A guide to Alexa Guard: How to enable it on your Echo, and how to use it

How to set up alarm detection and Away Lighting

How to enable and use Alexa Guard
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Announced last October, Amazon's Alexa Guard feature has finally arrived in the US, turning Echo speakers across the country into loyal watchdogs.

When enabled, Guard has the Echo listen out for sounds of breaking glass or smoke/CO2 alarms, and will notify you if it detects anything. It can also be used to simulate someone being in your home when you're away, to scare off any chancing burglars.

It's a pretty great feature, one that can essentially turn your existing smoke alarms into smart ones, while also doing the job of other home security devices.

Guard is limited to certain Echo speakers, but the good news is that most of them are supported: all generations of the Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show and Echo Plus; the Echo Spot and the Echo Input.

A guide to Alexa Guard: How to get it on your Echo, and how to use it

How to set up Alexa Guard

1. Open the Alexa app.
2. Tap the menu (three bars in the top left).
3. Go to Settings.
4. Scroll down and select Guard.

From here you'll be asked what tasks you'd like Guard to perform. You don't have to have all of them on, so if you already have a decent smart smoke alarm just want to have Alexa listen out for glass breakages, that's fine.

Should Alexa detect an alarm, you'll get a notification and a 10-second audio clip saved in the app, so you can listen in on the noise. Just tap the Drop In On Echo button in the Guard notification stream to hear it.

If you choose to enable Away Lighting, you'll need to enter your zip code. This is so Alexa knows when it's getting dark in your area and can start controlling the lights.

How to enable and disable Alexa Guard

Once you're all set up, there are two ways to control Guard. If you're leaving the house, you can say, “Alexa, I’m leaving” and it will enable Guard mode for you. When you get back, just say, “Alexa, I’m home”.

Alternatively, head back into the Guard settings and tap the green button that says Home at the top of the page. It will switch to Away mode. Tap it again to switch back.

A guide to Alexa Guard: How to get it on your Echo, and how to use it

How to use and adjust Away Lighting

While you'll enable Away Lighting using the method above, you can change which lights Alexa controls here. To do so, head back into Guard under Settings. Then hit the cog icon at the top right of the screen.

Scroll down to Away Lighting to toggle the feature on and off. You can also tap on Lights and then select which lights you'd like Alexa to control when you're out.

More Amazon Alexa explainers

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