It always seems like your Alexa can do everything- and Amazon certainly seems to encourage this notion.
However, how effectively can Alexa keep you safe?
Can it call 911?
Your Amazon Alexa does not natively allow you to call 911. However, you can enable emergency service functionality through a variety of Alexa skills available on the Amazon store or by connecting your device to a landline or mobile phone.
Is hooking your Alexa up to a phone complicated?
Does hooking your Alexa up to a phone mean that you can immediately dial 911?
What other ways can you access emergency services on your Alexa device?
Thankfully, we haven’t had to call 911 via our Alexa yet, but we believe that it’s better to be safe than sorry.
If you have your Alexa’s user manual or a small amount of technological know-how, you can easily enable emergency services on your Alexa! Read on to learn how.
Can Alexa Call 911?
The information on whether or not an Alexa can call 911 might seem conflicting.
Thankfully, you can sum it up like this:
Your Alexa cannot call 911 right out of the box due to regulatory restrictions.
However, there are several legal and easy methods you can use to call 911 without voiding your Alexa’s warranty.
Additionally, Alexa has other possible safety features, such as emergency contacts and the Alexa Guard.
How To Call 911 On Your Alexa
If you want to call 911 on your Alexa, you have three primary ways to do so.
Two of them involve using an existing phone line while the third involves using software already in your Alexa.
The three methods are as follows:
- Hook your mobile phone up to your Alexa
- Hook your Alexa up to a landline
- Use the Amazon shop to download skills
The user manual for your Alexa should provide an overview of these methods.
However, we will go more in-depth on how to accomplish them.
Use Your Phone’s Contact List
Arguably the most direct and easy method to call 911 via your Alexa is by utilizing the existing contact list in your phone.
This method is the one that we prefer for its sheer convenience.
Syncing your phone’s contact list is easy, but you must enact one crucial step first.
If you add 911 to your mobile phone’s contact list, Alexa can access it like any other contact.
Once you’ve added 911 to your contacts, use the following steps to sync your phone and Alexa:
- Open the Alexa app on your mobile phone.
- Tap the ‘Communicate’ tab. Note the speech bubble-shaped icon.
- Tap the icon button in the top right corner. This button may prompt you to allow access to your contacts- allow it.
- Tap the menu icon in the top right corner.
- Import contacts.
You’ve successfully imported your contacts! If you’ve done everything right, you can call 911 from your Alexa.
However, we do not recommend testing out the results unless you’re in an emergency- remember that false 911 calls can carry a heavy penalty.
Use An Echo Connect
The odds are high that you’ve never heard of an Echo Connect.
On the other hand, the odds are low that you might own one!
You could hook the Echo Connect up to your landline, which allowed Alexa connectivity as a speaker.
Simply plug your Echo Connect into your landline and add it as a device via your Alexa app.
Congratulations! You can now use your Alexa as if it were an extension of your landline.
Use Specialized Alexa Skills
You might be familiar with Alexa skills if you’ve had your Alexa for a while.
Alexa skills are additional programs that you can download into your device for anything from entertainment to utility.
There are no Alexa skills that can put you in touch with emergency services.
However, particular Alexa skills can put you in contact with somebody who can call for help.
How To Enable Alexa Guard
Alexa Guard is Amazon’s security feature.
After enabling Alexa Guard, it will listen for sounds such as breaking glass or the ring of alarms.
By default, Alexa Guard will not call 911 in an emergency.
However, by subscribing to Alexa Guard Plus for $4.99 per month, Guard Plus will call an Amazon Emergency Helpline representative who can, in turn, contact the relevant emergency services.
How To Set Up An Emergency Contact On Your Alexa
An emergency contact isn’t the police- however, it can be very useful to have one, especially for life-threatening emergencies.
For example, you might have an emergency contact in your medical records.
You can have a specialized emergency contact for your Alexa, as well.
Here’s how to set that up:
- Navigate back to the “Communicate” tab in your Alexa app.
- Tap the “Contacts” icon.
- Tap the three dots in the upper right.
- Select “Emergency Contact.”
- Select your emergency contact of choice.
Alexa will notify your choice of their new status.
Going forward, you can now request assistance by telling Alexa to call for help or to call your emergency contact.
Ultimately, you cannot directly call 911 via your Alexa.
If you want to call emergency services, you must either pay extra or have an existing cellular device.
However, that doesn’t mean that calling 911 is impossible! We greatly prefer the convenience of hooking up our phone’s contact list.
Regardless of which option you choose, you can feel secure with your Alexa.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How Can I Stop Alexa From Listening To Me?
Much of Alexa’s functionality originates from its always-on nature.
Alexa doesn’t listen to every word you say, per se, but it constantly monitors audio for a specific command or wake-up word.
However, that might be too much for you.
If you’re uncomfortable with your Alexa hearing anything you say, you can disable the device’s microphone by pressing the mute button.
The mute button on your Amazon Alexa may differ depending on the model.
On some, it may feature an icon of a microphone with a line through it, a hollow circle with a similar line, or a small switch on the edge of your device.
If you cannot locate your Alexa’s mute button on your own, the user manual should clearly outline its location.
However, you must be aware that muting your Alexa removes the ability to call 911, even if you’ve already set it up.
2. Can Police Listen In To Your Alexa?
Police can listen to your Alexa, but not necessarily when you call them.
If you’ve enabled emergency contacts on your 911, you can call emergency services as usual.
However, the odds are low that you can speak directly to a police offer.
However, police officers can still listen to audio from your Alexa.
If you are part of a criminal investigation, police might have the warrant to obtain audio recordings from your Alexa.
Ultimately, you might not need to call the police to have them listen to you!