Unfortunately, as of March 2021, Ring does not sell an official glass break sensor nor does it offer compatibility with other physical glass break sensors. You can, however, use Alexa Guard in the US to get notified if Alexa picks up the sound of broken glass.
For the electronics enthusiasts among you, you could also have a go at soldering a glass break sensor to a Ring contact sensor!
As home break-ins are becoming an increasing norm globally, it's a smart idea to equip yourself with a capable security system. Ring provides you an assortment of home security devices but sadly doesn't offer glass break sensors.
These can be great to have if you're leaving your home and would like to get security alerts when someone is trying to break into your house.
For Alexa users, you can now use Alexa Guard (only in the US region) to act as a wireless glass break sensor. If Alexa discerns the sound of glass breaking, it will immediately notify you so you can take proper action.
What is Alexa Guard?
Amazon is releasing new features every day for Alexa, and that now includes security. That means this virtual assistant can now act as your virtual security guard, hence the name – Alexa Guard.
Enabling Alexa Guard is pretty easy; all you need to do is go to your Amazon app and set it up. Then, when you're leaving your home, tell Alexa to initiate Guard Mode.
Alexa Guard is programmed to recognize specific sound patterns, and if it picks up anything suspicious, it immediately sends off security alerts to your phone.
One of the most convenient sounds it picks up is the sound of glass breaking; this helps if someone is breaking in through the windows.
Another cool feature is the ability to turn your light bulbs on and off randomly while you're away, so it looks like the house is occupied. This is possible only by connecting your light bulbs to Alexa, of course.
How do Ring and Alexa Guard work together?
We already know what Ring and Alexa can do separately; let us see what they can do together. As Ring doesn't have a glass break sensor currently in the works, your next best solution for optimum home security is your Echo device. Echo has released an Alexa Guard feature that acts as a guard for your home while you're away.
If you have an Echo device, you can easily set it up with your Ring security system. To do this, you must first add Ring as an Alexa device using the Alexa app; once you're done with this, enable Alexa Guard, also by accessing the app. These devices will then act in tandem to ensure your home is protected against dangers like unwanted guests and burglars.
Apart from detecting intruders, it can also send you alerts for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms if they ever go off. They also play a smart audio on your phone to listen to these alarms in real-time. This is so you can contact emergency hotlines for help to make sure you still have a home to get back to.
How to set up Ring glass break alerts with Alexa Guard?
Setting up Ring glass break alerts with Alexa Guard is not as hard as you might think. For starters, you need both a Ring security system and an Echo device for this to work. To begin, go to your Alexa app and add Ring as one of your Alexa devices; it is pretty straightforward from there on out. But if you're still confused, then here is a step-by-step guide on how do to do it:
- Start by launching the Alexa app.
- Go to the devices channel by clicking on the small icon on the lower right-hand corner.
- Now on the upper right-hand corner, you’ll see a + sign; click on it.
- This will allow you to add devices to your Alexa Devices.
- Now select “Security System” and then choose Ring.
And now that Ring is set up as an Alexa device, you can use your Alexa app, voice command, or even your Ring app to use Alexa Guard.
The downside of using Alexa as a glass break sensor solution
With all of its plus points, using Alexa as a glass break sensor solution is bound to have some negatives. Here are some of them.
The Alexa Guard Mode only works if you have an Alexa device in your house. If you don't, then your home is vulnerable and only partially secured.
The Alexa Guard Mode only works in “Away Mode.” That means you have to leave the house and activate Alexa Guard mode by either using one of the apps or voice command. You cannot do this while you're inside your home because it might detect your movements and start sending you non-stop security alerts.
Another downside is that if you set your Guard to Away Mode, your Ring alarm will also automatically set to Away Mode and vice versa. This is bad because if even one device switches off, then both won't work, and that means that neither will detect a security threat.
What are physical glass break sensors, and how do they work?
In contrast to sound detecting sensors like Alexa Guard, physical glass break sensors are motion detectors. They pick up on the actual physical motion of glass breaking or the energy around the action.
Physical glass break sensors are mainly activated when detecting gestures like vibration or shock, as they feel these movements more clearly during a break-in. It would be ideal to place at least one of these physical glass break sensors in each room to ensure your safety.
As for where to install them, the best location would be a wall or the ceiling, as these are the areas where it can pick up motion more easily.
Many physical glass break sensors are available in the market, each having unique features according to what might suit different homes.
How to solder a glass break sensor to a Ring contact sensor
This is for people who don't want to get an Alexa device and are looking for a reliable alternative. If you want a glass break sensor for your Ring security system, then follow these steps. But before we begin, it is noteworthy that you will need one contact sensor and one standard sensor for each of the windows you're looking to secure.
Here’s what you need:
- A Ring Contact Sensor, preferably 1st gen. This is because it’s much easier to access the magnetic switch in the 1st gen contact sensors than the 2nd gen ones.
- A vibration glass break detector, (e.g., by Interlogix).
You'll also need a soldering iron and some basic knowledge in soldering and electronics.
What to do:
- You need to open up your contact sensor and take out the magnetic switch from the sensor.
- Now, solder the glass break detector's wires onto the magnetic switch from the contact sensor.
- To finish off, place the newly-made sensor on the window. Then put the battery back in and cover it back up.
You can't leave the security of your home up to chance, which is why investing in security systems like Ring and Alexa Guard is a great idea. It is worth noting that the Alexa Guard feature is entirely free, provided you have an Alexa device at home. We recommend having at least one Echo device on each floor for maximum security.