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Will My Alarm System Work in a Power Outage?

backup batterySince we’ve been talking about hurricanes it’s natural to wonder whether or not your monitored home alarm system is prepared to work in a power outage. After all, you want just as much burglary and fire protection, even when the lights are off.

And even if we don’t have a hurricane, we could still see some outages thanks to summer thunderstorms.

Fortunately, every alarm system contains a back-up battery. During a power outage these batteries will take over.

How long will the battery power the alarm system?

The industry minimum is 4 to 8 hours. We’ve seen them last a lot longer than that.

Usually a back-up battery can power your alarm system for several days before it runs out of steam. If you’re truly worried about a long outage you could even buy some replacement batteries.

But it’s hard to give a definitive answer to this question. It can depend on how old the battery is. It also depends on how much you are using and arming the system.

If you’re at home during the outage then you might only be keeping the panic buttons on during the day, and arming the system at night. To conserve power you might also use the “motion off” button.

You should be aware that the alarm panel often flickers or reduces its light output in the event that it goes to battery power. That’s because the system is also trying to preserve power.

You won’t have to change the battery after the outage, since they’ll start recharging once power is restored.

What are the signs my battery needs to be replaced?

The alarm system panel will start emitting an intermittent warning beep when the battery is starting to run low. You will also see a warning “BAT” light on your panel.

You might see this even if the panel has never gone to back up power. The batteries do wear down as they age, but many can sit there for years without ever needing to be changed. You can expect to have to change your battery every 3-5 years at most.

How much will it cost to replace the battery?

Not much. You can buy a replacement battery and install it into your control panel yourself. It’s pretty easy to do, and the replacement battery is only about $20.

If you have our full service plan you can also call us out to change your battery. Ask your sales representative about how those work!

Either way, you know that your home and family will continue to enjoy protection, even when the lights are out.

Have you had your monitored home security system installed yet? If you haven’t, and you live in our service areas, call us! We’ll be happy to come out and give you a free quote on your professional installation.

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