Orlando couple Jonathan and Kathy weren’t home when Jonathan received a Smart Alert mobile notification from Alexa warning him that the smoke detector was going off at their house.
The couple had set up the free Alexa Guard feature on their Amazon Echo that can detect the sounds of a smoke alarm, glass breaking, and more when you're away from home. And without it, they say, their 5-month old French bulldog Cooper never would have made it out alive.
At first the couple was confused when they received that Smart Alert, Kathy says: “We look at each other puzzled, and we're like, ‘That can't be true—we're not home, there's nothing on—there’s no way.’”
Using the Alexa App, they dropped in on their Echo device that detected the sound to hear what was happening in real time — and their hearts sank. “You could hear things crackling and popping, and the smoke alarm was going off like crazy,” Jonathan says.
All they could think of was little Cooper. Jonathan immediately rushed home, and Kathy opened her Ring App to check Live View from their Ring Video Doorbell and Floodlight Cam located over the garage. “I was able to see smoke actually billowing out of the garage,” she says. “And I'm like, ‘Oh my gosh! I have to call 911.’ Now I have visual confirmation. My house is on fire.”
Just 14 minutes after Jonathan received that Smart Alert, he ran into the house, desperate to find Cooper.
“Upon rolling into the neighborhood, it was very smoky,” Jonathan says. “I pulled up into the driveway, opened the garage, and smoke just started billowing out. I went into our house and more black smoke poured out. It was so thick you couldn't see six inches in front of your face. The only thing I could think of was Cooper.”
Luckily, Cooper was in his puppy playpen area not far from the door, so Jonathan was able to retrieve him safely. “Immediate sigh of relief,” Jonathan says. “I don't know what I would have done had I gone inside and he wasn’t alive. He’s literally our child. He is our baby.”
The fire department arrived soon afterward and extinguished the flames from what they determined to be a kitchen fire. The battalion chief told Kathy and Jonathan the fire would have caused much more damage if they had arrived only a few minutes later. “The person who was looking into the fire and its point of origin said, ‘You're lucky you got there when you did because every 30 seconds a structure fire doubles in size. One minute, two minutes, three minutes, it could have been that much worse,’” says Jonathan.
Add the Power of Alexa to Your Ring of Security
Guard is a free Alexa feature for compatible Amazon Echo devices that can help you keep your home safe.
When you set Guard to Away Mode, if an Echo device detects the sound of a smoke alarm, carbon monoxide alarm or glass breaking, she can send a Smart Alert notification to your phone. You can Drop In on the Echo device that has detected the sound to listen to what’s happening in real time, like Jonathan and Kathy did.
You can also link Alexa Guard to your Ring Alarm, so that when you set Guard to Away mode when leaving your home, Alexa can arm your Ring Alarm as well. And you can get quick access to the Ring App when you receive a Smart Alert from Alexa for a detected sound. From the Ring App, you can activate the siren on your Ring Alarm or request dispatch of emergency responders — such as police, the fire department, or an ambulance — if you have professional monitoring with a Ring Protect subscription.*
It’s quick and easy to link your Ring Alarm to Alexa and set up Guard. Just follow these step-by-step instructions.
Putting technology like Ring and Alexa to work is like having a smart, connected support team that’s always ready to help keep your home and your loved ones safe—including the furry members of the family.
“Cooper recommends it too!” Kathy says of Alexa Guard and Ring Security Cameras. “It gets the Cooper five-star seal of approval.”
*Ring Alarm professional monitoring service is available only within the U.S. (all 50 states, but not any U.S. territories) and in Canada (excluding Quebec). Ring does not own its own professional monitoring center but works with a leader in the industry to provide this service. Professional monitoring licenses are available at: ring.com/licenses.