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Am I still protected if there’s a power cut?

During the coming autumn and winter months, it is possible that the power supply will be switched off in certain parts of the country. It’s understandable, of course, that you are concerned about the effectiveness of your security systems during such a blackout. With security installations by VAG Security Systems, you can have complete peace of mind whatever happens. Read more to find out why ….

In the event of a power cut, the outage should not last longer than 4 hours (between 5pm and 9pm). Our systems can easily provide adequate power backup for this length of time. However, we would like to draw your attention to the following points:


What about my alarm system?

If your alarm system was already armed when the power supply was cut off, there’s no need for concern. Both your siren and your control panel are equipped with backup batteries that can provide sufficient power to keep your system operational for up to 24 hours, depending on the size of your system and its batteries. There is no need for you to intervene as the system switches over automatically to the backup batteries. The only thing you will notice is the change in tone of your keypad and a fault message on the display of your intruder alarm system. The system’s user manual will advise you how to remove this message. We recommend that you read through your user manual in advance, or keep it to hand. If you have mislaid your user manual, you can request another copy via vag.info@vag-security.be. Please provide the reference number of your system.

However, if your alarm system was not already armed when the power blackout started, you will not be able – because of stipulations of insurance – to activate the system using the backup batteries!

Useful to know:

Are my batteries (still) able to provide sufficient power in the event of power outage?
  • If you have a maintenance contract with us, this is not an issue. Because we check all batteries when we carry out our annual service and – when necessary – replace them as a precautionary measure.
  • If you do not yet have a maintenance contract with us, then we’ll be happy to carry out a system assessment so that we can offer you a tailor-made solution to ensure that your system remains operational in the event of power cuts.

A must: check your telephone line!

You can assume that your telephone line will stop working during a power cut. And this is the crucial link to your alarm receiving centre, whether you have a landline or a mobile. Because it is this telephone line that sends the alarm signal to our receiving centre.
And VAG Security Systems has no control over matters such as telephone lines or networks so we cannot be held responsible in the event of power outage. This is why we recommend that you seek advice from your service provider about what you need to do in such an event.


What about my fire detection?

Just like your alarm system, the backup batteries takes over automatically in the event of a power cut and have more than enough capacity to power the fire detection system for several hours. But there’s more. As well as providing a warning message when power failure occurs, the smoke detectors, push button fire alarms and sirens remain active during the power outage.  

Useful to know:

Are my batteries (still) able to provide sufficient power in the event of power outage?
  • If you have a maintenance contract with us, this is not an issue. Because we check all batteries when we carry out our annual service and – when necessary – replace them as a precautionary measure.
  • If you do not yet have a maintenance contract with us, then we’ll be happy to carry out a system assessment so that we can offer you a tailor-made solution to ensure that your system remains operational in the event of power cuts.

What about my camera surveillance and recording?

Here, the logical chain of events is inevitable: no power, no recording and therefore no images. In the event of power outage, the video recorder stops working. As all cameras are connected to the video recorder, no images can be recorded.

But there are solutions available that can ensure a backup power supply:
  • If the power supply to the video recorder and the cameras comes from the same source, VAG Security Systems can provide a UPS backup supply to keep the video recorder up and running during a power cut. 
  • If the power supply does not come from the same source, then every camera requires its own UPS backup supply.
Bear in mind that access to the video recorder can only be assured if the communication network also has its own backup power supply. We recommend that you check this with your service provider. 


What about my access control system?

You maintain total control even during power outage. The same principle applies – the control unit and all connected components each have their own backup batteries that automatically take over to ensure that this business-critical control system can remain operational for several hours during a power cut.

There are two types of access control system:
  • The autonomous system: this means that there is no software involved in the management of the system. If a backup power supply is present, the system can continue to run for several hours.
  •  A network of access control components connected to a PC: usually, there is one control unit per door. Depending on the type of door, these can also continue to function perfectly with the necessary backup power supply.
May we draw your attention to the following: if your system is accessed via the internet, then accessibility is dependent on the network set-up. If a backup power supply is available, the system will remain accessible. We recommend that you check this with your service provider.  


Useful to know:

Are my batteries (still) able to provide sufficient power in the event of power outage?
  • If you have a maintenance contract with us, this is not an issue. Because we check all batteries when we carry out our annual service and – when necessary – replace them as a precautionary measure.
  • If you do not yet have a maintenance contract with us, then we’ll be happy to carry out a system assessment so that we can offer you a tailor-made solution to ensure that your system remains operational in the event of power cuts.

How will the Connex Center receiving centre respond?

Because your alarm and security systems are equipped with backup batteries, our Connex Center alarm receiving centre does not consider possible power cuts as an emergency. However, this does not mean that the receiving centre is unavailable, because here as well, backup generators take over when there’s a power cut in order to ensure that it remains fully operational.

When there is a power cut, the workload increases exponentially which requires the receiving centre to respond to alerts in the following order of priority:

1) Life-threatening alerts, such as panic alarms, medical alarms, fire alarms, …
2) Burglary and sabotage
3) Technical problems, such as power failure, low battery, ….

Should you require us to give top priority to power cut alerts when, for example, your alarm or security system protects cooling or freezer units, servers, air conditioning or heating systems – then we should be notified of this requirement in advance. This will enable us to link these alerts to the alarm system so that our Connex Center can treat them as a higher priority.


Will the lights go out in my area?

The power supply will not be cut off suddenly nor in all areas at the same time. The switch-off plan is divided into six sections. These sections stretch across various provinces or regions in Belgium. If a power shortage occurs and the measures taken to reduce consumption appear inadequate, the first section will be switched off. Should this prove inadequate, then the second section will be switched off. A rotation system will be put in place to ensure that all sections are affected in equal measure. Click on the following links to find out whether the lights will go out in your area or street:

http://economie.fgov.be/nl/elektriciteitsschaarste/#.VFjbjP90yM8
http://www.eandis.be/eandis/energieschaarste.htm


How does the power indicator work?

On the new government website www.offon.be, you can find detailed information about possible power shortages over the coming winter months. In addition, a useful power indicator shows you whether there is a risk of a power shortfall over the following seven days and there are helpful tips to help you reduce your energy consumption.


Questions:

You’d like to find out more? No problem, VAG Security Systems is always on guard. Even during a power cut. You can contact us via email vag.info@vag-security.be or phone us on 0032 (0)2 733 11 44.