Ask the Expert: Backup Power and Home Security Systems
Why is there a home security system boom in the U.S. today? Two reasons: they’re becoming more affordable, and recent research shows that they really do deter crime. A Rutgers School of Criminal Justice study showed that a steady decrease in burglaries in Newark coincided with an increase in the number of home security systems. The researchers found that a security system makes a dwelling less attractive to intruders and protects the home and its neighbors. That’s right, the benefits of home security are essentially “contagious”; as more homes in a neighborhood add security systems, the safer the entire neighborhood becomes. And maybe there’s a third reason: our love affair with electronics just keeps on growing.
So, as people snap up affordable home security systems, we wondered what happens to a security system when there’s a power outage? For answers, we talked to an expert on the subject: Doug Hunt, Manager – Sales Training, Light Commercial and Residential Products, Kohler Power Systems.
Q: Isn’t there a backup battery to support a home security system during a power outage?
A: Right, there is, but the UPS — the Uninterrupted Power Supply — on a home security system typically only lasts 8-12 hours. After that, it’s toast, and you and your home are sitting there unprotected from theft or vandalism. You feel vulnerable, especially with kids or a home-based business.
Q: What if you’re not home or can’t get back home during an outage?
A: That’s a big one. If you’re elsewhere when the power goes out and that backup UPS on your home security system is exhausted, well, your home is pretty much a sitting duck. It wasn’t a big issue in the wake of hurricane Sandy because in the Midwest we only experienced harsh winds, but that’s why having a generator to back up your home security system is so important.
In fact, many security systems have become much more sophisticated and now detect fire and smoke, carbon monoxide, flooding, emergency phone calls, and more. So there can be a lot riding on keeping that security system up and running.
Q: What about all the other things in our lives that require power?
A: Yes, there’s actually a much bigger picture here. We all have cellphones, laptops and now tablets that need to be recharged, and so many of us rely quite heavily on having a home with power. And we haven’t even mentioned refrigerators and climate control. Or water pumps and sump pumps. You know, a power outage can lead to other property damage like floods.
I mean we’re talking about a whole ecosystem that needs power — so a security system is just one of the many electronics that we can’t live without.
Q: So what’s the solution?
A: Backup power for your home or business! With a Kohler generator on standby, when the power goes out, you and your family have peace of mind. Your whole life or business is back up and running in as little as 10 seconds or less. Talk about a security system!