please, accept the need to correct the flaw, issue a work order to your programmers get the software revised, and fix it. Or the community will surely throw away its investment in SS away as a lost cause and go elsewhere.  Your new sales will soon disappear as these comment are disseminated and read by prospective new customers.  Please, do the right thing and correct this.

5 Messages

11 months ago

I recently had my sliding door open (with an entry sensor open) and my wife was able to arm the Home mode. This was a surprise to us! I didn’t hear the base station warned about the open sensor, nor did I see any message on the keypad when I turned it back to the off mode. To me, the system did nothing about the open sensor!

SimpliSafe calls this a feature which I strongly disagree!


Since the app can configure if a sensor should be armed in various modes, logically, an open sensor to be armed in that specified mode should cause the arming action to fail unless it’s explicitly bypassed or excluded.

SimpliSafe: please change this behavior and refuse to arm the system unless the sensor is bypassed (the needed bypass feature is yet to be implemented)!

This is not a feature to win you a business, but rather a weakness for your competitors to use against you!

(edited)

2 Messages

10 months ago

@davey_d​ Why not send an alert to my phone if I turn the alarm on with an open entry sensor?

This comment was created from this reply

Community Admin

 • 

2.9K Messages

@davheld​ An in-app warning when arming the system with an open Entry Sensor has been submitted to our dev team for their consideration. Once we get any news from them about this feature, an update will be provided in this thread.

10 Messages

I want to add my thoughts about what should be done and why it's needed. Simplisafe, is there any update on this feature?

Software Updates Needed to Prevent Accidental Arming with Open Sensors

While I commend SimpliSafe for its hardware innovations, there exist glaring and critical design flaws in the app and keypad that demand immediate attention. The current software design compromises both safety and user experience, falling short of the standards set by other industry leaders like ADT.

Key Issues:

  1. App System Status: It's concerning that the app doesn't automatically update the system status upon being opened, forcing users to manually refresh.
  2. Arming with Open Sensor: Alarmingly, it's far too easy to arm the system when a sensor is open. This critical flaw in the app and keypad could have serious security implications.
  3. Keypad Feedback: The lack of distinct auditory feedback from the keypad during an arming attempt with an open sensor is an oversight that can't be overlooked.

Feature Recommendations:

  1. Automatic System Status Refresh: An immediate implementation of an automatic system status refresh every time the app is opened is non-negotiable.
  2. Improved Open Sensor Notifications: For user safety, both the app and keypad should proactively and clearly warn about open sensors, requesting user confirmation before arming.
  3. Enhanced Keypad Auditory Signals: A clear and distinct series of beeps or sounds from the keypad when detecting an open sensor is imperative.

Details

Having recently transitioned from ADT to SimpliSafe, there are several commendable features of the new system I'd like to highlight. The cost-effectiveness is immediately apparent, with substantial savings over its competitors. The modular nature of its components makes installation a breeze, and the flexibility to opt for a mere $10/month for video recording as opposed to the $60/month is both economical and practical. I especially appreciate the feature where a video is automatically taken during any system activity and the privacy cover for the camera is a thoughtful addition.

Yet, with my two decades of software engineering experience, certain design choices in the app and keypad strike me as not just perplexing but a pronounced vulnerability for the system. The problem is there are software oversights that may inadvertently leave sensors open, creating a gateway for burglars to break in. This poses tangible risks of theft and, alarmingly, potential personal harm.

The most glaring issue with the app is how easy it is to arm the system even when a sensor is open. The app does not automatically update the system status upon being opened. Instead, it prompts users to manually refresh by pulling down. This design decision is a misstep. When a user chooses to set the system to 'home' or 'away' mode, the app should automatically check and clearly warn if any sensor is open, providing an option to proceed if the user wishes to arm it anyway. This was how the ADT app operated, and rightly so – it's a more user-friendly and safer approach.

Similarly, the keypad exhibits shortcomings. When attempting to arm with an open sensor, it should unequivocally signal this with a distinct beep or series of beeps to prevent arming. Currently, with the keypad located near our garage door, it's all too easy to exit, arm the system, and remain oblivious to any open sensors, especially since the base unit's spoken warnings are delayed and its location is too distant to be audibly effective.

What set the ADT system apart was its immediate feedback on open windows. With it, we never had to double-check each window before leaving. In contrast, SimpliSafe places an unnecessary burden on users to ensure all windows are closed. This can, and should, be rectified with the simple improvements I've described.

2 Messages

@emily_s​ Hi, is there an update on this? I’m concerned about this issue as well. I see it has been an open issue for years.

Community Admin

 • 

2.9K Messages

Hi @cundr​, 

The ability to arm your system with an Entry Sensor open was an intentional feature in case you purposefully wanted to leave a window or door open. And the Base Station will give a verbal warning when you go to arm your system and an Entry Sensor is open. 

I do not have any updates from our devs regarding the request for in-app notifications alerting you that a sensor is open. I'll bubble this back up to the team.

3 Messages

8 months ago

This is a huge flaw that they know about and refuse to fix. They also have issues with sensors not working intermittently but have no solution. Don’t think they’re trying to hard on that either. 

2 Messages

8 months ago

Have just read this as part of my product research, and decided not to buy. A big motivation for me is to have something to make sure doors/windows are shut when leaving the house, given that the highest risk of break in is leaving an open window. An audible announcement on a base station located on the other side of the house isn't going to do it - especially if we arm via keyfob after the front door is closed (likely).

New to the Community? Get started by reading our Welcome Article and please be sure to review our Community Guidelines before posting.