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Alexa Guard – A complete guide on setting up

Amazon has started releasing the latest update for the Alexa Guard (Also known as Vacation Mode) to the Smart Home Alexa Device, this includes older generations such as the 2nd Generation Amazon Echo.

Alexa Guard automatically uses its onboard microphone to listen to specific sounds such as broken glass, smoke alarms & fire alarms.

Once this has been triggered you will receive a notification on your phone/tablet with the Amazon Echo app installed alerting you of the issue.

How do I enable Alexa Guard?

  • Open the Alexa app on your phone (This will need updating)
  • Tap the menu button on the top left.
  • Choose “Settings.”
  • Choose “Guard.”, press “Set up Guard.”
  • Press “Add” to detect smart smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in your home.
  • Press “Add” to activate smart alerts for detecting the sound of broken glass.
  • As an optional extra, you can Choose “Add” to activate smart lighting.
  • Enter your zip/post code based on your location, so smart lighting knows when to turn on.
  • Choose “Confirm.”
  • You WILL need to say “Alexa, I’m leaving” to activate Guard when you leave your home, however this may be better resolved by IFTTT (In the future) when it detects your mobile device not on the wifi.

Alexa Guard is free but still needs to be manually activated by you. It requires you to first speak “Alexa, I’m leaving” to activate Guard on your Echo and to force Alexa to begin listening for more than just the “Alexa” wake word.It requires you to first speak “Alexa, I’m leaving” to activate Guard on your Echo and to force Alexa to begin listening for more than just the “Alexa” wake word.

Which Echo Devices work with Alexa Guard?

As of the moment, these are the devices which work with Alexa Guard:

  • Amazon Echo
  • Amazon Echo Dot
  • Amazon Echo Plus
  • Amazon Echo Show
  • Amazon Echo Spot
  • Amazon Echo Input

How does Alexa Guard detect a break in?

Alexa Guard automatically listens for the sound of Breaking Glass which was recorded and trained via machine learning practices.

Alexa uses machine learning to determine the right lighting activity for your home based on lighting usage across customers.

Amazon Representative

Whilst many may see this as a breach of their own security, I feel like with the controversy behind “Amazon Key”, this in line with the camera they supply could bolster every budget Smart Home makers security, It appears that Amazon got in touch with CNBC who stated that they hired a licensed contractor to break various sizes and thicknesses of glass with various items to create a database of different triggers.

This team broke hundreds of different windows, in different sizes, including single pane and double pane, with a variety of instruments including crow bars, hammers, bricks, baseball bats, and more,

Amazon Representative to CNBC

How can Alexa Guard contact the my professional security service?

Alexa can be connected to use Ring Alarm and ADT pulse who can then disarm your security system by voice control.

This also allows Alexa to forward all audio recordings to your security service of choice so they can determine whether this is a casual glass being dropped or an actual break in!

This does however vary from security provider to security provider, so it isn’t a 100% guarantee and we would definitely suggest installing a small security camera / surveillance system such as Blink X, Nest Cam or Arlo Pro.

Remember to check out our other blog posts on Smart Home Security.

Can Alexa Guard contact emergency services?

This is not currently a feature Amazon has decided to implement unfortunately, it is expected for you to check your tools available and contact the emergency services if you see fit.

However if you do have a professional security service they may be able to handle this for you.

How does Alexa Guard detect a fire / smoke alarm?

If an Echo hears a window break, it can send you an alert to your phone along with a live video feed if you have an Echo with a camera on it, like the Echo Show.

An alert includes a 10-second audio recording of the glass breaking and anything else the Echo heard, but it otherwise doesn’t listen unless you speak Alexa again.

Does Alexa Guard work without the internet or power?

Simply put, no. There is no current official battery powered method of doing this, there are alternative methods such as the Gocybei Battery Base which we highly recommend for 1st and 2nd Generation Echo’s.

If the internet or your power does cut out, once this is back it will be fine however it will have cancelled your trigger for “Alexa, I’m Leaving”. So this would need to be run again (Even if this is redundant).

A solution to this would be an Arduino board which is setup with a speaker to automatically talk to Alexa when you’re out and set all the commands back up, although this is extreme!

What about Alexa Guard Dog?

You may have heard of an Alexa Skill called Guard Dog which detects your home with the use of Dog Bark noises, these range from a Rottweiler, Pitbull, Doberman, German Sheppard, Great Dane & Chihuahua.

My suggestion here is to avoid apps like this entirely, the built-in Alexa Guard tool does the job much better than any of these third-party tools.

Does Alexa Guard work with Sonos?

As of writing this, there is no feature built into Sonos which allows you to use Alexa Guard with the Speaker. In this case, keep your Alexa device near your door to turn on Alexa Guard with ease.

Is Alexa guard available in UK?

As of writing this, it’s still not out in the UK. There is no ETA on the release and it seems like it’s not been a priority for Amazon to release this.

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