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 in their house.
The couple had set up the free Alexa Guard feature on their Amazon Echo, which can detect sounds like a smoke alarm or glass breaking. Without it, they say, their five-month-old French bulldog Cooper never would have made it out of the fire alive.
At first, the couple said they were confused when they received the Smart Alert. "We look at each other puzzled," said Kathy. "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, which allowed them to hear what was happening in their home in real time. Their hearts began to race. "You could hear things crackling and popping, and the smoke alarm was going off like crazy," Jonathan said.
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 said. "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 said. "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 said. "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 had they arrived even a few minutes later. Jonathan later recalled, "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.'"
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.
Once you set Guard to Away mode, if an Echo device detects the sound of a smoke alarm, a carbon monoxide detector, or glass breaking, Alexa can send a Smart Alert notification to your phone. You can drop in on the Echo device that detected the sound to listen to what's happening in real time, just like Jonathan and Kathy did.
You can also link Alexa Guard to your Ring Alarm so that when you set Guard to Away mode, Alexa can arm your Ring Alarm as well. This also makes it easy to access 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 Ring Protect Plus.*
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 Alexa and Ring 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 said of Alexa Guard and Ring Security Cameras. "It gets the Cooper five-star seal of approval."
If you have a story of how you and your loved ones are using Alexa to help keep your home safe, we'd love to hear it. Send us a note—you can email us, or tag us on Twitter or Instagram @alexa99 or #AlexaStories.
*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.