Keep safe during municipal load shedding
11 August 2020
The increased occurrence of load shedding means also that there are more alarm activation signals received by armed response companies than usual. If the alarm is triggered because of a power surge, or because of load shedding, please contact your security company as soon as possible to cancel any false alarms. This helps ensure that armed response officers are allocated to legitimate emergencies.
In light of the municipal load shedding, which has been ongoing since May 2020, residents have reported a spike in cases of burglaries, poisoning of animals and suspicious individuals skulking around under the shroud of darkness. With Msukaligwa Local Municipality dragging their feet and offering no reprieve or plan of action, the rotational load shedding can be expected to continue for the foreseeable future. This means that home owners, as well as business owners, need to make sure their alarm and security systems are tested regularly and in a working condition. These tests need to focus in particular on the battery backup systems, to ensure that it will still offer monitoring and protection when the power goes out. Many people are under the incorrect assumption that their alarm system is deactivated when the power supply is interrupted.
However, if you have a stable and correctly programmed system, coupled with a battery that is in a good condition, it will continue to protect the premises during a power outage, regardless if the outage is because of load shedding or any other technical problem. The increased occurrence of load shedding means also that there are more alarm activations signals received by armed response companies than usual. If the alarm is triggered because of a power surge, or because of load shedding, please contact your security company as soon as possible to cancel any false alarms. This helps ensure that armed response officers are allocated to legitimate emergencies.
This helps to free up call centre staff members to concentrate on legitimate incidents that they need to respond to. The only time any alarm system might not function correctly, is if there is a technical issue or the battery power is low. Most modern alarm systems have a back-up battery pack that activates automatically when there is a power failure. It is recommended to consider an additional battery backup pack, as load shedding puts additional strain on the battery.
There are a number of practical steps that can be taken to ensure security is not compromised during any power cuts, which includes always remaining vigilant, and reporting suspicious activity in your ward to the SAPS or security agency, and ensuring that all automated gates and doors are secured. With the added inconvenience of the lights going out at night due to power cuts, candles and touch-lights are handy alternatives. Test the battery backup system, and consider an additional battery pack for standby. Tests of alarm systems should ideally be conducted every six months. Power cuts can impact on fire systems and fire control systems, so these also need to be checked regularly. The best approach is to test your alarm system, for both your home and your business, and to make any fixes that are required as soon as you can.