Will My Security System Work During a Power Outage?


Power outages can occur for many reasons such as severe storms, tree limbs falling on power lines, blown transforms and other equipment failures, as well as damage caused by humans or animals. If you’ve installed a security system to protect your home, you might wonder what will happen if the power goes out: will your system continue to operate as normal, or will it fail and leave you vulnerable to intruders and other threats?

How Does a Security System Work During a Power Outage?

Whether and how your system will continue to operate largely depends on the type of system you have, as this could affect its ability to communicate with the central monitoring station during a power emergency. The monitoring station is staffed by trained professionals who alert authorities when a security threat is imminent. The basic home security system types include:

  • Landline: This system uses a traditional telephone line to connect to the monitoring station. Assuming the power event does not damage or disrupt the phone lines, the transmission should continue as usual. However, an opportunistic burglar or intruder could capitalize on the situation by cutting the phone lines that run into your home, knowing that you and your family are sitting there in the dark.
  • Cellular: A cellular-based system carries transmissions between a home and monitoring station using the same technology that delivers your cellphone’s signals. Thus, it is unaffected by an electrical power outage. Cellular systems are often the best option in areas where power outages occur frequently or for highly security-conscious property owners who want to minimize their risks.
  • Broadband Internet: Many newer security systems use the Internet to communicate with the monitoring station. However, these systems typically pose the greatest risk of failure during an outage — this is because Internet outages typically occur during a power interruption. You’ll have to wait until the power is restored and the Internet resumes normal function to reestablish communications — but by then, it could be too late.

No Power to Security System Due to a Backup Battery Failure

Most of today’s security systems are equipped with a battery to provide backup power during an outage. The battery will generally provide power to the security system’s operating panel for up to 24 hours after the loss of AC power. The battery will begin to recharge itself upon the restoration of power. Some security system professionals suggest keeping an extra battery on hand in the event of an extended outage.

Contact Titan Alarm, Inc. to Learn More About How an Outage Could Affect Your System

If you live in the Phoenix, AZ and are concerned about a power outage, security system professionals such as those at Titan Alarm can help you understand your system’s vulnerabilities — and how to be prepared if an outage occurs. Contact us for more information and to schedule a free in-home security consultation today.

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Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.