Did you know you can use your Amazon Alexa device in an emergency? Plus, I got a detailed look at Amazon’s little-known security software that protects your home from intruders and helps you call emergency hotlines without picking up the phone.
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Set up your Alexa for emergencies
If you own an Alexa device, you know how convenient it can make life, despite the obvious privacy concerns of having a microphone turned on in your home. You can ask simple questions or look up quick information without moving your hands. Now I’m here to help you use handy tech to your advantage and set up your Alexa so you can use the device in an emergency.
Can you call 911 with Alexa?
Alexa-enabled devices don’t allow you to call 911 directly. However, I have found some solutions for quickly calling for help using Alexa.
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Set up emergency contacts
For your own safety, the first step you should take is to create a emergency contact on your Alexa. It’s super easy to do, and if you set up an emergency contact, your Alexa device will contact that person via message and phone call so they can help you directly or call emergency services.
Open your Alexa app on your smartphone Tap comminicateIn the upper right corner, tap the icon that looks like a person or two silhouettes – that’s your contacts then tap the three vertical dots for more menu settings tap emergency contacttap select a contactSearch or scroll until you find the contact you want to add as an emergency contact Underneath their contacts select the phone number you want to use – preferably a mobile number rather than a landline so they can receive calls and messages Tap Next then click completeIf you need to reach your emergency contacts, use one of the following phrases: “Alexa…”: – “Call for help.” – “Call my emergency contacts.” – “Call my contacts for help .” – “Call my help contact.” – “Help.” – “I need help.”
Pro tip: Make sure you don’t have anyone in your contacts with the name or word “help” because your Alexa might try to reach them.
Alexa Together is a subscription service that helps you care for loved ones remotely. If the person you want to support has an Alexa Echo device and an Amazon account, you can set up an Alexa Together subscription for them.
The best feature Alexa Together offers is 24/7 emergency response. They have agents on call at all times to help your loved one get help. While this subscription does come with a monthly fee, it’s worth it for the peace of mind of family members who don’t live close together.
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Other features offered by Alexa Together:
Custom Reminders Know when your loved one first interacts with Alexa, and if they don’t interact with Alexa on a given day, set a reminder for them so you know what they’re up to Remote Assistance Set reminders on their devices , so they can get reminders, link music services to their account, manage shopping lists, and more Create Support Circles While you can only support one user together via Alexa, you can add up to 10 other family members or friend circle of support so you know someone is always there to help
Alexa Together offers a 30-day free trial and costs $19.99 per month (tax included) after the free trial ends.
Amazon also offers something called Alexa Guard, which lets you call emergency help, get alerts about your home when you’re not there, and give you an extra layer of security by keeping unwanted visitors at bay.
There’s a free version of Alexa Guard, but it doesn’t offer nearly as many security features as the Plus version. If you have Alexa Guard Plus, you have 24/7 access to Alexa’s emergency line, which will help contact emergency services should the need arise.
Other features include:
Smart Alerts Your Alexa can detect certain sounds and alert you when they are potentially dangerous.You can receive alerts for smoke or carbon monoxide detectors going off, footsteps, glass breaking, or doors slamming to stop uninvited guests You can set Alexa to turn lights on and off when you’re not home as if someone was there, and if motion is detected , play a barking dog sound when you’re not home, or sound an alarm when indoor motion is detected
Alexa Guard offers a free trial, or $4.99 a month if you subscribe to a monthly plan, or $49 for a full year.
How do I set up Alexa Guard and Alexa Guard Plus?
In order to set it up, do the following:
1) Open the Amazon Alexa app. (Make sure you have the latest version of the app and your Echo software is up to date)
2) Click the “More” button in the lower right corner
3) Click Settings > Scroll down to Guard and click “Set Guard”
4) You can “add”:
Smart devices, including smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors Smart alerts when you hear glass shattering Smart lighting (Alexa turns on connected lights when you set them to Away mode
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5) You can get advanced Alexa Guard Plus by clicking the settings gear icon in the upper right corner. You’ll notice the features you can activate, including “Dog Barking Sounds”, “Activity Sounds with Siren”, “Emergency Helpline”.
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