More and more homeowners are opting for, and for good reason, home security systems. A property crime occurs every 4.1 seconds, with almost three burglaries taking place every minute, according to the FBI. Prevention is key to protection, which is why an estimated 27% of American households will have some form of home security by 2021.
But even if you took the necessary precautions and bought a home security system, is your home really safe? Maybe not. If a power outage occurs, it may be vulnerable. In fact, these times are often seen by burglars as prime opportunities for home invasions. Make sure you know these smart tips so that you always have the right kind of protection for your home and your family.
Be careful about this common criminal technique
While homes may lose power during a storm or natural disaster, savvy burglars may also cut power to remove commission from your home security system. “Most surveillance cameras don’t have battery backup and recording so they won’t work when the power goes out,” explains Nils Mattisson, CEO and co-founder of the Minut wireless alarm system. Traditional security systems tend to be better, but not all of them are equipped with backup batteries. If your area is prone to severe weather or domestic invasions, choose a system that can withstand power loss. Here are 13 additional safety tips that might save your home from a break-in.
Stay informed about power outages
If you are unaware of them, you can’t protect yourself from power outages. So, consider a system of home security that will notify you when it happens. If you travel frequently, this is an especially important feature. If you’re a lot away from home, check out a security system like Frontpoint. It sends alerts to your phone automatically when power is lost and when it’s turned back on. Every homeowner should prepare for a power outage here are 14 other ways.
The most secure security systems running through traditional telephone lines
During a power outage, security systems operating through traditional telephone lines will continue to operate, so a backup won’t be needed. If you live in an area with frequent power outages caused by rain, snowstorms, and other weather events, this type of system will give you the highest level of safety and peace of mind.
Be aware of VoIP systems problems
Make sure you know if a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone line connects your security system. They may be problematic, according to Frontpoint’s safety advisor Cassie Tolhurst. “They stop communicating with monitoring centers if there is an Internet outage,” she says. While some home security companies have created solutions to maintain connectivity even through power or internet interruption, many don’t and can put your home at risk. Don’t miss these 20 other secrets that a home security installer won’t tell you.
Internet-connected systems may be the most vulnerable during power outages
Many security systems are connected to the Internet, especially those that are self-installed, but this leaves them open to failure when the power goes out. Similar to VoIP problems during an outage, if you lose electricity, most of these systems will leave your home unprotected, says Tolhurst. If you choose this option, ask the company if in the event of an emergency the system has a secondary security feature.
Opt for security systems with options for backup power
Buying a system that doesn’t have backup power can cause problems, according to Security Baron’s Gabe Turner. You won’t be able to shoot or receive notifications, even though your alarms may still work locally if they’re battery-operated, he says. He recommends selecting a cellular, landline, or battery backup system. While nothing is foolproof, it is better for any type of backup than no backup. How else are you going to stay safe? Check out these 13 sneaky ways of protecting their homes by FBI agents.
Know how your backup system works exactly
Read about what type of backup your security system has and how long it will last. “This may vary from business to business, but most of it will last around 24 hours and keep your system running during that time,” says Tolhurst. “Many batteries only need to be replaced every six years.
Buy a generator
All backup systems are powered by a finite amount. By buying a generator, your home will be safe and power outages less stressful. That said, generators can take risks of their own. Turner recommends that the generator be kept out of any windows. Why? Generators emit carbon monoxide and, according to the CDC, can sometimes turn into a safety issue. Don’t miss these 13 other things you’re never supposed to do during a power outage.
Check multiple surveillance centers
Rod Pettingill of Safe Streets recommends that you ensure that your security company has multiple monitoring centers so that if the monitoring center loses power, you will still be protected. “If they have only one center and it loses power, your system will still trigger if someone breaks into your home, but nobody can answer the alarm,” he explains. If one center loses power, the other locations will still be able to monitor your home with more than one center.