viernes, 27 de marzo de 2015

Home Security and Power Outages

Home Security and Power Outages

Many thieves and criminals see a power outage as a perfect time to strike, because there is often chaos, darkness and a lack of protections.  Power outages are a very stressful time for most families, because a power outage means no modern conveniences, often limited resources and an inability to carry out daily activities. In addition to these problems associated with power outages, it can also be a time when criminals see homes and families as easy targets.
With the stress of a power outage, home security and safety concerns can go out the window for many families, but in fact, a power outage is a time when home security concerns should be a top priority. NEXUS Home Security offers a few tips to help keep your belongings and home safe when those power outages occur:
  1. Plan For a Loss of Power – It will happen, sometime. You may receive notice of a weather storm in advance.  It is better to be prepared before a power outage occurs.  Have flashlights, charged batteries, candles, matches, kerosene lamps and spare blankets to stay warm.  If there is movement of light throughout your house, this will indicate that the house is occupied and minimize the entry of a potential burglar.  Disconnect your appliances (including the refrigerator) to avoid damage due to the “energy spike” when power is restored.  Minimize opening the refrigerator to avoid food spoiling.
  2. Lock Down the House – Secure the entry points of your home to minimize the risk of a break-in: lock the doors, windows and garage.  Contact your neighbors so you can help protect each other´s homes.
  3. Know Your Home Security System – Assuming your have a home security system, you should know how it will work in the event of a power outage. If your home security system operates over traditional phone lines, it will continue to communicate with the monitoring center in the event of a power outage.  If you have a wireless home security system it operates using cellular radio and will also work during power outages, drawing its power from battery backup for several hours. Like a cellular phone, communication is unaffected by localized power outages.  If your security system uses the Internet or Voip for communication with the monitoring center, it will probably not function during the power outage as these services will not be available during the outage..
  4. Security System Battery Backup – Generally all home security systems have a battery backup. A low-voltage transformer supplies AC power to the system and keeps the backup battery charged. With the loss of power your home security system will automatically switch over and run off the backup battery.  The duration of time your security system will run off the battery backup will vary based on the type of battery, age of the battery, and how much the system draws down, etc.  Normally the maximum duration of a battery backup is about 24 hours.  Your home security system will normally advise you if there is a problem with the backup battery and when it is reaching the limit of its charge, usually by a “beeping” sound.  (As part of being “prepared” you might choose to purchase a spare battery backup for your security system.)  Backup batteries have a three to five year expected life so they should be replaced when reaching their limit.  Once the power is restored your home security system will recharge and function as normal.
  5. Contact Your Security Provider – Get in touch with your home security provider when you’re expecting bad weather so you know exactly how they can respond if something occurs. Let them know you’re worried about how the weather will affect your power, and get a good idea of how they respond to these situations.
  6. Install Your Home Security Sign – Burglars are less likely to consider invading your home during a power outage if you have a home security sign posted in your entryway. Burglars know that a home security company has backup and coverage 7×24 and can rapidly dispatch the police in case of a break-in.
  7. Careful Heating Your Home – Depending upon the time of year when a power outage occurs, you may be tempted to use unconventional means to heat your home such as a grills, heaters, stoves and generators. Improper use of heating devices poses a fire risk and may lead to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. You should use these types of heat appliances outside your home.  Your home security system in addition to a smoke detector may also have a CO detector that can alert you if there is a high concentration of the gas in your home.
  8. Solar Lighting – Consider installing solar powered outdoor lighting. This may be as simple as walkway lighting or security motion-sensor lighting.  In either case the solar lighting cuts the cover of darkness, which a burglar prefers to operate in.
Remember, during power outages the darkness provides cover for burglars and other unexpected risks. Keep your home and family safe with these tips.

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