In the Dark about Power Outtages?

Security systems have standby batteries for power outages

Security systems have standby batteries for power outagesHow does a power outage affect my alarm system?

If the power goes out, will my home security alarm system still work?
Can the burglar cut power to my house and then break in?

Most home security alarm systems have a standby battery that is intended to keep the alarm system running during a power outage or blackout.  Alarm manufacturers tend to say that you will get about 8 hours of normal alarm operation on an average alarm system.  With that said, there are a number of factors that will affect the amount of standby time your security system will last.  The alarm system doesn’t know if the power outage is due to an electrical grid failure, breakin attempt, or  the alarm transformer being knocked out of the plug, so you should be covered during these events, at least for a while.  I’ve seen standby times range from a couple of hours to a couple of days.

First, how big is your system?  The more devices you have, the more power is required.  The biggest power hogs are sirens & strobes, fancy keypads, and alternate communications like cellular and radio transmitters.  Most of the protective sensors like doors, windows, motions & smokes don’t draw a substantial amount, and won’t hurt your standby time substantially.

Second, how old is your standby battery?  Have you replaced it recently?  Did you know that the standby battery usually has a shelf life of about 3 years?  Has yours been replace within that time?  Does your alarm panel warn you that the battery needs to be replaced; not all do!

Third, if your alarm activates during the outage, if the panel is reporting alarms, it uses more power.  If the panel is ringing sirens and flashing strobes, then your battery will be depleted MUCH FASTER!

Fourth, how does your panel communicate to the monitoring station?  Land line based phones may go down during a blackout, but generally are powered by the phone company, and may still function.  Internet based communication will almost assuredly be out during an outage.  Cell based communication, maybe, maybe not.

Call your alarm company as ask questions about how your system should function during power outages.  Ask if the communication with the monitoring station will work.  If you haven’t changed your alarm battery recently, do it.

Finally, if you live in Hawaii, and want information about the systems that Aloha Alarm provides, feel free to call us at 808-488-4111.  We are always available to help you.

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