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Not useful in duress situation

New Neighbor

Not useful in duress situation

I've just learned that not only does the alram not support duress codes, but it does not even initiate a call if the alarm is triggered but deactivated within 30 seconds.  This makes the alarm 100% useless in a home invasion or any type of duress situation.  The option to signal even if the alarm is deactivated (or to require a second code to cancel the signal) and duress codes are bog standard alarm features that would cost nothing to implement.  The lack of these features makes me seriously question the system's value in some of the most likely scenarios.  It also makes me wonder whether the alarm is vulnerable to crash and smash.  The Alarm has some great "cool" features, but this is a practical functionality issue.  Please fix ASAP.  

10 REPLIES 10
New Neighbor III

Re: Not useful in duress situation

I agree that duress codes would be very useful.

Also longer codes than 4 digits since many compatible smart locks use up to 8 digits, but when paired to the Alarm, only support 4, like the Alarm.

I question what difference the delay makes though. If someone is forcing you to disarm, they're going to expect a call if it's already alarming, so they'll just make you answer the call too, and would know if you gave the wrong answer or tipped off the agent. However, a duress pin would eliminate this issue regardless.

And no, they're not susceptible to being smashed. If you're a Protect Plus/Professional Monitoring subscriber, even if the home internet and/or power were cut first, the base has battery and cellular backup. Second, the signal is sent to the monitoring company the instant the state changes, so when it enters entry delay from opening a door (or even if it's set to window/secondary and it trips immediately), the monitoring center knows in less than a second. And if the base is smashed, the monitoring center already knows it is alarming, or in entry delay mode, and is expecting an all-clear event from the base. If it is smashed and can't send this, it triggers a call/police response anyway when the monitoring center doesn't get the all-clear event, for this exact reason.
Community Manager

Re: Not useful in duress situation

I’ll definitely share your requests for duress codes with the team, we greatly appreciate hearing the features our neighbors are most interested in! To add to the smash-proof information @abqnm shared, immediate dispatch occurs for a few different alarm signal types.

For a panic alarm, dispatch happens immediately and the central monitoring station calls emergency contacts after. For a Carbon Monoxide alarm, the central monitoring station is required to dispatch immediately even if someone attempts to cancel. With our new features such as SOS and Alexa Guard, a neighbor can request fire or police dispatch through the apps. When the central monitoring station receives that request, they dispatch immediately and call the emergency contacts after.

For the standard burglary alarms, there is a 30 second window of time that is industry standard and common across many alarm systems to prevent false alarms.



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New Neighbor

Re: Not useful in duress situation

Thanks for the reply. Every other alarm I've had generates a call from the monitoring company even it goes off unless the alarm is *canceled*, which is done by entering a code again after *disarming*. Ring seems to treat disarming the alarm as cancelling the response. That's flawed logic for a number of reasons.

The crash and smash functionality is still not clear to me. Can you confirm that if the alarm goes into entry delay and then does not send any further signals, that you treat it as an alarm activation?

And since you mentioned Alexa Guard, I don't understand why it's only active in away mode. I'd like to monitor for smoke alarms and glass breaking when I'm home as well.
New Neighbor III

Re: Not useful in duress situation

Not even my old ADT/GE system had a second pin to "cancel." But a duress pin would solve that too.

As I said above, and confirmed in the reply, if the base is smashed after the entry delay starts, at the end of the countdown plus 30 seconds, it will trigger a response when it doesn't get an all-clear from the base. I've verified this on my own system when I first got it by triggering it and then pulling the power and battery, as if it were totally offline (ie smashed). It definitely triggered a response.

And as for the Alexa Guard situation, a) that's Alexa, not Ring, so you'd have to address your concerns in a different forum. B) it isn't a traditional glass break sensor. It just listens for loud noises, period. So if you are home, you'd set it off just with normal household noise, not to mention having all your conversations actually recorded, vs only potentially getting recorded if someone says something that sounds like the wake word. In guard mode, they're already awake and listening constantly.

Alexa Guard is for listening in when you're NOT home, but it's not meant to replace proper security with sufficient sensors. If you're concerned about smoke/CO while home or away, get Ring Smoke/CO Listeners for your existing alarms if they're less than ten years old, or you'd need listeners and new alarms if older than 10 (or the First Alert Z-wave Combo Smoke/CO detectors that are certified to work with Ring work well too).
New Neighbor

Re: Not useful in duress situation

I don't know about your specific panel, but every panel that I have configured, both DSC and Honeywell, have an option to transmit immediately and require an additional code to send a cancel signal. That's how mine have always been configured.  If the alarm goes off, I want to monitoring station to know it and call.  There's likely already been a 2-minute entry delay, then you want to wait another 30 seconds before even transmitting, oh, and there's no duress code.  This all makes the Ring Alarm utterly useless in a home-invasion scenario, which is the scenario I care the most about, since if someone breaks in when I'm not home they just get my stuff.

I've got the entire Ring ecosystem, but unless someone can confirm that duress codes will be available soon, I have to consider returning the whole thing.  It's starting to appear that development of this product has focused more on kewl features than on the actual security aspects.  The absence of a real glass break dector is also puzzling.  

Community Manager

Re: Not useful in duress situation

Good news @DalRingUser , duress features are on the way! This has been a popular request for awhile now, and has always been in our sights. We are happy to say that this will be coming in the near future.

 

Regarding the entry delay times you mentioned, you are currently able to set your entry delay, for home or away, to as low as 0. Although, we recommend at least 30 seconds to prevent false alarms.



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New Neighbor

Re: Not useful in duress situation

Well this ties in with the request for additional modes.  Unless you live alone, it is impractical to have zero delay on either of the standard modes.  I frequently arm the alarm in "home" mode and then leave when someone else, a kid, a sleeping wife, etc. are in the house.

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New Neighbor III

Re: Not useful in duress situation

The keypads only have buttons for three modes, and the majority of alarms support only 3 modes (a few added a 4th mode for night) but it would likely take new hardware to add new modes.

You can always arm/disarm from the app after you close the door or before you enter, if you want to set any with a zero second entry/exit delay.
New Neighbor

Re: Not useful in duress situation

Seriously, this is not hard. It's a software-based system. In addition to the number keys on the keypad, which many panels use for arming modes that don't have quick keys, we have Alexa and we have an app, which could have an additional button for those too lazy to press xxxx9. As for the indicator lights, they could be configurable or they could simply indicate the state of the motion detectors.

Your suggestion is still not practical when there are residents in the house or other residents who might come home and not know whether the alarm is armed.