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Learn about the differences between a Security Heads-Up and a Security Alarm

A Heads-Up is a spoken alert that will let you know what’s happening with Google Nest Secure. A Security Alarm is a loud siren that sounds when your system is armed and it detects a possible intruder

You don’t want your security system to sound the alarm as soon as you open the door. So we designed Nest Secure to first give you a Heads-Up to let you know you need to disarm it. This can give you some time to come in and put down your things first.

Security Heads-Up alert

If you haven’t disarmed Nest Secure with the Nest app before you enter your home, Google Nest Guard will chime and the light ring will turn yellow. It will speak a friendly Heads-up message that asks you to enter your passcode. You can enter your passcode on Guard, hold your Google Nest Tag on Guard, or the app to disarm.

Guard’s light ring will act as a visual timer and show you how much disarming time you have left. When there’s only ten seconds left, Guard will say, “The alarm will sound in ten seconds.”

How to change how long you have to disarm Nest Secure >

Security Alarm

A Security Alarm is just that - an alarm that sounds when the system is armed and it senses that a door or window has been opened, or there’s motion inside your home. When Nest Guard sounds the alarm, the light ring turns red. It will also say “Security alert” and let you know what caused the alarm and the location.

For instance, it might say, “The front door was opened.” Everyone who shares access to your home with the Nest app will get a notification on their phone. Emergency services will not be automatically contacted in the event of an alarm. For more details, see the following article:

Learn more about what happens when a Security Alarm sounds >

When you'll get a Heads-Up alert or Alarm

Whether or not you get a Heads-Up before a Security alarm depends on which security level it’s set to. The table below summarizes the basic conditions for everyday situations.

Learn more about Nest Secure modes >





What happened

home and guarding

Home and Guarding

Away and guarding

Away and Guarding

Google Nest Detect senses the door opened

Heads-Up alert

If not disarmed before time expires, Security Alarm sounds.

Heads-Up alert

If not disarmed before time expires, Security Alarm sounds.

Detect senses the window opened

Heads-Up alert

If not disarmed before time expires, Security Alarm sounds.

Alarm sounds

The alarm immediately sounds

Detect or Guard sense motion

Alarm won’t sound

Motion isn’t monitored in Home and Guarding mode.

Heads-Up alert motion

If not disarmed before time expires, Security Alarm sounds.

Detect’s button is pressed

Alarm won’t sound

Press to open a door or window with Quiet Open, or use a long press to check the Detect’s status.

Alarm sounds

The alarm immediately sounds.

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