Smart home devices like the Amazon Echo smart speakers, smart lights, and HVAC system are all cool fixtures for improving our smart home experience and automating some of our daily tasks around the house.
But why can’t we use this same combination of smart devices to help protect your home? That’s what Amazon thought when it launched the Guard feature on Alexa and Amazon Echo Devices.
And while it is not comparable with a proper home security system or the Nest system. It aims at bringing a level of protection or security to your home, with the main requirement being An Amazon Echo smart speaker or smart display, a fire or carbon monoxide alarm, and some smart lights.
This feature is well suited for people with essential smart home setups or those who can’t afford a proper home security system. So in this post, we will be looking at the Amazon Alexa Guard feature and how to activate it on your Amazon Echo devices.
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What is Alexa Guard And How Does It Works:
In May 2019, Amazon started rolling out a free smart home security feature called Alexa Guard. Its response to smart home security with the most basic requirements, which are your good old Echo smart speakers and displays, smart smoke detector, and your smart lights.
So how does it work if you may ask? Once activated, Alexa Guard goes into away mode. Which utilizes the far-field microphone array in your Echo speaker or smart displays to listen for sounds like CO and fire alarms, breaking windows, and loud suspicious noises around your home, and the Echo device has been trained to recognize distinct sounds.
When the alarm is triggered, Alexa will send you an alert to your smartphone notifying you of the danger at your home, if you have your smart lights or smart switches linked Alexa will turn on and off some room lights to simulate people in the house. If you have smart security cameras( Like Wyze cams or Arlo Cams) or video doorbells(Ring video doorbell or Eufy video doorbell) around your home, you can log in to check if a real or a false alert, which should save you a lot of time and stress.
Linking it with smart home security systems like Ring Protect Plus or ADT Security plan, you can have Alexa automatically send a notification to first responders, just in case you are nowhere close to your house. And while the two security systems work almost the same way, with the Ring protect plus, Alexa sends alerts to the first responders close to your proximity. For ADT, Alexa sends the alerts directly to the ADT Emergency service. An Emergency team will help rush to your home.
Another popular alternative to the Alexa Guard security system is the Google Nest protect, which uses various nest smart devices to protect you home. And since this post is not a comparison between the two systems (calm down Google fans), the Alexa Guards falls short on a key feature the Nest possesses. This is the ability to turn off your home HVAC or Vent system to prevent the smoke and fire from spreading to other rooms in your home. You can still activate the feature with Alexa, but you will need to create a routine.
Talking about routines, Amazon later added the Alexa guard feature to its routines, which was not available at release. With this, you can create routines for your Alexa guard like activating the guard feature around 7 pm when you are going to work and arming the Guard feature at 8 pm when you are going to bed. As well as shutting off your HVAC system when the alarms get triggered, or why not automatically opening your smart locks if you need to get out quickly. So you are free to go wild here, as the saying goes, you can’t be too safe.
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Here is the list of Amazon Echo devices that works with the Alexa Guard feature and there include:
- Amazon Echo
- Amazon Echo Dot and Echo Dot with Clock
- Amazon Echo Plus
- Amazon Echo Input
- Amazon Echo Show (2nd gen), 5 and 8
- Amazon Spot
- Amazon Echo Flex
How To Activate / Setup The Alexa Guard Feature On Your Echo Speakers:
Now let’s address the Elephant in the room by activating the Alexa Feature on your Echo Smart Speakers.
- To activate the Alexa Guard feature, open your Alexa app.
- At the top left corner, tap the three dashed lines to reveal the menu.
- Tap on the settings tab.
- On the settings page, scroll down to the Alexa Preferences section and tap Guard.
- A pop-up page will appear, tap on the Set Up Guard button.
- You will then be taken to the options page where you select the features you want Alexa Guard to work with.
- You have the smoke and carbon dioxide alarms, breaking glass and away lighting.
- I will advise that you activate all three systems to help protect your home from hazards and intruders.
- Now, confirm your selections.
- On you, Alexa Guard dashboard navigate the settings and add your home smart lights and security system like the Ring protect or ADT.
- Congrats, you are done with the setup process.
- To activate the Alexa Guard, say, “Alexa, I am leaving.”
- And to deactivate say “Alexa, I am Home,” and the system will be disarmed.
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