All the security in the world is useless if there is no power to keep it operational. South African homes and businesses are particularly vulnerable when there are power outages. With the grid under pressure and no respite in sight – at least in the short term – the best deterrent is advance preparation.
A well-known voice in the security industry, Yusuf Abramjee, says “The indications are clear that criminals do strike more often during load shedding. This is due to the fact that there is more darkness for criminals to operate in, helping them make easy getaways. Criminals try their luck at every turn and load shedding gives them another opportunity, and we’re seeing a clear link between blackouts and increased criminal activity.”
Security systems tend to be more fragile when there are blackouts if they are not installed to mitigate the risk. There are several products on the market that can help mitigate the risk when there is a blackout. Installers are also working alongside energy specialists to provide security solutions that will work even when the grid goes down.
Power supply units and backup batteries
All surveillance installers know the importance of a good quality power supply unit. Substandard power supply units will leave you vulnerable if they cannot withstand the energy from surges and brownouts. Ensure your power supply units are approved by national standards authorities like the NRCS (National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications). Brands such as Peak Power don’t only have redundancies built in, they are also safety approved by the NRCS.
Electric fences, alarm panels and UPSes are just a few of the security items around the home that depend on backup power. Brands such as Forbatt supply a range of batteries that range from your small alarm panel batteries all the way to solar energy storage batteries. Security product suppliers and installers such as LunarPro Security Express use Forbatt lead acid batteries as their preferred brand because of their reliability – particularly when the grid goes down.
Solar solution options
At the top of the list of solutions to ensure your CCTV and security systems stay on at all times is a solar solution. Installers such as LunarPro Security Express present their customers with solar solutions for professional CCTV brands such as TVT. There are three main types of solar PV and storage systems: grid-tied, grid/hybrid and off-grid. They all have their advantages and disadvantages and it really comes down to the customer’s current energy supply and what they want to get out of the system.
Grid-Tied: A grid-tied system is a basic solar installation that uses a standard grid-tied inverter and does not have any battery storage. The lack of an energy storage solution for when it’s needed most can be a risk with this type of power backup system. Your surveillance technology will be vulnerable at night.
Grid-Hybrid: The next type of system, a grid-tied system with battery backup, otherwise known as a grid-hybrid system, is the happy medium when it comes to cost and ensuring there is power when there is an outage. This type of system is ideal for customers who are already on the grid and know that they want to have battery backup. This ensures your CCTV and security systems don’t go down. It’s important to get your installer to set it up so that important loads that are needed when the grid power is down are isolated into a backup sub-electrical distribution panel. TVT is a particularly good CCTV brand that has tolerances built in to seamlessly go on operating if there are fluctuations in power.
Off-Grid: Off-grid systems are great for customers who can’t easily connect to the grid. This may be because of their remote geographical location or the high cost of bringing in the power supply.
Whatever your choice of power backup, it’s imperative to have a professional installation company set it up for you. You must also ensure your reserve batteries for security features (electric fences, gates, etc.) are fully charged and prepared to fill in when Eskom cuts the supply.
Visit your nearest LunarPro Security Express shop at:
• Pretoria & Hartbeespoort: +27 82 394 6698, +27 72 215 5997, firstname.lastname@example.org
• Johannesburg: Shawn, +27 82 554 5474, email@example.com
• Fourways: +27 10 880 0777, +27 71 128 8858, firstname.lastname@example.org
• Vaal: JP, +27 73 464 3577, email@example.com
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