Add an Away Mode with Alexa Guard
If you have an Amazon Echo household, a lot of your sentences already start with “Alexa.” Consider adding another one to the list: “Alexa, I’m leaving.” Thanks to the new Guard feature, Alexa can now send you alerts if breaking glass, smoke alarms or carbon monoxide alarms are detected while you’re away. If you have compatible smart lights from Ring or a ADT security system, Alexa Guard will also help you set away lighting and arm or disarm the system using voice commands.
Alexa Guard was first announced in September 2018. Over the past few months, the feature has been rolling out as an invite-only feature to select users. Today, it is available to all U.S. Echo users.
How to Set Up Alexa Guard
If you don’t have a security system (or you have a few security devices that you monitor yourself) then Alexa Guard empowers you to respond to household emergencies more easily. To set it up, open up the Alexa app, choose the Settings menu and then select Guard to begin the setup process.
Once you set it up, you’ll be able to say, “Alexa, I’m leaving,” to switch to away mode. Alexa will listen for glass breaks, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. If an event is detected, you’ll receive an alert from the Alexa app, where you can opt to play the detected sound or access the Echo remotely to hear what’s happening in real time. Say “Alexa, I’m home” to turn off away mode.
Use Alexa Guard to Set Away Lighting
If you have compatible smart lighting, Alexa Guard can turn your lights on to give the impression that you’re home, which is a well-known burglary deterrent. Alexa uses machine learning to choose the right lighting activity for away mode, but you can select which lights are included in the Guard settings of the Alexa app.
Integration with Ring and ADT Security Systems
If you have a Ring or ADT system you can use Guard to arm and disarm your system. Alexa will arm your system whenever you switch to away mode. You can also choose to set up automatic forwarding of alerts to ADT or to Ring Protect Plus, which gives the professional responders more enhanced coverage of your home.
It’s important to understand that on its own, Alexa Guard offers no monitoring or response service. At this point, you need to subscribe to a monitored home security service from ADT or Ring in order for Alexa to call emergency responders. While more home security providers may add this feature in the future, ADT is presently the only professionally installed home security provider that works with Alexa Guard. With a Ring system, you’ll have to install the system yourself as well as subscribe to Ring Protect Plus, its optional monitoring service.