What to Know for Power Outages During the Storm Season

Thursday, 28 March 2019 13:13

Storm season can bring some incredibly intense situations: emergencies, power outages, and even injuries. How can your security system help you through it? For that matter, will your security system still function during a power outage? Here's what you need to know about your security system, how long it operates on battery, and how to use it in an emergency.

Will My Security Systems Operate During a Power Outage?

Let's talk about power outages first. You need to know your security system will still operate in all conditions. A security system uses a backup battery. This battery isn't used during normal, everyday operation. It's only for emergency power loss. When the power goes out, your system will still work.

How Can I See the Battery Level?

That battery will keep your security system working, but it's not meant for long-term use. After about 24 hours, most batteries will run out. You can tell the state of your battery on your control panel. It will display how much life the battery has left. If the power's been out for a while and your battery life is low, expect that your system won't last more than a few hours more.

How Is the Battery Recharged?

How do you recharge the battery? Most newer batteries are automatic. When the power comes back on, the battery will start to recharge itself back up to full. You can always find the battery life on your panel, so you should be able to see it go back up toward full within a few hours.

Older batteries may not recharge or may be slow to recharge. If you don't see it recharged the next day, it's a good time to call your security system provider and tell them you think your battery might need replacement.

How Often Should Batteries Be Replaced?

You don't want to be caught without power with a security system battery that should have been replaced years ago. All batteries degrade, lose capacity, and become less effective over time. Regular replacement helps avoid this and ensures your security system is able to work off a good battery at any moment.

Your battery should be regularly replaced every four years. It doesn't matter if the battery still works fine at the end of four years or if it hasn't been used. You'll still need a new battery. Security service companies do a lot of work on reducing risk and have determined that a new battery every four years avoids drop-offs in performance and reliability.

Remember Basic Storm Season Rules

When the power's out, it's often because there's a downed power line. In the wind and rain, it can be very difficult to see very far. The best course of action is to notify your power company and stay inside if it's safe to do so. Do NOT try to investigate the problem yourself or go out searching for where the downed power line might be.

Think about it this way. People have died from getting shocked by a single household appliance. Power lines carry enough electrical current to power hundreds of households containing thousands of appliances. When a power line is down, it doesn't fly around and create visible arcs of electricity like in the movies. It will just be a black line on the ground, and the fatal electrical current it carries will be invisible.

That electrical current carries easily through water, and a storm coats the ground in water. This is how a downed power line can make a radius of 20 meters around it dangerous in a storm. Stay back at least 60 feet, preferably more and avoid puddles if you suspect a downed power line.

Using Your Security Service In a Storm

When the power's out and your security service is on battery, it still acts just like normal. If there's a health emergency, press the button for health emergencies. If there's a fire, you should have a button for that. If you don't remember those specifics, they're easy to figure out. You can refer to your owner's manual or simply call customer service for your security service provider. Walking you through your security service is quick and easy, and it's always best to know all the extra capabilities your service gives you.

Never worry about one person pressing a security button and another calling emergency services themselves. It's better to make notification redundant than risk two people each thinking the other already handled it. Emergency services often get multiple calls in about all types of emergency and are experienced at determining how one event triggers multiple notifications. A security service will give you a call back right away while alerting the proper services.

In Review

Remember, a battery should last you up to 24 hours of security service operation without power. You can see the battery level on the security panel. Most new batteries will recharge once the power comes back on, and they should be replaced every four years.

The security service operates as normal while running on battery. Remember to stay safe and inside when the power's out, and stay away from areas where you suspect a downed power line. Make sure you know how your security panel operates and how to access and use all the services your provider gives you. For more information about security systems, whether existing or have a new one installed, contact Integrity Security in North Wilkesboro, NC.