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Serious Safety Flaw - please correct!

New Neighbor II

Serious Safety Flaw - please correct!

Just installed a new Ring System - Doorbell, wired Cams, Sensors, etc. Covers our entire house. Love it so far.

 

However...

There is a SERIOUS flaw in the system as far as protection that I feel needs to be addressed ASAP.

 

The Flaw:

It seems that the Ring sensors go into a 'wait' mode of about 3 minutes (after sensing motion) before they re-arm. Not sure why.

 

The Exploit:

Ring gives you a false sense of security when you arm the system (in either 'Home' or 'Away' mode). It gives you the green checkmark saying all sensors are armed, which would make me confidently leave my house, etc. - thinking I'm protected.

 

However...

 

The 3  (or so) minute sensor delay is still in effect - meaning that the motion sensors will NOT pick up anything or ACTIVATE THE ALARM during that time period.

 

Yikes!!!!

 

That means that it would be possible for someone to break into a motion-sensor protected area, steal a bunch of stuff, kill my pet, a person(!) etc. and make a clean get away.

 

3 minutes may not seem like a long time - until your life is in danger - then it is an eternity.

 

I realize this would be an outlier scenario. But it should be an no-brainer one for a device that is supposed to protect you 24/7.

 

PLEASE address this!

29 REPLIES 29
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New Neighbor II

Re: Serious Safety Flaw - please correct!

Good catch, major kudos

Community Manager

Re: Serious Safety Flaw - please correct!

Hi neighbors! 

 

We want to thank you for bringing up this important topic, and giving us the opportunity to explain how Ring Alarm Motion Detectors are designed to work. 

 

Ring Alarm Motion Detectors are designed to be smart. They detect movement through rooms and hallways which an intruder would be likely to pass through, while allowing you and your family to move freely through your home.

 

When your Ring Alarm is disarmed, your sensor detects motion constantly, but will only notify you to the first detection. After three minutes of no activity, it will be “cleared” and ready to notify you again. The system is designed with this feature to greatly reduce the number of notifications when your Motion Detector is disarmed and reduce the drain on your battery.  Rest assured, even though you’re not getting a constant stream of motion detection notifications, all movement is being detected. 

 

If you arm your Ring Alarm before the Motion Detector has cleared, the Motion Detector will be armed and will not be bypassed. Ring Alarm is smart enough to know that as you exit your home you may trigger the Motion Detector, and you should not be confused with an intruder. After you leave your home and movement stops, the Motion Detector will clear as expected and be ready to detect movement. Any motion that is detected at that point will trigger the Alarm.

 

We recommend using both Contact Sensors and Motion Detectors to create a ring of security around your home. By using Contact Sensors at every entry point around your home, any intruder would be detected and set off the Alarm after your customizable Entry Delay. 

 

If you’re still concerned, you can set your Entry and Exit Delays to 0 seconds, and only arm and disarm your Ring Alarm using only the app from outside your home. This would sound the alarm as soon as a door or window is opened, before an intruder has the chance to even enter your home.  While we don’t recommend this option as it might increase the chances of a false alarm, you can configure these settings to give yourself peace of mind. 

 

Note: Ring Motion Detectors also have a Test Mode, in which your sensor detects motion constantly and will notify you about every 15 seconds. This is designed to help you test for blind spots, pets, and other environmental triggers.

 

Please don't hesitate to reach out with any further questions or concerns. Thank you! 

New Neighbor II

Re: Serious Safety Flaw - please correct!

Jennifer,

 

Thanks for the explanation. However, it does not match my experience. I just tested again:

1. Moved in front of 3 Motion Sensors (kitchen, front entry, dining room).

2. Moved to the top step of our basement stairs (where I am out of sight of all 3 sensors and all other sensors as well), and set the alarm to Home.

3. Set a stopwatch and waited 90 seconds.

4. Moved back into the field of view of the sensors.

 

Alarm did not go off.

 

I had to wait at least 2-3 minutes before the sensors were active and caught the motion.

 

PS - We have not pets, etc. and I was the only one in the house for the test.

 

I think that in 'Home' mode, the sensors should activate immediately - since I'm Home and know which ones not to activate by accident.

 

When you set the alarm to 'Away' it would make sense for the motion sensors to be active after the exit delay has expired. I'll test that as well later today and post back.

New Neighbor

Re: Serious Safety Flaw - please correct!

I’m no security expert, but it makes sense for the motion sensors to disregard the 3 minute interval once the exit delay has expired. The system should assume that everyone has already left and any motion from that point forward should trigger the sensor regardless of the timeout period.

For example, let’s say that you arm the system and activate the 60 second exit delay. 30 seconds later, trigger a motion sensor on the way out the door. The motion sensor should rearm in another 30 seconds once the exit delay ends instead of 2.5 minutes to reach the end of the 3 minute “timeout” period.

2.5 minutes may not be a lot of time, but as OP said.. its 2.5 minutes of being vulnerable that seems to be an easy fix.

I haven’t tested any of this myself, so I’ll be interested to know how it turns out.
New Neighbor II

Re: Serious Safety Flaw - please correct!

I've not had a chance to do more testing - hope to do so in the next day or so. I will put my alarm in 'self' monitoring mode (to play it safe). I'll test how the motion sensors react to the 'home ' and 'away' modes and report back.

 

It would be interesting if others can test as well to see if it is a global issue.

Community Manager

Re: Serious Safety Flaw - please correct!

Thanks, @SoriceConsulting.  From my findings, the three minute wait time for motion detection seems to be an industry standard for alarm systems. But I'd like to point out that our Contact Sensors do have a customizable Entry Delay. If someone were to enter the home when armed in either Home or Away Mode, they would first trigger the Contact Sensor on the door or window before triggering the Motion Detector. At that point, the Alarm will sound as soon as the Entry Delay is over. You can set the Entry Delay to 0 seconds, in order to sound the Alarm immediately (keeping in mind that you may be more likely to accidentally trigger false alarms).

New Neighbor II

Re: Serious Safety Flaw - please correct!

Thanks Jennifer! Appreciate your keeping on top of this subject. My concern is from experience with our prior system (which we happily replaced with Ring!).

 

With that one, once we armed the system, the alarm would go off immediately if we stepped in front of a motion sensor (been there, done that by mistake).

 

That does not seem to be happening with Ring.

 

I will try and so some detailed testing tomorrow and post back my results for the community.

New Neighbor

Re: Serious Safety Flaw - please correct!


@SoriceConsulting wrote:

Jennifer,

 

Thanks for the explanation. However, it does not match my experience. I just tested again:

1. Moved in front of 3 Motion Sensors (kitchen, front entry, dining room).

2. Moved to the top step of our basement stairs (where I am out of sight of all 3 sensors and all other sensors as well), and set the alarm to Home.

3. Set a stopwatch and waited 90 seconds.

4. Moved back into the field of view of the sensors.

 

Alarm did not go off.

 

I had to wait at least 2-3 minutes before the sensors were active and caught the motion.

 

PS - We have not pets, etc. and I was the only one in the house for the test.

 

I think that in 'Home' mode, the sensors should activate immediately - since I'm Home and know which ones not to activate by accident.

 

When you set the alarm to 'Away' it would make sense for the motion sensors to be active after the exit delay has expired. I'll test that as well later today and post back.


Im pretty sure the difference between Home and Away modes are that when you arm the alarm in Home mode it bypasses the motion sensors so you dont trip them since you are in the house and only the contact sensors are active.  When you arm in Away mode (no one should be in the house) then all sensors are active.

 

This is how my Brinks home security worked and makes sense to me.

New Neighbor II

Re: Serious Safety Flaw - please correct!

Thanks johhnyd91.

 

I'm aware of the mode differences. You can selectively keep motions sensor armed when you are home - which is what we do. We have no pets/kids, so we keep some motion sensors armed in Home mode when we go to bed (i.e., you can walk around the second floor but not downstairs, as those motion sensors are active at night in Home mode).