Homeowners have been urged to test their security systems as a matter of urgency and to pay particular attention to the battery back-up systems.
The message comes from an armed response company, as South Africa finds itself in the midst of wide-spread load-shedding.
“Many people are under the incorrect assumption that their home alarm system is deactivated when the power supply is interrupted. However, if you have a stable and correctly programmed system coupled with a battery that is in good condition, it will continue to protect the premises during a power outage – regardless if the outage is because of load-shedding or not,” said Charnel Hattingh, the national marketing and communications manager iof Fidelity ADT.
The only time it may not function correctly is if there is a technical issue, or the battery power is low.
“Most modern alarm systems have a back-up battery pack that activates automatically when there is a power failure,” explained Hattingh.
She added that there are a number of practical steps that can be taken to ensure security is not compromised during any power cuts.
Some of these include ensuring that the alarm system has an adequate battery supply, that all automated gates and doors are secured and lastly to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to your security provider or the South African Police Service.
With the added inconvenience of the lights going out at night due to power cuts, candles and touch-lights are handy alternatives.
The most important tips to remember about being prepared for a power cut, noted Hattingh, are:
It is important that your alarm system has an adequate battery supply. Batteries should be checked regularly.
Alarms should be checked during extended power outages to keep systems running.
Power cuts can impact on fire systems and fire control systems; so these also need to be checked regularly.
The more frequent use of gas and candles can increase the risk of fire and home fire extinguishers should be on hand.
Above, all remain vigilant during a power cut; be on the look-out for any suspicious activity and report this to your security company or the SAPS immediately.
Because of load-shedding, there might also be a higher than usual number of alarm activation signals received by security companies and their monitoring centres.
“This could lead to a delay in monitoring centre agents making contact with customers. You can assist by manually cancelling any potential false alarms caused by load-shedding, and thus help call centre agents in prioritising the calls needing urgent attention,” she concluded.