Overview: Security in a Real Smart Home

The Loxone Real Smart Home protects the occupants of the house from dangers such as fire, burglary, water, frost, and wind. The Real Smart Home makes you aware of the threat of danger, giving you more time to respond.

In detail, we summarise the different security packages as follows:

Protection against burglary
Protecting the occupants
Protecting the building
Reliable installations

Protection against burglary in a Real Smart Home

In a Real Smart Home, of course, the protection of the occupants comes first. With Loxone’s extensive alarm function, you can ensure maximum security in the home. When occupants are away from home, the extensive alarm function protects their home and belongings from theft. When they’re at home, the well-being of the occupants takes priority.

The correct selection of hardware:

For a Real Smart Home to detect a burglar in a timely manner, information such as movement, window status, broken glass, and vibration must be reliably recorded. For this purpose, we offer a range of products specially developed for this area, which should not be missing in any Loxone Smart Home.

Secure access in a Real Smart Home

The access system of a Real Smart Homes should be as easy to handle as possible and still offer maximum security when occupants are away from home. We recommend a door lock motor that automatically locks the front door when closing in conjunction with a personalised access system, eg the NFC Code Touch. With the NFC Code Touch,  the front door can be unlocked via NFC Key Fob or access code  and at the same time the alarm system deactivated. So your customer does not have to explicitly think about deactivating the alarm system, but does both steps in one.

Suitable software components:

The alarm system module can be used to implement extensive alarm functions. When an intruder approaches the Real Smart Home and one of the alarm sensors is triggered, the alarm is triggered in several stages. The Real Smart Home immediately generates maximum attention to deter the intruder and informs occupants immediately. The following blocks are available in Loxone Config to create an alarm function:

In order to be reliably informed of a burglary, we recommend using the Caller Service

 

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Protecting the occupants of a Real Smart Home

Family comes first. The safety of a family in a Real Smart Home is no different. One of the biggest potential dangers in our own homes is fire. In the year ending September 2017, the UK recorded 346 fire-related fatalities (including from the tragic Grenfell Tower fire). A further 3,200 non-fatal casualties requiring hospital treatment was recorded.

The ‘Fire Kills’ campaign quotes research that you are four times more likely to die in a fire if you live in a home without working smoke alarms. It goes without saying then, that smoke alarms should be an important consideration for any smart home installation.

The correct selection of hardware:

In a Real Smart Home, there are essentially two different products that can detect a fire or smoke development at an early stage. In order to avoid danger to occupants and damage to buildings in a fire, the right choice of products is of great importance.
We recommend the following sensors for optimum protection of the occupants:

The Loxone Touch and the Loxone Touch Pure have an in-built temperature sensor that normally ensures a perfect indoor temperature. The temperature sensor can also be used in addition to a smoke detector for early fire detection. The temperature sensor of the Touch recognises sudden, rapid temperature changes and reports alarms from a freely definable value.

*There are regulations around fire safety that new builds and properties going through any major works need to meet. The Building Regulations 2010 Part B section 1.19 to 1.22 states any smoke alarm system should be supported by a permanent electrical supply. The Smoke Detector Air is battery powered and does not have the facility to be permanently powered. If your project does not require building regulation sign-off (such as a retrofit or minor works) then here are some suggestions on offering a feature-rich smart security solution to your customers. If you require building regulation sign-off we do integrate with any third-party fire alarm systems through their relay outputs in order to create notifications, warnings, sirens, etc into the Loxone ecosystem.

Matching function blocks:

With the Fire and Water Alarm block, extensive functions can be implemented around the protection of occupants in a Real Smart Home. If an imminent fire is detected via the Loxone Touch or Smoke Detector Air, the fire alarm is triggered. The alarm is triggered in two stages (preliminary alarm / main alarm). In an installation completed to the Loxone Standard, all of the shading in the house opens during the alarm, the lighting flashes and an alarm tone sounds over the Music Server. Thus, the Real Smart Home generates maximum attention to alert the occupants.

 

In order to be reliably informed in case of imminent fire, we recommend to use the Caller Service.

 

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Protecting the building in a Real Smart Home

In addition to protection against burglary and the protection of occupants of a Real Smart Home, the smart home also offers comprehensive protection of the building fabric. It is especially important that a Real Smart Home protects itself from impending dangers such as storm, frost and water.

The correct selection of hardware:

The Real Smart Home is threatened by various environmental factors, so it is important that a Real Smart Home protects itself from these dangers. Imminent damage can be caused by storm, frost, fire or water. The following sensors can detect these possible dangers:

Matching function blocks:

With the Fire and Water Alarm block, the Loxone Smart Home can protect itself from ongoing water damage. In the case of water detection by the Water Sensor Air, the same alarm levels are activated as with a fire alarm. The following software component is responsible for this:

In addition to the unwanted ingress of water, a building can also be damaged by frost and wind. In contrast, the Real Smart Home is protected by the Loxone Weather Station. Part of the Loxone Auto Configuration feature is the automatic configuration of frost and storm protection modes. The Auto Configuration implements the frost protection and storm protection as follows:

Frost Protection

If the outside temperature falls below 1°C and precipitation is detected by the Loxone Weather Station, the Real Smart Home prevents damage caused by ice. All shading elements are stopped immediately and are locked for safety reasons. The Frost Protection mode can either be canceled manually in the app or deactivated automatically when an outside temperature of more than 10°C is reached.

Storm Protection

If the Loxone Weather Station detects a wind speed that could damage the shading, Storm Protection becomes active. This means that all shading elements move to the safety position and operation is locked. Storm Protection mode can either be disabled manually in the app or automatically when the wind speed drops below the specified threshold.

 

 

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Creating a reliable installation in a Real Smart Home

Safety and security features in a Real Smart Home don’t only mean protecting the occupants and the building itself, but it also means that the installation itself needs to be safe and secure. Loxone devices are designed and built to last. We are of the view that a Loxone system should last as long as a typical electrical installation – not needing to be replaced every couple of years as would likely be the case with off-the-shelf devices.

We recommend that the planning and installation of a Loxone Smart Home are carried out by a trained Loxone Partner. Qualified electricians may be required for parts of a Loxone Smart Home installation.

A safer installation with Loxone products

All Loxone products are designed to last. The devices in Real Smart Home are not like many other general consumer goods you can buy off the shelf that will likely need replacing after a few years as they become outdated or even obsolete. Loxone components are intended to last as long as the electrical installation of a home, if not longer. To ensure this level of reliability, our products include a number of safety features:

 

Reverse polarity protection

The majority of hardwired Loxone products work off 24VDC SELV. In order for you, as a Loxone Partner, to be able to guarantee a reliable and error-free installation, we’ve put a lot of thought into reducing room for error in the installation itself. Each hardwired Loxone peripheral device is equipped with reverse polarity protection so that if you accidentally swap the 24V and Ground pole, you don’t risk damaging the actual device.

Short-circuit protection

Another way in which using Loxone components offers a reliable and safe installation is that our power supplies have short-circuit protection. This means that if you were to accidentally switch the plus and minus connection, neither the Loxone device or the power supply itself will be damaged – this is because the power supply itself automatically shuts off in the event of a fault.

Temperature management

As we develop all Loxone lighting products in-house, we’re able to give more attention to individual elements such as a built-in temperature management system. This feature plays a very important role on several fronts. Firstly, it aids a long lifespan of the LEDs – which is a very important part when it comes to our Partners delivering a reliable installation for their customers.

If the temperature of an LED bulb is too high, this not only hinders the life of the LED, but also affects the colour of the light it produces. That’s not a worry though, as this will not happen with Loxone lighting products.

Built-in voltage regulators

The Loxone lighting products can all be operated in so-called wide voltage range. This means that variances in the supply voltage of between -10%  and 5% will not affect the quality of light or the lifespan of the LED itself.

 

How do you make the smart home installation even safer?

To ensure that an electrical installation always works reliably, in addition to the safety features, there are a few points to consider when constructing a Real Smart Home to optimally protect the electrical installation.

The following tips and products contribute to the safety of a Loxone installation:

Operating voltage protection

The operating voltage of components in a Loxone Smart Home is 24VDC which comes under the category of Separated or Safety Extra Low Voltage (SELV). Even though SELV is considered to carry a low risk of dangerous electrical shock it is still addressed in the regulations and therefore care should be taken to ensure a compliant installation. The use of fuse terminal blocks is a good way of reducing the risk of overloading cables from a fault in the installation. They so provide a perfect landing board for terminations in the panel.

We recommend using terminal blocks for all cables being brought back to the cabinet in a Loxone installation.

Lightning protection

Even if you’ve installed the best equipment and followed all the standards and regulations, your customer’s home is still at risk if Mother Nature decides to strike. Offering a reliable installation means also taking this into account and including components (such as surge or overvoltage protectors) that mitigate the potential damage a lightning strike could cause by dissipating the surge.

Although you can’t completely protect a house from lightning, the above is still good practice to follow. This is one of the reasons that a true Loxone installation only uses SELV power supplies.

In many installations, however, the GND of the Loxone 24VDC SEcannotly can not be prevented from being connected to PE by external devices.

Normally devices such as patch panels, PCs, routers, access points or similar IT equipment causes this. In order to prevent a potential current flow (compensation current or, in the event of a fault, a fault current) through the Miniserver, PELV cabling should be used.

Fire protection switch

In compliance with wiring regulations, all circuits must be protected by an RCD and appropriately rated MCB. However, this protective measure on it’s own won’t be able to identify fault arcs.

Fault arcs can be caused by unsafe or exposed contacts or damaged wiring or cable insulation. We therefore recommend that the electrical installation in a Loxone Smart Home also has external electrical fault detection equipment (e.g. arc fault detectors). As Loxone, we don’t sell Arc Fault Detection Devices (AFDD) but using such a component in a Loxone Smart Home is best practice.

Tree sensors

The way our Tree Technology has been designed allows for Loxone Partners to easily connect sensory peripheral devices in a Loxone Smart Home. All communication between security-sensitive Tree products is fully encrypted – offering peace of mind for both you and your customers.

For more information about Tree wiring, please click here.

CAT 7 Cable

We recommend that all Loxone Smart Homes installations are done with CAT7 for maximum functionality and in the interest of future-proofing.

The CAT7 cable is ideal for Loxone Tree devices. With four pairs, each of which is double-shielded, better protection from sources of interference is afforded, and with the thicker cores of a CAT7 less volt-drop will be experienced. It is typical that the requirements of a customer and the way they use the different rooms in their home will change over time. This, as it gives greater flexibility for programmable changes in the future, is another reason why you should be using CAT7.

Buy CAT7 cable.

 

 

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