You may be experiencing some of these problems with your alarm system as a result of load shedding, Here is some basic information you need to be aware of.


  • Your alarm system runs off a battery which is constantly being charged by a transformer and not directly off the power.
  • As a basic guide, a battery takes 4 uninterrupted hours minimum to recharge.
  • Load shedding is putting a huge strain on the battery, especially when it occurs 2-3 times a day. The battery will deteriorate far more quickly dependent on use.
  • The batteries we use are gel batteries which are the best available. Suppliers do not guarantee the life of batteries.
  • If your battery does not last the length of time load shedding exists for – you will need to change it.


  • Wired Alarm Systems
    Between 1-8 zones: will generally last between 4-6 hours on a fully charged battery
    Between 1-16 zones: 3-4 hrs on a fully charged battery
    Between 1-32 zones: if there is no power pack will last 3 hrs. If there is a power pack – 4-6 hrs.
  • Wireless Alarm systems 1-32 zones:6hrs as it uses less power
  • NB. These are general guidelines only and will vary with every system and every battery, but we would advise that you monitor your system based on these guidelines.
    • If your alarm panel and keypad loses all power during load shedding, your alarm system will not work and nor will your panics. It offers you no protection whatsoever.
    • Before the system switches off completely it will beep a number of times to warn you, together with a ‘Trouble’ light/ symbol which will be shown on your keypad.
    • When power is restored it will come back on line and start to recharge the battery (assuming the battery has not totally died). This will take approximately 4 hours minimum.
    • Transformers – whilst the basic transformer does have an element of surge protection contained within it, given the frequency of load shedding, this may also fail and will need to be replaced or the system will not operate. An electrical surge may also blow the entire panel, which would require replacement of the pc board. Older panels and transformers have no element of surge protection in them.
    • Telkom lines – When load shedding occurs some Telkom lines will fail totally and not transmit signals, or on occasion power will be reduced to below 40 volts and the Control Room will not receive those signals until power is restored within the line. If you are connected by radio, this is not relevant.



If you are experiencing any of the following signals or situations during load shedding, they are probably quite normal especially if your battery is dead. There are very limited things that a Technician can do during load shedding, other than to replace your battery.

  • Low Battery
  • Dead Alarm
  • Key Pad beeping
  • False Alarms due to low Batteries
  • Open zones due to power pack or battery failure

On occasion, it may be better to wait until the power has been restored to better determine what faults still persist before calling for Technical support.

Contacting Crime Watch Technical Department to schedule a technical appointment.

DURING OFFICE HOURS: Monday – Friday 8.00am – 5.00pm
Tel:  021 552 1717 (option 2) or email

AFTER HOURS. Tel: 021 552 1717 – The Control Room will answer the call and can raise a fault report for you that the technical department will respond to during office hours.

Requiring a Technician after hours:  Crime Watch do have a standby technician available after hours, but given the volume of calls due to load shedding, they are often not able to respond to every client immediately.

I hope this information will prove useful. Unfortunately, it would appear that load shedding may continue to plague us for quite some time to come.