Fire Sensor Notifications from a Lyric via Apple HomeKit
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In this video, Jorge discusses why users don't receive specific fire alarm notifications from Apple HomeKit when it is paired with a Honeywell Lyric Security System. Apple HomeKit only offers specific notifications for burglary and intrusion zones. Otherwise, it only displays a general system alert.
HomeKit allows iOS users to receive important alerts and notifications regarding home activity right to an associated iOS device, such as an iPad or iPhone. In order to receive HomeKit notifications regarding Lyric System activity, the end user must enable notifications. This is done from within HomeKit itself. You can even configure who exactly receives the notifications and during what time periods they are sent out. If you don't have notifications enabled, then you will not receive any Lyric System notifications.
However, HomeKit will only send out specific alerts for burglary and intrusion zones. This includes zones with a Response Type of Entry/Exit 1, Entry/Exit 2, Perimeter, Interior Follower and Interior w/ Delay. Zones with other Response Types will only provide generic system alerts. This means that fire zones, environmental zones and other life-safety zones won't provide specific notifications when they are activated.
The problem with this is that the user won't know exactly what went wrong and what action to take in the situation. For example, a general Lyric System alert could be anything from a fire to a temperature sensor. These events are very different, and they require different actions. The user will want some way of receiving specific alerts so they know exactly what to do. While HomeKit is great in many situations, this is an area in which it is lacking.
Fortunately, you can use HomeKit alongside Total Connect 2.0. This is a good idea because Total Connect 2.0 will provide specific alerts regarding system activity. At the same time, you can get the convenience of the HomeKit service. This is why it is important to maintain active alarm monitoring service with access to Total Connect 2.0.
Hey, DIYers. I'm George from AlarmGrid. Today, I'm going to be going over why you don't receive fire notifications from HomeKit. So right now, the only system that does HomeKit is the Lyric Alarm System. It's Honeywell's latest and newer system. In order to use HomeKit on the system, you do need to have a monitoring company enable it. So you can't just buy the Lyric system and expect it to come with HomeKit right off the bat. You actually need to have a monitoring company activate and enable it for you. All right? So that's first thing. Second thing, HomeKit works off of Wi-Fi only, so you need to make sure that your panel is connected to Wi-Fi. You need to make sure that if you guys are planning to use HomeKit remotely that you guys have a hub, a HomeKit hub at the house. So that's an Apple TV. That's an iPad on the latest revision that you have set to be a hub at the house. And again, if you're using it remotely, it will only work if Wi-Fi is connected. Now a lot of you guys may have smoke detectors, fire alarms, CO detectors, flood detectors, all these kinds of sensors. Whenever you get an alarm on the Lyric system and you're expecting a fire notification or CO notification through HomeKit, that actually is not the case. The reason why is HomeKit only is specific with alarm notifications if it's set to an entry/exit, if it's set to perimeter, interior follower, or interior follower with delay. So this is basically referring to all door and motions. So whenever you guys have a front door alarm, backdoor alarm, side door, living room motion, whenever you guys have an alarm like this on the Lyric system, it actually comes in specifically, and it lets you know what zone is going off. But for sensors like CO, smoke, heat, flood that don't use the response types of perimeter, entry delay, interior with delay, interior follower, you do not get specific notifications through HomeKit. And I'm going to show you guys right now what it actually looks like. You can't get notifications, but it will only show you that the Lyric system has been triggered. Or there's an alarm on the system, but it doesn't let you know exactly what it is. So if you guys are using HomeKit only, you guys may want to rethink that, as Total Connect actually is specific and lets you know when an alarm has been cleared, when it's been disarmed, who disarmed it, yada, yada, yada. HomeKit only lets you know that there's been an alarm, and it doesn't specify what kind of alarm it is if it's one of these other response types. So for example, I'm going to show you guys real quick. So right now, I have my iPad right now. It's connected through HomeKit to my Lyric system, and I also have my Total Connect up on this as well. I also have text messages set up for Total Connect. So I'm going to show you guys the two differences between the HomeKit notifications for fire alarms and the Total Connect notifications for fire alarms. All right, so let me just get my iPad here set up, one moment. All right, so I have my iPad at the HomeKit screen here. If you guys watch here, I'm going to set off a panic just because it's going to be the fastest way to do it. I'm going to set off a fire panic. You'll see on my iPad, I got a HomeKit get notification, and now I've got a Total Connect. The HomeKit one just let me know that there was an alarm going off. The Total Connect one lets me know that a fire sensor alarm has been reported. Let me show you guys real quickly in here. You see how the HomeKit one says default room? Lyric was triggered. It doesn't actually let you know what it is that's going off. Total Connect does let you know that there's a fire alarm, the time it has been reported at. And if I disarm the system, the HomeKit app will let me know that the system has been disarmed. So will the Total Connect. Total Connect says, fire sensor alarm has been cleared. And then the HomeKit one just says, default room Lyric was disarmed. So you can see right off the bat how Total Connect is specific with the fire sensor alarms, and the HomeKit app is kind of just generic. So if you guys are using HomeKit only, like I said, you guys get a fire alarm. You guys are just going to see the default room-- the alarm went off or et cetera. But you guys won't ever know what exactly is that's going off. That's why we always recommend getting Total Connect, which again we do offer that in most of our service plans. So it's just something to keep in mind. The other Total Connect notifications that I got actually came in through a text message. I'm going to show you guys that right now as well. So you see on the text messages here, obviously, I was playing with it before. But just now, it says that on April 23, 9:23, which was just a couple of seconds ago, the fire sensor alarm went off. The built-in camera events, I actually have it enabled to where whenever I disable or whenever I disarm the Lyric system, this front-facing camera up at the very top in the center of the Lyric, it actually takes a picture every time you disarm, and it sends it to Total Connect. So if I wanted to, I can go into my Total Connect app and look at the image that was sent from the panel. And I could see who disarmed my system. And then again, if you look at the text messages, you'll see it went from 9:23 AM and 29 seconds. The fire sensor alarm went off. And then you'll see that the fire sensor alarm was cleared and 9:24 and 22 seconds-- so basically, almost a whole minute later. So it is time specific as well, lets you know what sensors went off, what time they went off, the date. And that's what the text messages look like. The other thing about HomeKit and Total Connect, this isn't specifically for fire alarms because whenever there is a fire alarm, you can actually clear the fire alarm from the app. But I'm referring to more Berg signals. If you guys set off a false alarm or somebody sets off a false alarm and you want to disarm the system, in order to clear a false alarm or in order to clear any type of alarm from the Lyric system, you have to disarm from the panel twice, or you can use Total Connect to disarm twice. Now HomeKit does not let you clear false alarms because if you go into a HomeKit and open it up if I hold on the default room Lyric, it only gives me an option to do off. So I can't disarm twice if it's already off. I'd have to arm and then disarm. So you actually have to disarm the system twice to clear any alarms. Now fire alarms, you actually have to disarm it from the panel just because it's a security risk. If a fire alarm goes off on the system, you actually have to disarm twice from the system to clear. You can't disarm from HomeKit or from Total Connect, but I'm talking about for burglar alarms. Another thing that I just want to mention real quick, if you guys aren't receiving any notifications at all through HomeKit, make sure you guys look at your settings. So when you're in your HomeKit app, hit the Edit button in the top right, select the-- mine is called default room Lyric. So you want to make sure you select your Lyric system. Go down to status and notifications. If you're in status the notifications, make sure you set allow notifications. That way, if a fire alarm, door alarm, motion alarm goes off, you actually receive it, just like the generic message I got on the iPad. So if you guys aren't receiving any of that at all, make sure you guys check that setting as well. So this was just a quick video showing you guys basically the differences between fire alarm notifications through the HomeKit and fire alarm notifications to Total Connect 2.0. As you saw, there was quite a difference. HomeKit is very generic. It doesn't specify fire alarms. Total connect specifies any type of alarm. All right? And if you guys want to find out more, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you found the video helpful, make sure you hit Like underneath. Subscribe to the YouTube channel and enable notifications so whenever we upload new content, you guys do get notified. I'm George from AlarmGrid, and I'll see you guys next time.