Your Alarm Equipment and Winter Weather - How to Prevent Problems

December 3, 2015

We have all been hearing about the upcoming, or at least predicted, El Nino weather heading our way. Most articles or news reports are encouraging everyone to prepare the exterior of our homes for the large quantities of water expected, but what about the interior?

Alarm systems will have their own weather related concerns. Water and stormy weather are never friendly to an alarm system. Here are some potential issues you should be aware of:

Smoke / Heat Detector:If water should get into one of these devices they will trigger alarms continuously, even after you have cancelled or silenced the alarm. If water gets into a device, keep in mind it could take us time to get our technicians to you for service. We may direct you to take the device down from the ceiling or wall and allow the water to drain out of it by creating a loop (see photo) and allowing the device to dry out. Once the water intrusion has been dealt with and the detector has had time to dry out, in most cases it can go back up. However we recommend having one of our certified technicians provide service in this type of situation to make sure the detector was not damaged during the water leak and is functioning properly.

Power Outages: These are inevitable. We recommend being proactive by making sure your back-up batteries are healthy. You can either look inside the control panel for a date on the battery (typically dated when they are installed). You can also contact us and we will review your records to see when your battery was installed or replaced. Either schedule a service call to replace an old battery or call us to learn what it takes to replace a panel battery yourself.


This is a good time to make sure you have a control panel KEY. If the power is out for a prolonged period of time, and your battery already registers low with us, we will talk you through "powering down" your control panel. This will protect the control panel from damage. You cannot power down your system without a KEY. Check the top of the control panel for the key unless you have stored it in another place. Give us a call if you cannot locate a key and we will see about getting you a replacement key.

Also, be aware that your control panel is plugged into your house power. Knowing exactly where the control panel and transformer are located is important! Trying to find these devices during a power outage in the middle of the night is no fun. Locate the transformer (typically a 2”x2”x2” wall wart cube) and be sure everyone in the house is aware of the location. Ideally the transformer is located in the same closet/location as the control panel, but sometimes it is in another room or in the attic.

With just a bit of effort, you can minimize potential problems that could occur with your alarm system during the approaching winter weather.

Feel free to call our office with questions about your system anytime. 805-772-0607

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