In the midst of hundreds of thousands of Californians being left without power recently – on multiple occasions – many have been reminded about just how much of their household depends on electricity.
From something as simple as not being able to charge smartphones, to something more detrimental for those who rely on electricity for their home care health devices, not being able to charge and power up exposes homeowners to all kinds of vulnerabilities.
One such vulnerability is the home alarm system (and it’s among the pros and cons of having a video doorbell—it’s great when it works, but without power, where is your security coming from?).
Luckily, with the alarm system itself, you might be saved for a few hours by a backup battery, or even long enough to protect the home until power is restored.
How Long Does a House Alarm Battery Last?
If present, a house alarm battery can last anywhere from a few to 24 hours. The wide range is due to the fact that every alarm system is different, with some not even having backup capabilities. Thus, certain alarm systems might offer backup battery protection that falls outside of this range.
So in order to provide the most accurate info, we thought it would be useful to aggregate all that we could find on the topic of how long a home alarm battery lasts, uncovering info posted by the alarm system providers themselves.
If your Ring Alarm goes offline due to a power outage, it is stated here that the base station can continue working for about 24 hours. Sensors will still be monitored, and alarm signals will still be sent, but other features may be turned off to conserve power.
Ring Doorbell & Floodlight Cam
While the Ring Alarm is said to have a backup feature, those products that rely on WiFi to transmit alerts and video to your mobile device for viewing will be rendered useless in a power outage. Here is an article from Ring support, and another from Best Buy Q&A on the doorbell, specifically.
ADT Monitored Security
The backup battery with your ADT monitored security is said to last up to 24 hours, preserving both monitoring services and the high-frequency siren, according to this FAQ.
This article from Lifeshield, an ADT company, breaks down what to expect in the event of a power outage, depending on whether or your not your system relies on traditional phone lines, or VOIP or WiFi.
Vivint systems offer 24 hours of backup battery-powered service according to this FAQ from Safewise—a site that states “we devote hours, days, weeks (and even months) to researching security solutions.”.
Vivint also has its own resource on peace of mind when losing electricity, although it doesn’t go into specifics in terms of how long a battery will last on backup.
The Simplisafe system also pulls from its rechargeable backup battery, and like many others, offers protection for up to 24 hours as mentioned here. Another useful feature is that when power is restored, the backup battery recharges on its own, which means additional protection the next time things go black.
Additional Power Outage Considerations
In addition to the above, now is a great time to take inventory of your home, noting how much of it relies on power to be useful, and thinking about what you and your family would do in the event of a power outage.
For instance, how will you get your news in a power outage? Some might surprise themselves that they don’t have a battery-powered device to listen to for weather updates, traffic warnings, etc. in the event of an outage and inclement weather. Thus, you’ll always want a battery-powered radio handy, and at least a smaller generator that can be used to fully charge your phone.
Or what about garage door theft protection? Do you rely on automatic locks? Then there is the freezer—do you have precious items that need to say frozen, say bags of baby milk? This is of course in addition to “checklist items” like having plenty of batteries around, ensuring your car is full of gas, and other power outage basics.
In the end, while homes, cars, and personal devices have become smarter and are benefiting from technological advancements, the best ability is availability, so it’s imperative to have a backup plan in place depending on how crucial such technology is to your everyday life and well-being.