Skip to content

Another tradesman comes to call…..

Since I was away on business for all of June, Saturdays excepted, I have easily managed to beat our friend Carol’s challenge of ten tradesman-free days. But of course, I was merely postponing the issue – there’s always something in the house or garden that needs dealing with.

This time, the thing that was demanding attention was my burglar alarm. It’s been playing up recently, particularly when there is a power cut – which happens surprisingly regularly. The alarm is mains powered and has a battery back-up, which is meant to last 12 hours or more, so longer than the vast majority of our power cuts. But my neighbour has reported that even a shortish power cut has led to the alarm going off in the middle of the day. She’s a stalwart of the local Neighbourhood Watch, and I’m very grateful that she keeps an eye on the house when I’m out, but it’s really not acceptable for me to be annoying her with false alarms. So I promised her that I’d get the alarm serviced while I was on leave this week.

We had the alarm installed initially a few years after we moved in, and had it augmented with new sensors a few years ago when we had the extension built. I’d assumed that involved a major service and overhaul, but apparently not. According to the engineer who serviced it this week, the system was still running on its original battery, dating from 2000. He said that the batteries they use tend to lose about 10% of their charge each year, and that it is recommended to replace them every five years or so. After thirteen years, the battery was technically “knackered”. Indeed, when he shook it, it rattled, showing a complete breakdown of the cells.

Other than a knackered battery, which he replaced, he gave my alarm system a clean bill of health. So I’m hopeful that I won’t be annoying my neighbours with false alarms after the next inevitable power cuts.

{ 2 } Comments

  1. pauld | 5 July 2013 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    we pay £43 a year for annual maintenance of alarm, includes yearly check, call outs and parts labour if things fail which they have in last couple of yrs, we’ve needed two new circuit boards in bell boxes and new battery in one (or maybe both of them).

  2. Gillian | 7 July 2013 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    That’s pretty good. My service was £50, plus extra for the battery. Mind you, the alarm hadn’t been serviced for over ten years, so overall it turned out cheaper not to be on an annual contract!