Saturday, October 7

YABF : yet another battery fubar

Eventually, my death will be caused by an errant battery; I just know it.

Over the years, I've had my issues with batteries. I've blogged about these demons on at least a dozen occasions (the most recent was a false alarm related to the Sony batteries in my laptop).

This week, the problem was with my home alarm; after I came home to find that it had triggered (I didn't close the door tightly), I was shocked to see there wasn't a Dallas SWAT deployment surrounding my home.

Turns out my alarm company never got the signal because (long story short) the battery backup had failed. Whaat? The system was neutered because the battery went south - and the system didn't warn me; not sure I like that feature. The service guy arrived the same day I reported the problem, and quickly isolated the fault. He says those batteries last about 3 years (maybe 5 under ideal conditions) and probably triggered an amber light on the alarm panel, which I dutifully ignored.

Lessons learned:

#1 I set a calendar reminder, 3 years from now, to replace this battery, so I'm not paying for an alarm that'll never reach the monitoring center.

#2 Retail outlets don't stock a lot of these "alarm system batteries", which can sit on the shelf for many months. Best to check the expiration date, just in case.

#3 My alarm company sells fresh batteries, and will deliver them while they're in my area, almost for cost. I was "quoted" about $15 for one, versus double that from Batteries+ or RadioShack or whoever else carries them.

#4 When the amber "fault" light appears on the control pad, PAY ATTENTION.

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