This is a perfect example of where the Raspberry Pi can work cooperatively with a micro-controller like the Arduino. If the Arduino could do the monitoring and report state changes to the Raspberry Pi over its serial connection, the Pi could handle the more sophisticated signal interpretation and notifications.
Each Friday is PiDay here at Adafruit, be sure to check out our posts, tutorials and new Raspberry Pi related products. Have you tried the new “Adafruit Raspberry Pi Educational Linux Distro” ? It’s our tweaked distribution for teaching electronics using the Raspberry Pi. But wait, there’s more! Try our new Raspberry Pi WebIDE! The easiest way to learn programming on a Raspberry Pi.