When the power is out, it could take your alarm and other security features down with it. Here are some tips to keeping safe when you've got no power. First things first - make sure the battery for your alarm system is in good working order before Eskom flips the switch. As a rule of thumb, your alarms' backup battery will power the system for eight hours, says Stefan Oberholtzer, group managing director of Chubb Fire and Security. However, this is dependent on a number of factors such as how many devices are linked to the panel, the age of the battery, how many power failures or power spikes are experienced in the area (these tend to deteriorate the lifetime of the battery). "Check your security service provider has installed your alarm via the telephone line - this is vitally important," Oberholtzer said. If your alarm system is connected via the telephone line, you will be informed if your alarm system is experiencing a low battery. In the event of your alarm system only being linked via a radio signal, your security company will not receive a low battery signal.
'We cannot stress strongly enough to clients to have their alarm systems serviced on an annual basis'
"In addition, we cannot stress strongly enough to clients to have their alarm systems serviced on an annual basis and the battery checked at the same time," Oberholtzer says.
He also reminded clients to test their alarms at least once a month.
Before to testing your alarm system, you should:
- Contact your security company and inform them that you are testing your alarm system.
- Confirm with that they have received your alarm signal.
- Finally, confirm with the company that your alarm system is off testing mode.
- It is recommended to test your alarm between 09:00 and 15:00 on weekdays.
Some more tips to keeping safe during power outages:
1. Purchase an additional battery that can be attached to your alarm -- this will ensure additional battery back-up time.
2. Install battery operated lights at strategic points in your home -these are connected to the main electricity supply and automatically switch on during a power failure. These lights are particularly handy in the evenings and are a lot safer than candles.
3. Keep a torch in your car should you arrive home in the dark and need to manually open your perimeter security gate.
4. However it is advisable to have a backup battery attached to your perimeter gate in the event of a lengthy power failure.
5. If you have a pedestrian gate to access your property, make sure you have the gate key in your car. Ensure a spare key is kept in all your motor vehicles.
6. Be vigilant at all times, especially at night and there is a power outage in your area.
7. Ensure you have the number of your security provider programmed into speed dial on your cell phone.
8. Call your security company immediately if you have accidentally set off your alarm system.