‎Which sensors trigger alarms and which do not? | SimpliSafe Support Home
andy01010's profile

Tuesday, March 1st, 2022 4:17 PM

Which sensors trigger alarms and which do not?

I have door-entry, water, and motion detector sensors, plus 3 indoor and 2 outdoor cameras.  I've got them all installed and working well, apparently.

I also know about the Off|Home|Away modes and how they impact the system in general.  Also believe I understand how I can customize some of the sensors with respect to how they behave in Home and Away modes.  

What I'm not entirely clear on is how the cameras function with respect to generating alarms.  And I'm not entirely sure what the different is between the default behavior of a sensor and the behavior of a sensor when "instant trigger" is enabled for it.  Is there a delay before triggering an alarm if an entry sensor detects a door having been opened? 

My understanding is that that entry, water and motion sensors will trigger alarms in Home and Away mode (by default).  But do the indoor and outdoor cameras generate alarms when they detect motion? 

I wouldn't want an alarm generated, in any mode, when mail or packages are delivered although that will surely generate a motion detection by the camera on my front porch.  Also, that front porch camera occasionally detects motion at times that isn't a security threat (e.g. cars driving past), despite me masking off zones in the camera's view that include the street and reducing the detection sensitivity to medium from the default of high.  Wouldn't want an alarm generated there, either.

I looked through the FAQs and didn't see a clear explanation of what devices will and will not trigger alarms or, for those that will trigger alarms, what the default timing is for when those alarms are triggered.

Is there an article or portion of the user's manual that comprehensively answers that?  

Accepted Solution

Community Admin


5.5K Messages

2 years ago

That's a great suggestion for a Help Center Article! I'll send it to our HC team. But here's something for you now:

The Entry, Motion, and Glassbreak Sensors are all for intruders. They trigger a countdown, followed by an intruder siren, and if you have Monitoring with 24/7 dispatch enabled, that will initiate a call to your local police. Individual sensors in this category can also be set to Instant Trigger, meaning that each sensor with that setting will bypass the countdown and trigger the siren and dispatch sequence immediately.

The Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detector are of course categorized under fire hazard, and if triggered will prompt a call to your local fire department. They're active at all times, and don't respond to your system's armed state - so they can be triggered even if your system is in Off Mode. They also trigger a very different siren sound from your Base Station, so you can tell the difference.

The Water and Temperature sensors are also active at all times, and when triggered also set off a different-sounding siren. if you have Monitoring, you will get a call from an operator; but if you aren't able to answer, the call stops there, and no emergency services will be contacted.

The Panic Buttons, including the ones embedded in your Keypad and Key Fob, trigger a special panic alarm that activates immediately. Dispatch response depends on your setting, between Police, Fire, and EMS.

Finally, the cameras - the Indoor Camera, Video Doorbell Pro, and Wireless Outdoor Camera, can all trigger a recording from their built-in motion sensors, as well as events on the security system. But none of them can trigger an alarm event on their own, and will not prompt a response from 24/7 dispatch.

4 Messages

2 years ago

Thanks for the explanation.  That all makes perfect sense.  Your answer, which is complete, would be a great addition to the FAQs or, as you said, as a Help Center article (or both).  I'd looked all over and didn't see anything as definitive about which sensors produce alarm events.  

I more or less had assumed the cameras would not trigger them.  But it's good to have it confirmed.  I wouldn't want the police showing up and performing cavity searches on everyone because a moth flew past the front porch camera.   ;-)

Thanks again.  

1 Message

5 months ago

Can I record on my indoor camera and not set the alarm off with the system in the off position 

Community Admin


2.9K Messages

@Charlet2022​ You can! By default the Smart Alarm Indoor Camera will only trigger an alarm when the system is in Away Mode. And if you set your camera's Privacy Shutter to be open in Off Mode, your camera will record when it detects motion. You can make this change in the SimpliSafe mobile app by taking these steps:

  1. Tap Cameras on the bottom of the screen
  2. Tap the gear icon on the top right corner
  3. Select your indoor camera
  4. Under Camera Behavior, select Off
  5. Toggle the Privacy Shutter setting to Open
  6. Press Save in the top right corner to save this setting
New to the Community? Get started by reading our Welcome Article and please be sure to review our Community Guidelines before posting.