In the 15 years leading up to 2014, there were nearly 866 electric grid disruptions due to the weather. Out of these, 19 of the weather-related grid disruptions affected more than one million people. Aging infrastructure, growing population and frequent extreme weather are typically cited as the causes for electric grid failure.If you live in a part of the country which has not experienced power failures and you believe that this will continue to be, you need to think again. Power outages can happen anywhere, anytime and what should concern everyone is that they give burglars and robbers the perfect opportunity to enter your home, even if you have a home security system in place. A power outage could mean no phone lines, no electricity and no internet – you would be left to your own defenses.
An age old adage goes “Hope for the best and prepare for the worst”. While power outages are not daily occurrences, nevertheless it is wise to prepare for them. By following a few simple steps, you can make your home, family and valuables safe from burglars in case of a power breakdown.
Have a Plan Ready for Your Family
As in the event of any kind of disaster, you would be better off having a plan ready for emergency situations. This should include taking care of basics such as stocking up on food supplies (unrefrigerated), water, emergency kit including medical supplies and flashlights, extra clothing and bedding and at least one alternate source of power. Having these things handy is your first line of defense against prolonged power outage. In addition, make sure everyone in the family is well aware of what to do in case of an emergency and where to find all the relevant supplies.
Keep Different Sources of Light Handy
A dark house is almost like an open invitation for burglars. It provides the perfect cover and easy entrance to your home and is a dead giveaway that your home security system is down. Therefore, light makes a good deterrent. Keep plenty of alternative lighting sources in easily accessible places at your home – places that every member of your family is well-aware of. Potential sources of light could include long-burning candles, oil/battery operated lanterns, burning fireplace, emergency lights, backup generator and so on.
Install Non-Electronic Defenses around the House
To prevent criminals from breaking your doors and windows, take extra precautions that are not reliant on electricity. For instance, install door chains to limit how far the door can be opened. Make sure that your doors are of a strong material and cannot be easily kicked into. In addition, install deadbolts on all doors and windows for extra protection. Also, erect an adequately high fence all around the boundary wall and don’t leave any sharp gardening equipment out in the lawn – these might end up becoming weapons against you in case of a break-in.
Be Careful with Generators
Generators must be kept with proper precaution. Placing them indoor is extremely dangerous due to their emissions, harming your family’s health. In addition, make sure you follow proper instructions in their installation and upkeep to avoid possible electrocution or damage to the wiring. In any case, never avoid contacting a professional whenever you have a technical concern regarding the machine. It would be better to not try and fix it yourself.
Be Careful with Traditional Heating Methods at your Home
In case of a long power outage, many tend to rely on traditional methods for heating, including stoves, grills and burners. All these equipment run on natural gas, and have the tendency of producing carbon-monoxide, if not used and monitored properly. If power outages are frequent and you typically rely on traditional methods of heating, it would be wise to invest in a battery-operated carbon monoxide alarm for added security.
Ask Your Security System Provider All the Questions you Have about Power Outages
To make sure you remain on top of the situation in case of a power failure, it would be wise to remain informed regarding the security equipment you have at home. For this purpose, ask your provider all the questions you have regarding the working of your home security system in case of a power failure. Here are some of the questions you might want to ask:
This is a relevant question because if your alarm system operates on traditional phone line, it would continue to operate in the event of a power outage. The phone lines typically remain intact and operational during a power shut down and the main security panel in your home would continue to work on backup power for a certain amount of time.
A cellular radio is wireless, which operates on a backup battery for several hours. It is pretty much like a cell phone, which remains unaffected when the power goes out.
With electricity breakdown, the internet services could be terminated as well. A security system that is entirely dependent on the internet is therefore most vulnerable. Without an internet connection to the monitoring center, these types of systems stop working until the power is restored.
Keeping these few things in mind can go a long way in preparing your family during power outages. A power outage may not be prolonged and you may not even need these tips, however the peace of mind that you get from knowing that you have all the potential security points covered, is something you cannot put a price tag on. Once again, talk to your security company advisor as soon as possible and figure out the best plan possible in case of another power breakdown.