Load-shedding – are you prepared?

Homeowners have been urged to test their security systems as a matter of urgency and to pay particular attention to the battery backup systems.

The message comes from an armed response company, as South Africa once again finds itself in the midst of wide-spread load-shedding.

“Many people are under the incorrect assumption that their home alarm system is deactivated when the power supply is interrupted. However, if you have a stable and correctly programmed system coupled with a battery that is in a good condition, it will continue to protect the premises during a power outage,” says Peter Kruger, the Coastal Outlying District Manager for Fidelity ADT.

He adds that there are a number of practical steps that can be taken to ensure security is not compromised during any power cuts.

Some of these include ensuring that the alarm system has an adequate battery supply, that all automated gates and doors are secured and lastly to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to your security provider or the South African Police Service.

Due to an increase in load-shedding, there might also be a higher than usual number of alarm activation signals received by security companies and their monitoring centres which could lead to a delay in monitoring centre agents making contact with customers. The public are urged to assist by manually cancelling any potential false alarms caused by load-shedding, and thus help call centre agents in prioritising the calls needing urgent attention.

“Law enforcement and security agencies are on alert and have deployed additional resources to keep residents safe, especially during these extended periods of power disruption. We need the cooperation of the public to make sure that we prevent crime as far as possible,” says Kruger.

Good personal safety habits must never be neglected, especially with continuing rounds of load shedding across the county.

He listed some safety habits to remember:

  • Lock all doors and windows all the time. This applies to your house, your vehicle and any outbuildings on your property. This applies whether you are at home or not.
  • Keep valuable items out of sight. Never leave keys, wallets, cellphones or any other small items on a table or anywhere close to a window.
  • Cut back any trees or shrubs that provide cover for burglars, then make it a habit to keep them trimmed.
  • Talk to your family and friends, and get to know your neighbours. Make sure your loved ones remember what they can do to stay safe, and make sure you share these tips with the people who live in your street.
  • Get involved with community safety efforts. Find out if they need volunteers to do night-time patrols. Communities that stand together can make a positive difference to their safety.
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