How to set up and use Alexa Guard

Alexa isn't just good for answering your questions and turning on your lights; it can now help you keep your home safe.

Credit: Amazon

(Image credit: Amazon)

Amazon has finally begun rolling out a feature called "Alexa Guard" that acts as a virtual watchdog while you're not home. Once you've set up and enabled the feature, Alexa will send you notifications (Amazon calls them smart alerts) if it hears a smoke or carbon-monoxide alarm go off, or if it hears glass breaking. You can listen to an audio clip of the intrusion, and can drop into your Echo remotely to listen to what's going on.

MORE: Best Self-Installed Home Security Systems

Alexa can also turn your connected smart lights, plugs and switches on and off to make it look like you're home, in a mode called "Away Lighting."

And if you already use a Ring or ADT home-security system, Alexa can now complement that in a few ways. You can opt to have smart alerts sent to your security provider if you use Ring or ADT Pulse. Additionally, you'll be able to arm your system using Alexa if you use Ring, ADT Pulse or ADT Control.

Alexa Guard is free for all Echo owners in the U.S. Here's how to get it set up.

How To Use Alexa Guard

1. Open your Alexa app. Select "Devices" in the bottom right corner.

2. You'll see a notification about Alexa Guard. Tap "Learn More."

3. Click "Set Up Guard."

4. Press "Add" if you want to connect Guard to smoke and carbon-dioxide detectors. Otherwise, press "Later."

5. Press "Add" to set up glass-breaking smart alerts. Otherwise, press "Later."

6. Press "Add" to set up Away Lighting. Otherwise, press "Later."

7. Press "Add" to connect a Ring security system. Otherwise, press "Later."

8. Press "Confirm" to finish setting up Guard.

9. Say "Alexa, I'm leaving" to activate Alexa Guard and all the features you've set up. When you get back, say "Alexa, I'm home" to turn it off.

Monica Chin is a writer at The Verge, covering computers. Previously, she was a staff writer for Tom's Guide, where she wrote about everything from artificial intelligence to social media and the internet of things to. She had a particular focus on smart home, reviewing multiple devices. In her downtime, you can usually find her at poetry slams, attempting to exercise, or yelling at people on Twitter.