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How long does an alarm system backup battery last?

You have an alarm system and you know it has a backup battery… right? An alarm backup battery is different from the individual batteries in battery powered components such as motion detectors or security cameras, but you’re excused if you thought they were all one and the same. We’re referring to the battery which will power your alarm system for a set amount of time in the event the mains power is cut, there’s a blackout or a thief disables your electricity - basically, a backup plan if electricity isn’t running as it should. Now, you probably have some questions about this whole backup battery business now you know the difference, so we are here to give you a little more information about how it all works.

What is the lifespan of a backup alarm battery?

As a general rule, most alarm system backup batteries will last around 3 to 5 years.

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How often should I replace my backup battery?

After 3 to 5 years the capacity of a backup battery can decline, which means its ability to run your security system during a power failure will be reduced or it may fail to work altogether. Due to this decline, it is recommended that you replace the backup battery every 3 to 5 years to ensure reliability. It is always suggested however to regularly have your alarm system serviced and maintained, to ensure your battery does not need replacing earlier.

How do I know if my backup alarm battery needs replacing?

Your alarm system will generally let you know when the battery is in need of replacement. Each system will be different, however, more often than not there will be a low battery notification on the keypad or display, in the form of a flashing light, a readout, or a beeping sound. Consult your alarm's manual for the indicator specific to your model if you are unsure. Additionally, some systems can experience issues with false alarms when the auxiliary battery is not working properly, which is another great reason to replace the battery regularly!

In an ideal situation, you wouldn’t wait until the backup battery is failing to replace it. If you wait until it’s almost dead you risk leaving your home unprotected in the event of a loss of electricity. This is where regular servicing and maintenance can ensure you will never be left with a failing battery.

How long does a backup alarm battery last during a blackout?

During a power out your backup alarm battery should last from 24 to 48 hours, however, the size of the battery, the age of the battery, as well as the size of the alarm system can contribute to variations to this time period. Even though most power outages only last around 203 minutes*, or just under 3.5 hours, in Queensland, a reliable battery should keep your home alarm system up and running much longer than that, just in case. This also provides a buffer to prevent the battery from fully discharging its power which can shorten the life of the battery or end it altogether.

After a power out the battery will recharge via the mains power supply. This can happen over and over during the life of the battery usually without issue.

Who can replace my backup alarm battery?

Depending on your alarm system design, you may be able to change the battery yourself or you may need to get an electrician or a security technician to replace it for you. Again, check with your manual and your security installer for recommendations and guidelines as to the correct protocol and steps where necessary. The manufacturers manual will usually provide detailed instructions on swapping the battery over whilst managing the alarm at the same time.

Remember, always ensure you contact your alarm monitoring company, if you have one, prior to changing the battery as it will usually trigger the alarm or indicate an issue within their monitoring system. You don’t want to be dealing with phone calls from your alarm company when you are trying to change the battery if you don’t have to!

Other points to consider in relation to your backup alarm system battery

  • If you didn’t install the alarm system that is in your home, do you know how long it has been there and when the battery was updated last?
  • If you decide to replace any batteries in your home alarms system make sure they are replaced like with like ie. same voltage and amp hour rating
  • Is your system regularly serviced and maintained? If so, ask your service provider about your backup battery. If not, consider commencing regular maintenance to avoid issues in the future (like a dead backup battery when you need it most)

Do you have some further questions regarding your alarm systems backup battery, or need help with backup battery replacement? Speak to one of our Brisbane security experts today on 07 3353 3248 or complete an online booking form today. They will be able to answer all your questions and provide information about the best systems and products for your home or office.

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