During January’s recent storm, our area was spared from wide spread, long term power outages. As a precaution, prior to the storm we notified our customers by email of a few facts and tips related to long term power outages and your alarm system, repeated here for those of you who did not receive the email.
Typically if the power goes out the alarm system will rely on the back up battery that was installed with your system. This battery is designed to last 4 to 5 hours. However, in the case of extended power outages the battery will most likely go dead. If the battery does go dead, it could cause other system issues and your alarm could act erratically. In order to avoid these types of complications, in the case of an extended power failure you may want to disconnect your battery.
Although we have many different types of panels, below are some general instructions should you lose power briefly or for an extended period of time.
AC Power failure – if your alarm/keypad is beeping due to the loss of power you can silence the beeping as follows:
- If you have a Command button, press Command 4
- If you have a Clear button, press Clear
- If you do not have a command or clear button, you can enter your digital code (make sure this doesn’t arm your system)
Extended Power Failure – if your power will be out for an extended period of time and you choose to disconnect your battery, you will need to go to the alarm panel. The panel is typically located in the basement or utility room in a grey metal box hanging on the wall. If it is locked, the key is sometimes stored on top. Remove one of the wires from the battery; it does not matter which one. Please note that by disconnecting the battery your alarm system will not work and or communicate with the central station. ONCE THE POWER IS RESTORED IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU RECONNECT YOUR BATTERY. If you have a newer self-contained/wireless control panel (which may be portable), it is best that you contact us for assistance @ 215-576-7111.
Low Battery Alarm – if in fact your power does go out and you did not disconnect your battery, the system will go into alarm when the battery is running low. You can try to shut off the alarm by using the AC Power Failure instructions above, however because the battery is now low it may not have enough power to allow you to silence the alarm. In such cases, you will need to disconnect the battery as instructed above.
In storm situations our central station response procedures are modified accordingly. Typically we are inundated with non-emergency supervisory alarms such as Low Battery and AC Power Failures; in a case of such high volume these types of alarms, if they restore on their own, will be cleared with no response. If we do not receive a restore signal, the central station will attempt to notify you at the premises and will leave a message with no further follow up. These procedures are put in place to free up the operators to handle Emergency Signals such as Burglary or Fire Alarms and will help to eliminate the multiple unnecessary phone calls that could occur during all hours if you experience a power outage.
Please note that we have additional operators and service technicians to help with the anticipated high alarm and call volume. If in fact you need to speak to a customer service representative, you can still call our main number 215-576-7111 and your call will be answered in the order that it is received. Thank you for your anticipated patience and cooperation.