Another thing load shedding is breaking at home

 ·16 Jun 2023

Severe and frequent load shedding is causing security alarms to go off due to battery failure, adding to the already high rate of false alarms being triggered for security companies.

Charnel Hattingh, the head of marketing and communications of Fidelity ADT, said that since false alarms are so prevalent, the resources security companies have available to respond to emergencies are placed under pressure.

False alarms ultimately lead to security companies being impacted and unable to attend to real emergencies.

Speaking on behalf of one of the most popular home security companies and armed response forces in South Africa, Hattingh urged residents and business owners to be more conscious of the impact of false alarms.

She said that after a false alarm occurs, it is important to take the time to determine what triggered the alarm and to implement measures to ensure that the action is avoided in future.

“If the false alarm cannot be determined, you should monitor the situation and ascertain a pattern such as weather conditions, the same time of day etc,” said Hattingh.

According to Hattingh, the six most common causes of false alarms are:

  • Faulty equipment
  • Human error
  • Low batteries due to load shedding
  • Doors and windows not secured correctly
  • Incorrect installation
  • Pets, rodents or insects triggering the alarm

One of the most notable methods of ensuring that an alarm battery does not run out is to link it to an inverter or battery backup system – even if they are costly, she said.

“They can play a part in keeping you and your property safe if they are connected properly and used in the way they were intended to be used.”

In early February this year, Fidelity warned homeowners of the need to have backup battery systems for their security systems as criminals have started to take advantage of blackouts.

According to the group, wireless security systems often have batteries in the detectors that are not affected by load shedding, but the main control box still contains a backup battery that should not be neglected.

Hattingh said that getting the right security system and learning how to use it correctly is essential.

She added that appropriate training for all those with access to the system would greatly reduce the chances of regular false alarms.

Hattingh offered the following tips on how to further reduce the chances of false alarms:

  • Ensure all windows and doors are secure before setting the alarm.
  • Spray insect repellent around sensors and detectors frequently.
  • Periodically test the home security system to ensure equipment is working appropriately.
  • Ensure that panic buttons or other emergency activation features are out of reach of children.
  • Check the batteries of any wireless devices and the backup power to the primary keypad.
  • Make sure to read and familiarise yourself with the alarm user manual. Store this in a place where you can access it at any time.
  • Be mindful of environmental changes (new pets, plants, decorations etc.) that may affect the system or its sensors.
  • Inform your security provider if you expect to be away from home for an extended period of time.

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