What is Alexa Guard

Alexa Guard is a free feature you can use with your smart speaker. Learn how it can boost your home safety, what it can do, and how to set it up.

What does Alexa Guard do?

Alexa Guard is a free home security feature you can activate in your Alexa-compatible smart speaker or smart display device, like Echo Show. When you enable Alexa Guard, your Amazon Echo device listens for suspicious sounds when you’re asleep, away from home, or any time you want some extra protection.

If it detects something out of the ordinary, Alexa will notify you so you can check in and take the appropriate action to keep your home safe. Guard listens for things like glass breaking or your smoke/carbon monoxide alarms going off.

Alexa Guard sends notifications to your phone. But you can also receive smart alerts through your home security system if you have a system like Ring Alarm, ADT, or Scout Alarm that works with Alexa Guard.

Rundown of Alexa Guard capabilities 

  • Listen: When you set Alexa Guard to Away mode, your Echo device will listen for sounds like the smoke detector, the carbon monoxide alarm, or breaking glass.
  • Send smart alerts: When Alexa picks up one of the sounds it’s listening for, you’ll get a smart alert with a clip of the sound. Alerts go to your smartphone through the Alexa app, and you can listen to the clip or “Drop In” on your Amazon Echo speaker to remotely listen to what’s going on.
  • Control smart lights: If it detects a sound, Alexa can automatically turn your smart lights on or off to make it seem like someone’s at home.
  • Work with your security system: Alexa Guard currently integrates with home security systems from ADT and Ring Alarm. This adds an extra layer of protection because Alexa can automatically arm your system when there's sound.

Check out the Alexa Guard Plus section below to see what additional features are available if you upgrade to a paid subscription.

What is Alexa Guard Plus?

Alexa Guard Plus is a paid subscription (about $4.99 a month) that adds more security features to Alexa Guard:

  • Alexa Emergency Helpline allows you to speak with Amazon agents, who can call emergency responders for you when you say, "Alexa, call for help."
  • Additional smart alerts can identify a variety of activities based on their sounds in your home (like footsteps, people talking, or a door closing).
  • Sound deterrents (like dogs barking or a siren) that play when there's activity or motion inside your home to scare away intruders.

While Alexa Guard Plus is not a home security system, it's a great way to supplement an existing system. Guard Plus currently supports three systems: Ring Alarm, ADT, and Scout Alarm. It will eventually support Abode, Resideo, A3 Smart Home, and Wyze systems.

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Ring Alarm subscribers get Alexa Guard Plus for free

Because Ring is an Amazon-owned company, its Ring Protect Plus professional monitoring plan includes Alexa Guard Plus at no extra cost.

How do I activate Alexa Guard?

Setting up Alexa Guard is surprisingly easy.

  1. Open your Alexa app.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Scroll down and select Guard.
  4. Select Set up Guard at the bottom of the screen.
  5. Use the guided navigation to select the smart alerts you want (smoke and carbon monoxide alarm sounds, glass breaking, away lighting).
  6. Add your zip code if you select away lighting alerts. Guard uses sunset and sunrise times where you live to provide accurate smart light assistance.
  7. Confirm your selections.

How to use Alexa Guard

Alexa Guard menu in Alexa app

After you set up Alexa Guard in your Alexa app, all you have to do is say, “Alexa, I’m leaving,” and Guard will switch to Away mode.

To deactivate Alexa Guard, you simply say, “Alexa, I’m home.” That will change your Guard mode to Home.

If you’re not near your Alexa device and want to activate or turn off Alexa Guard, you can use the Alexa app. Go to the Guard section of the app and select the mode you want.

How do I know Alexa Guard is working?

If you have an Amazon Echo smart speaker without a display, the light ring on your Echo will show a rotating white light.

If you have an Echo with a display, like Amazon Echo Show, your device will show a shield icon on its home screen.

Either the rotating white light or the shield will remain active as long as Alexa Guard mode is in the Away setting.

Rebecca Edwards
Written by
Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past eight. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month poring over crime reports and spotting trends. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her expert advice and analysis in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, NPR, HGTV, MSN, Reader's Digest, Real Simple, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips.