A Guide to How Your Alarm Panel Operates

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There are few things as frustrating as reaching for a remote and having it not work due to a low battery, but the last thing you want is something as important as your home security system suffering low battery issues. Home security systems require a power source, whether connected to an outlet or running on a backup battery.

Rechargeable batteries, first realized in the mid-19th century, were not used on the first home security systems, but having your home security uninterrupted by a power outage is an excellent way to protect your home.

Keeping your home alarm in working condition will help you stay safe, and keeping your backup battery charged in your home alarm keypad or touchscreen panel is a key step in safeguarding against blackout conditions. You will also need to replace batteries in wireless sensors and devices when they are low or expire.

It’s also important to remember that batteries, even rechargeable batteries, have a finite amount of life and need to be managed appropriately.

Reasons for Power Failure

In 2023, it was estimated that 2/3 of US households were at an elevated risk for energy shortfall. Many home security systems that go offline will work off a backup battery when the power is down; this makes it so you don’t need to panic if your power fails in your home temporarily, ensuring uninterrupted security. Power failures occur for several reasons:

  • High winds: high winds can knock down electric lines directly or by blowing objects into electric lines and electrical delivery equipment.

  • Ice: ice can accumulate on power lines or nearby tree branches that may fall on power lines.

  • Extreme cold weather: cold weather itself can encourage animals, such as small birds, to hide in warm places such as an electric transformer, which can result in malfunction.

  • Lightning: a power surge caused by a lightning strike can overload electrical transformers and cause significant problems.

  • Hurricanes and tornadoes: similar to conditions caused by high winds, hurricanes and tornadoes can affect power lines directly, and powerful events can even down entire power poles.

  • Accidents that disrupt power lines: whether caused by a construction mishap, a car losing control and striking a power pole or other human causes, electric service can be disrupted at any time by accident.

Brinks Home™ offers home alarms with a battery backup that lasts for at least 24 hours after a power outage. Once the power is restored, the battery will begin recharging itself.

Recharging Your Battery

Some alarm systems operate using a rechargeable battery specifically selected to operate with that device. Something like a 12-volt 4.8 AH rechargeable sealed lead-acid battery runs on a trickle charging system.

Trickle charging allows a battery to self-charge at a low rate in order to remain fully charged. Lead-acid batteries last longer than a typical lithium-ion battery, which needs an adapter to recharge regularly. For example, cell phones that use lithium-ion batteries must recharge at least once, sometimes twice daily.

Replacing the Battery

Many home security systems are self-charging, but this doesn’t mean that they can be used forever. You will need to replace it when you notice that the battery remains low after an extended period of uninterrupted power service.

Panels, such as the popular IQ Panel 4, provide a trouble alert when a low battery is detected. The alert will usually be displayed on the panel’s LED display to indicate a low battery, and many systems will include an audible chirp, similar to how smoke detectors will beep when batteries run low. This panel will also indicate if there are low batteries detected in one of the connected sensors or devices, so it is important to distinguish between each type of alert. A security system that connects to a smartphone via a mobile app will also be able to provide you directly with low battery alerts on your device.

The panel battery should be changed every 2 to 5 years. It’s necessary to replace the battery because low batteries could produce false alarms. Replacement panel batteries can usually be ordered online, ordered from your professional monitoring company, or purchased at a specialized battery retail store. Check your home security owner’s manual for the minimum amount of voltage you will need before you decide to replace your battery.

How Can a Security Monitoring Company Provide Support

The advantage of working with a professional monitoring company is the expectation that you can receive ongoing technical support. There are benefits to working with a company that has the expertise to know which battery is the correct replacement part for your system. Modern technical support options will usually include modes of communication like chat or text support for your convenience. Also, a reputable security company should be able to provide you with documentation, including step-by-step instructions for replacing a faulty battery.

When you’re ready to start looking for a suitable security company to protect your home and family, contact us at Brinks Home to speak with a Security Consultant and enjoy having a Five Diamond alarm company that has your back. We have modern alarm systems that are professionally monitored and customized to meet your exact needs.

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