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Preventing Burglary During a Power Outage

Posted: March 09, 2015

With storms hitting the Midwest and the East Coast this winter, people are likely facing power outages; and the thing to keep in mind is that your typical security measures won’t necessarily be in place when those outages hit. That and power outages mean that burglars may be more likely to come to your house/apartment because they know those security systems are down. Here are a few tips to help keep your belongings and home safe when those power outages occur:

Batten Down the Hatches

By “batten down the hatches,” that obviously means making sure you secure your home physically. Lock your doors—preferably with deadbolts—invest in secure window locks, and contact your neighbors so you can mutually help protect your homes.

Plan for the Outage

When it comes to outages, planning is absolutely crucial. You need to know how you’ll respond both with security as well as with base-level needs. Test your batteries, ready the flashlights, and corral your spare blankets so you stay warm. Once you’ve provided for those needs, you need to start thinking about the fact that, in an outage, you’re more likely to attract burglars. That means contacting your security provide to figure out what measures they have in place to meet your security needs in the event of an outage.

Contact Your Security Provider

Get in touch with your security provider when you’re expecting bad weather so you know exactly how they can respond if something occurs. If your security provider isn’t capable of addressing this issue, it might be time for you to look into finding a new provider. 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. Most security providers will install a backup battery so that you can be powered during an emergency. Furthermore, the system should be set up to notify you when the battery is malfunctioning. The system will typically alert you with beeping if this is the case.

Prepare for Power to Return

If you have devices that are plugged into power sources when your power goes out, you run the risk of breaking the circuits once the power returns. So, a good immediate step is to unplug anything that draws power: small appliances, lamps, computer, large appliances—even your refrigerator. Just make sure to keep the door closed as much as possible until the power comes back on. When your power returns, plug in whatever you need. It’s just during the outage that you have to worry.

Know the Technology

A thorough understanding of where your control box is and how to use it helps you immensely in the long run. If you know how the box operates when you’re running on your normal power, then you’ll also know if the box is operating differently due to a power outage. This could mean that the back-up battery isn’t working correctly. Or, it could mean that the issue isn’t the power but rather the device. That’s why it’s important that you know how to operate your control box. If you need instructions, your service provider should be capable of instructing you over the phone, or they can visit your home and show in person.

Install the Sign

It’s simple, sure -- but take a moment to really think like a burglar. If there’s a security system sign on your front door or posted in your yard, the less likely burglars will be to even consider invading your home when the power goes out. There’s often the assumption that the security system will likely have a back up. That said, they’d still be at risk of legal authority stepping in when the security provider is contacted. Power outages affect more than just your appliances. If your security system doesn’t have a back up, you could be leaving yourself unprotected. Keep a back-up plan in place, and talk with your security provider about what they can offer you in the event of a power outage. Preparation is key to helping keep you and your family safe!