With more demand on SA’s power grid during winter, power cuts are also a possibility during winter, but just how safe is your home when the lights go out?
A security firm has advised homeowners to make sure their alarms are tested and working properly before a power failure.
“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,” says Fidelity ADT district manager Verena Hulme.
The only time it may not function, she says, is if there is a technical issue, or its battery is flat.
“Most modern alarm systems have a back-up battery pack that activates automatically when there is a power failure.”
There are several things you can do to make sure your home isn’t vulnerable during a power cut:
* Make sure your alarm’s back-up battery supply is adequate. Check it regularly.
* Secure all automatic gates and doors.
* Stay vigilant and report suspicious activity to your security firm or the police.
* Keep candles and torches handy.
* Consider linking LED lights to your alarm. These switch on automatically and can last up to 15 minutes after a power cut. With an extra battery pack, they go 40 hours without draining the primary alarm battery.
* Alarms should be checked during long power cuts to make sure the system is running properly.
* Power cuts can cripple fire-alarm systems so also check these regularly.
* The more frequent use of gas and candles raises the risk of fire, so keep home fire extinguishers handy.