Is your alarm system and battery working the way it should?

Following the devastating storms across much of the country this week, Fidelity ADT has issued a warning to all homeowners to ensure the storms have not had a detrimental effect on any of their security system components.

“Flooding, high winds, torrential rain and lightening can play havoc with one’s security system,” says Stuart Clarkson, managing executive for Fidelity ADT.


Clarkson says over the last week the technical teams have been busy repairing broken electric fences and tending to alarm systems that are not functioning correctly following the storms.


“If your security system – and this includes panic buttons and infrared detectors – is not functioning properly it may mean the alarm activation signal may not reach the security company who will not know that there is an emergency and that assistance is needed. Testing can be done out of peak hours together with your security service provider. If anything out of the ordinary is noted, a technician can be dispatched to address the problem.”


Power outages from the storms can also play havoc with alarm batteries. He highlights the following information from the South African Intruder Detection Services Association:

In order to work effectively, your alarm system is totally dependent on the correct power delivered to all its components at all times:

  • Too little power: The system will be unstable and deliver false alarms, etc.
  • Too much power: Reduces the lifetime of the battery or destroys it.
  • No power: The system runs on a battery that is no longer charging – which is fine in the short term IF the battery is 100% efficient.


Many lower-quality sealed lead acid batteries, when fully discharged, do not always recover from total discharge. This in effect means that thousands of alarm systems are literally running off their transformers, particularly in older systems. The importance of good quality power components cannot be emphasised enough in a country that has a high crime rate and unreliable power delivery!

“The question you need to ask therefore is how sure are you that your alarm system and battery are working the way they should?  As we approach our rainy season and can expect the onset of traditional Gauteng thunder storms, it is better to be safe than sorry and test your alarm and evaluate your battery well in advance,” says Clarkson.