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rramstad's profile

Thursday, March 16th, 2023 1:38 PM

Panic Button question

@davey_d​ I found this thread when attempting to get an explanation from SimpliSafe as to a recent handling of a panic button on my account.

In the past -- a few years ago -- a panic button would result in a push notification to the app, an email to anyone who was signed up for those alerts, an SMS to anyone who was signed up for those alerts, and an entry on the timeline.

SimpliSafe has apparently changed all this behavior and at least for us, it's a really bad change.  I'm also getting incoherent responses from SimpliSafe support -- some representatives on the phone have indicated we should have gotten these alerts, others have said otherwise.

We actually very intentionally listed folks on alerts who are unlikely to be at the location in question -- so that they'd get alerts if there was a panic button pressed -- and personally I think it's highly unlikely, to the point of absurd, that a criminal would be asking someone to log into an app and show them something on a timeline -- versus a false alarm panic button which is a routine sort of thing.

I am pretty baffled to be honest as to why SimpliSafe would make these changes without communicating to the existing account base.

I also haven't gotten any good answers from SimpliSafe as to how to proceed in a way that will work for us.  One individual in support suggested changing to an audible alarm for panic buttons, but that's very likely to get someone shot.

Finally, at least in our jurisdiction, it's illegal for an alarm monitoring company to call 911 without making at least two calls to two different numbers first -- so the COPS monitoring people broke the law recently, we may be fined many hundreds of dollars, and if the policy at SimpliSafe doesn't change, they might be barred from doing business in our city.

I'm really frustrated and unhappy.

This post was created from this reply on different post

Official Response

Community Admin

 • 

5.5K Messages

1 year ago

Hi @rramstad ,


Thank you for your feedback. To clarify, there has NOT been a change in how Panic Button alarms are handled.

By default, a Panic Button is set up to trigger a fully audible alarm. You'll also get the text notification, and (if you have Monitoring Service active) a call from a professional monitoring agent. On your end, it's essentially that you are triggering a full alarm yourself, instead of waiting for a sensor to do it.

You can set each Panic Button to silent alarm. Think of it like a "bank teller panic mode" - designed for a scenario where you do not want to alert an intruder that an alarm event has been triggered. That's why you will not get an audible alarm, no notifications, and no events visible on the Timeline event log in the app.

Again, there has not been any change in how Panic alarms are handled. It does sound like you would prefer to have the notifications, so setting the Panic Button(s) to sound alarm is the better option.

Though you did mention having concern for whoever is on the property, if one of the Panic Buttons would need to be pressed. Keep in mind that there would be no indicator from the Base Station and sirens for what type of alarm has been triggered. So I would say if there was an intruder on the premises, they wouldn't necessarily know that a person actually triggered the alarm, rather than one of the sensors.

3 Messages

1 year ago

@davey_d I might also add that what is in the thread above, and what we've been told by SimpliSafe on the phone -- though others there contradicted it -- doesn't match up with the public documentation here:

https://support.simplisafe.com/articles/alarm-events-monitoring/what-happens-during-the-event-of-an-alarm/6344794f013ba90af0bce6a5

"No matter which alarm is triggered, you’ll be immediately notified through App Push Notifications and Alarm Text Messages."

"

When a burglary sensor is triggered (Entry, Motion, Glassbreak, or a Panic Button), our Monitoring Center is informed immediately. The monitoring service will attempt to reach your Primary Contacts to inform you of the alarm and determine whether the police should be dispatched. They'll ask for your Safe Word and if you wish to cancel dispatch (not send emergency authorities). Otherwise, the monitoring center will dispatch emergency authorities.

Please note, giving the wrong Safe Word will result in dispatch. You won't be told you got it wrong to protect anyone who may be under duress. Missing the phone calls to your Primary Contacts will also result in police dispatch. Make sure to save our Monitoring Center’s number (855-693-4911) to your phone, and allow SimpliSafe to bypass any Do Not Disturb or silenced features using the steps here.

If no Primary Contacts are reached, police will be dispatched and our Monitoring Center will contact any Secondary Contacts you have set up to notify them that the police are on their way. "

The above is EXACTLY what we thought was supposed to happen when a panic button is pressed -- app push notifications, alarm text messages, plus attempts to reach the primary contacts, then police dispatch, then secondary contacts.

None of that happened -- and your post earlier seems to indicate that this documentation on the site is wrong.

Can you help clear this up?

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