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Making Sure Your Alarm System Works When You Need It

Alarm systems are a critical addition to any home or business, and bring peace of mind to those who live, work, and own the building. However, knowing exactly how your alarm system works will improve its effectiveness two-fold. A clever burglar who knows more about your system than you do can take advantage of glitches that could end up costing thousands of dollars of theft and damage. According to most alarm companies, the number one reason alarm systems fail is because the back-up alarm battery fails.

Prolonged Power Outages Can Disable the System

Most alarm system owners are aware that their systems runs off of electricity, either plugged into an outlet or hard-wired into the building. The problem with this is that if the electricity goes out, a breaker flips, or the plug comes loose, the alarm system loses its main source of power. Most alarm system owners also are aware that if the electricity fails, their system is backed up with an alarm battery. However, what most system alarm system owners are not aware of is that alarm batteries do not have a very long life, and they need to be maintained periodically to work at all. An old, worn out alarm battery, or one that just is not hooked up right, will not power the system.

A burglar may take advantage of this, especially in the case of a prolonged power outage caused by a blizzard, flood, hurricane, tornado, or construction. Keep in mind, after 12 hours of continuous use in most residential and business systems, the battery is dead.

The best way to combat this issue is to maintain your alarm system backup battery properly. Test, and change them as needed. For sealed lead acid (SLA) batteries, change them every three to four years.

Before beginning the system battery replacement process, be sure the battery needs to be replaced. If you’ve experienced a recent power outage, the battery may simply need time to recharge.

If the system battery has been charging for 48 hours and is still showing a low battery alert, it is time for a quality replacement. It also a good idea, to have on hand two back-up batteries, in stock, on-site. A good rule of thumb is that for every zone unit in your building in the event of prolong outages.

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