Spring Cleaning Your Security System
The unofficial countdown to summer begins for many of us each year as we “spring forward” into daylight saving time, moving the clock forward one hour to give us an extra hour of sunlight at the end of every day.
Since this is the time of the year when we change our clocks, it is important to remember to do a few other things as well:
Change the batteries on your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors
Spring clean your security system
Check the Batteries
Components of your security system that may operate on batteries include your control panel, keypad, door and window sensors, motion detectors, glass-break detectors, smart thermostats, and smart door locks. It’s essential to make sure these batteries are all working correctly.
Your security system may give you alerts when batteries are low. Many of today’s smart home security apps also provide low-battery notifications. But one sure-fire way to make sure everything is working the way it should is to test your security system.
Your security panel, even if it is hardwired into a power source, may have a backup battery. Check your owner’s manual to see how often you should replace the panel battery. It is generally every three to four years.
Test Your System
Are all your door and window contacts and motion detectors working correctly? Security systems have a “test” mode for this exact purpose. If you have a monitored home security system, make sure you call the central command station to let them know you are going to be testing your system, so they do not dispatch the authorities to your home.
Arm your security system and open every door or window that has a security contact to ensure the alarm sounds. Once you have completed your test, call the monitoring station to make sure they received a signal for each of the contacts.
If something is not working, try changing the batteries. If that still doesn’t work, you may have a wiring issue.
Survey the Landscape
Another helpful spring-cleaning task is performing spot checks on all components of your security system inside and outside your home. Below is a good list to start with:
Dust off motion detectors
Clean light fixtures; change any dead bulbs
Check outdoor lighting to make sure it is working properly; change any dead bulbs
Inspect any indoor or outdoor video cameras to make sure the lens is clean, the camera is aimed accurately, and the camera is recording
Check window locks to make sure they are working correctly
Consider upgrading to smart door locks, so you don’t have to worry about spare keys under rocks anymore
Consider resetting your keypad entry passwords if there are vendors or visitors who no longer need access to your home
You also may want to consider having a professionally trained technician inspect your security system once a year to ensure it is working accurately and troubleshoot any problems that may come up later.