How Do I Receive a Total Connect 2.0 Notification if My System Isn't Armed/Disarmed By a Certain Time?
You can receive a Total Connect 2.0 notification if your system isn't armed/disarmed by a certain time by setting up the feature within TC2. You must choose which action(s) should not occur to have a notification sent out, and you must set a time window for the notification to not occur.
An "activity not occurring" notification is just one type of notification you can set up through Total Connect 2.0. Due to the somewhat unusual nature of these notifications, they can be a bit more tricky to understand. As with any TC2 notification, there is a trigger, a schedule, and a notification group that contains a list of email addresses and/or phone numbers to receive the alert.
The biggest distinction with an "activity not occurring" notification is that the "trigger" is the lack, or absence, of an action occurring, rather than the presence or occurrence of an action or event. With that in mind, you may want to set a more generous time window than usual, to accommodate for the possibility of someone performing the specified action slightly earlier or later than normally anticipated. You may then be notified about the event supposedly not occurring, when in reality, it did occur. Whether or not you decide to accordingly adjust or extend the set time window should depend upon the application of the notification and what you are hoping to achieve by creating it. For more information on building TC2 notifications in general, please refer to this comprehensive FAQ.
For a TC2 notification alerting the user to an action that did not occur, a specific time window will be set. TC2 will then look for the specified action to occur at some point within that defined time window. If the set time window elapses without the specified action occurring, then the email addresses and/or phone numbers listed in the assigned "notification group" will be alerted to the situation. The important thing when setting up this type of notification is making sure that the following three (3) variables are set correctly:
- The Specified Action - The event and/or activity that must NOT occur within the set time window for the notification to be sent out. For this FAQ in particular, this "action" is the arming or disarming of a Honeywell Security System.
- The Time Window - Also referred to as the schedule. This is a period of time defined by a Start point and an End point. The Specified Action is to occur within this period of time, as defined by the aforementioned parameters. Should the specified action NOT occur within this defined period of time, then the notification will be sent out.
- The Notification Group - This is a list of user profiles associated with email addresses and/or phone numbers that will be notified when the notification is sent out. Email addresses will receive an email, and phone numbers will receive an SMS text message. Users in the group may also opt to receive push notifications from the App itself on their phone or tablet. An existing Notification Group that has been used with other notifications can be used, or a new Group can be built if needed.
There are many potential real-world applications of "activity not occurring" alerts, and you can certainly find ways to put the feature to good use. You can use it to make sure your children returned home from school. You can use the feature to monitor a loved one who lives alone for their regular coming and going activity. Some users set up these notifications to overcome their own forgetfulness if they find that they often don't remember to arm their systems. It can even be useful for ensuring that a house-sitter or a maid performs their assigned daily duties at your residence.
Setting up this feature involves many steps, so make sure to go through each part carefully so that everything works properly in the end. We will be focusing on setting up these alerts using the TC2 website in this FAQ, but the same process can also be completed using the Total Connect 2.0 Mobile App on an Android or iOS device. Just keep in mind that the menu layouts may differ slightly if you decide to use the mobile app. Assuming that you are using the website, remember that there will typically be a return arrow button for you to go back to the previous step if you make a mistake at any point in the process.
Complete the following steps to set up a TC2 notification regarding your system not being armed or disarmed during a certain time period:
1. Access the TC2 website. Go to the Total Connect 2.0 website using a compatible web browser, such as the latest version of Google Chrome, Mozilla FireFox, Apple Safari, or any other web browser recommended by Resideo.
2. Login to your account. Provide your Username and Password, and click the Sign In button to log in. Remember that if you receive monitoring service through Alarm Grid, then your Username will be the email address that we have on file, unless it was otherwise changed. If you are having trouble accessing your account, click the Problems Signing In button, or contact your alarm monitoring company for further assistance.
3. Start building new notification. Click Notifications on the left-hand side of the screen. Select List from the dropdown submenu. In the upper-right corner, click the Add Notification button. This button can be identified by having three (3) horizontal bars and plus (+) sign. This will allow you to start building a new notification.
4. Choose "Security" as category. You will now choose the category of the notification you are building. Since this notification will involve the arming and/or disarming activity of your security system, choose Security as the selection. This is the category at the very top of the list.
5. Chose "Arming" sub-category. You will now select the sub-category of security notification. Choose the "Arming" option at the top, as this notification relates to the arming and disarming activities of your alarm system.
6. Name the notification. Choose a name for the notification by entering it into the "Notification Name" field. We recommend choosing a name referencing the overarching event that would likely lead to the system not being armed/disarmed during the specified time window. For example, you might name the notification "Kids Didn't Come Home", or "Mom Never Left", or "You Forgot to Arm", depending on how you plan on using the notification.
7. Choose the Notification Trigger(s). Now set the Notification Trigger(s) for the notification. Click the box next to any of the four triggers you want to apply to the notification. There are options for Armed Away, Armed Custom, Armed Stay, and Disarmed. Remember, these will ultimately be the events that DO NOT occur within the time window that you set later. Any event that you set here will need to occur within the time window you set, or else you will be notified. Failure to set this properly could lead to you being notified when you don't want to be notified and/or the notification not being sent in a situation where you should be notified.
For simplicity's sake, we strongly recommend that you set only ONE type of notification trigger, rather than choosing multiple options in the same notification. By doing that, you won't be inadvertently notified about something that did in fact occur. For example, if you set the notification for all three arming types (Away, Custom, and Stay), and the alarm system user only Arms Away within the time window, then you will still be notified about them not Arming Custom and Arming Stay, which can lead to major confusion. We instead find that it's best to just choose ONE Notification Trigger, and then instruct anyone who operates the system to arm/disarm based on how you set up the notification. In other words, a good option here is often just to choose Armed Away as the Notification Trigger and then tell the person using the security system to always Arm Away, and not Arm Custom or Arm Stay. That way, you are only notified if they fail to follow your instructions. Remember that Armed Custom goes into effect if any zones on the system are bypassed. Make sure that whoever is using your system does not bypass any zones when they go to arm, because otherwise they will Arm Custom instead of Arming Away or Arming Stay, and you will be notified because the arming type you defined as the Notification Trigger (either Arm Away or Arm Stay) will not have occurred. Only set Armed Custom as the trigger if you expect the user to arm the system with a custom setting, in which at least one zone on the system is bypassed. Luckily, this potential mistake is typically avoided by people who set up the feature for Disarmed, as there is only one type of Disarming function, and that eliminates the potential for confusion.
Once you set the desired Notifications Trigger(s), with each desired option having a blue box with a checkmark inside next to it, and each non-desired option having a blank box next to it, press the blue Continue button to proceed.
8. Set Notification Schedule(s). You must create at least one Notification Schedule and apply it to the notification. This is because TC2 will not allow you to build an "Activity Did Not Occur" notification if the schedule is set to "Always". If you have one or more existing schedules already built that you want to use for this purpose, then you can use them. If you need to build a new schedule, then click the blue Create New Schedule button. You can also edit an existing schedule by clicking the pencil icon on the right-hand side of the associated schedule. Remember that you can check the boxes for multiple schedules to achieve the desired outcome if needed. This can prevent you from otherwise needing to build multiple notifications of the same type to achieve the proper result.
As part of this step, you will likely be building one or more schedules. When building the schedule, you must set a Schedule Name. For simplicity, it's easiest to just literally put the schedule in the name. In other words, you might make a Schedule Name something like "Wednesday 7pm to 9pm" or "Mon 9am to 5pm". We understand that some users will want to put real life events as the name. That's fine, but you might still want to put the time in parenthesis or brackets to avoid confusion. This could work out to be something like "Church Night (Wed 6pm to 10pm)" or "Volunteering Sat [7am to 5pm]". Obviously, you can do whatever works for you, but we have found that being able to conveniently reference the time in the Schedule Name is very useful.
Another aspect of building a schedule will involve setting the Days. In some cases, it will be necessary to build a different schedule for each day of the week. But there are a couple of shortcuts that may come in handy. You can choose "Weekdays" to set all the days Monday thru Friday. You can also choose "Daily", which will apply the schedule times to all seven days of the week. Curiously, there is no "Weekends" option, but that is just an unfortunate limitation that you will have to work around. Worst case, you may just have to build the same time schedule for multiple days and select each schedule individually to achieve the result you want.
The final component of building a schedule is setting the times. There is a Start Time and an End Time. At some point between the Start Time and the End Time, the Notification Trigger that you set must occur. If it doesn't, then you will receive the notification, which will be sent out at the End Time. As a rule for this setting, the Start Time must be earlier in the day than the End Time. You cannot cross over into a different day. This is also a limitation that you would need to work around by potentially building multiple schedules if you need to cross over midnight into a different day.
As setting the times for a Notification Schedule that is used with this feature is very important, we have some tips to keep in mind. First, for the vast majority of applications, it is a good idea to set a generous TIME WINDOW for the desired action to occur. Let's imagine a store owner who wants to know if their employees open the store in the morning. As part of this scenario, the employees would disarm the system. The employees are instructed to arrive in the store (and therefore, disarm the system) by 6am. However, the odds of them disarming the system EXACTLY at 6am are very unlikely. They might arrive early, like good employees. Or there might be a bad snowstorm, and they arrive a little bit late. As such, a proper TIME WINDOW would be suitable here. The store owner could set the Start Time as 5:30am to accommodate them arriving up to 30 minutes early. They might then set the End Time as 6:15am to give them a 15 minute cushion to accommodate for a scenario where they're running late. As long as the employees disarm the system between 5:30am and 6:15am, then no notification will be sent out. The storeowner doesn't like to be bothered, and they only want to be notified if something was legitimately wrong. They don't care if the employees were five minutes late, or if they decided to open 20 minutes early. Using a window like this makes sense. Obviously, you will have to adjust it based on your own expectations, depending on the application at hand. If you are checking to see if your kids came home from school and disarmed your alarm system, and the school bus arrives home at 3:17pm, you might set the time window from 3:12pm (in case they get home early) to 3:47pm (hey, traffic is bad sometimes). That way, you are covered if your kids ditched class and snuck home early, and you also know to maybe check-in with the school if they haven't shown up 30 minutes past the scheduled time. Use your own judgment here, but make sure to choose settings that you are comfortable with, while also not notifying you on a near daily basis due to slight time fluctuations. After all, the purpose of this type of notification is to alert you only when something is out of the ordinary.
One other scenario is if your desired notification setting involves crossing over into another day. For instance, maybe a member of the family works late, and you want to know if they arrived home and disarmed the system. It's possible that their schedule is unusual, and they could be arriving home any time between 10pm and 2am. You would have to make two (2) separate schedules. One would cover 10pm to 11:59pm, and the other would cover 12am to 2am. Now, let's say they arrive home (and disarm the system) at 11:48pm. You won't be notified during the first schedule. But then, you will be notified later during the second schedule, as the system was never disarmed during that schedule. Or alternatively, if they arrived and disarmed after the midnight threshold, then you would be notified during the first schedule, but not during the second. You will have to consider the fact that you made two (2) distinct schedules, and because the Notification Trigger did not occur during one of those schedules, you were notified. If you are forced to utilize this technique of making two separate schedules to cover what is technically considered to be two separate days, then keep in mind that you will probably be notified for at least one of those schedules on each day that the schedule is active. Don't jump the gun and assume that "they never came home!" or "they never left!" because you were notified due to the fact that the Notification Trigger to cancel the notification occurred during the second half of this "doubleheader" scheduling technique. Fortunately, very few real-life scenarios will have you making these sort of "crossover" schedules, but if you ever do indeed use one, please remember exactly how this feature works, and make sure to keep that in mind. Furthermore, remember to set the days on these schedules accordingly. For example, if your doubleheader schedule goes from Friday to Saturday, then it would be 10pm to 11:59pm for FRIDAY and 12am to 2am for SATURDAY. It's very easy to have this slip your mind and set them both for the same day by mistake. Then you're being notified at 2am on Friday for something that hasn't even happened yet! We know that these are some outlandish scenarios, and they might seem to be a bit of a stretch, but we just ask that you are careful when setting these notification times, as messing them up can really lead to some trouble and inconvenience.
Once you have the proper Notification Schedule(s) set - that is, any schedule your ARE using will have a blue box with a checkmark next to it, and any schedule you ARE NOT using will have a blank box next to it, proceed to the next step. Do NOT click the blue Continue button yet, as we have a very important instruction coming up.
9. Set when you're notified. Underneath the Create New Schedule Button, you will see a set of options. These read "Notify me when this activity occurs" and "Notify me when this activity does not occur". Set the selector to the second option of "Notify me when this activity does not occur". Otherwise, you will be notified when the Notification Trigger does occur, which is not what you want. Failure to remember this step will throw off everything you have built thus far, so do not forget! Only once you are sure this is correct should you press the blue Continue button to go on.
10. Set Notification Group. The last step is to set the Notification Group. This is the list of email addresses and or phone numbers that will be notified. You can use an existing Notification Group, or you can build a new Notification Group by pressing the Create New Group button. You cannot select multiple Notification Groups, so if you need to build a new one specific to this notification, then you must do that. You can also send test messages to see if the contacts listed in the group are receiving alerts properly. Once the Notification Group is set up properly, click the blue Save button in the bottom-right to finish building the notification.
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