Load shedding might compromise your home security this festive season

Experts urge homeowners to fortify their security with solar for uninterrupted protection. Picture: Supplied.

Experts urge homeowners to fortify their security with solar for uninterrupted protection. Picture: Supplied.

Published Dec 11, 2023


By: Rein Snoeck-Henkemans

Whether you’re setting off on vacation or going on a day trip with friends or family this festive season, you’ll want peace of mind that your home is safe. Unfortunately, that’s made all the more difficult when your security cameras, alarm system, and indoor and outdoor lights are left inoperative due to load-shedding.

There’s no telling whether and how much electricity we’ll have this December period. Criminals are well aware that many of us will be out for a few days, and that most security systems go down the moment load-shedding begins.

A solar system with panels, an inverter, and batteries, all tailored to your home’s specific security and everyday needs, resolves many of the security concerns we as homeowners may have while we’re away, especially during times of heavy load-shedding.

While you plan for your festive season security needs before setting off, there are a few security benefits to having solar that you should consider:

Exterior lights for increased outdoor visibility

Outdoor lights connected to your solar system can provide increased visibility around your property throughout the night. These will also assist some of your other security systems or guard dogs by providing increased visibility during night time load-shedding.

Some criminals monitor their targets before breaking into gauge movement. Exterior lights that are left on at all hours of the day may indicate that no one is home. Connecting these lights to a timer or a remote-control system, which is also connected to the internet, will allow you to control your lights while away, even during load-shedding, ensuring that they’re on at night, and off during the day.

Devices that imitate interior activity

Similar to exterior lights, interior lighting may indicate to criminals that someone is home. By connecting certain indoor light fixtures to the solar system, you can ensure that they stay on during load-shedding.

A worthwhile addition would be remote-controlled fixtures that connect via the internet to your smart device, which will allow you to turn specific lights in separate parts of your home on and off to make it seem as though there is human activity inside.

Your festive lights can also be connected to the solar system, creating the impression that your family is spending this period at home. As an added benefit, solar power will help offset the additional electricity costs that come with running multiple festive lights, saving a considerable amount on your electricity bill over the holidays.

You may also consider leaving your entertainment system, such as a radio or television with sound on during this period. Even better is if you can control the unit remotely. Solar will allow your entertainment system to stay on during load-shedding, warning would-be criminals that someone might be home.

Alarm and sensor systems

Alarm and sensor systems could provide you with additional peace of mind by alerting a security company that an intruder may be in your home while sounding an alarm that could scare off burglars.

Criminals may also see the solar panels on your home’s roof and understand that your security system will still be fully operational during load-shedding, deterring them from targeting your home in the first place.

Security cameras

As with the alarm and sensor system, solar can keep your interior and exterior cameras operational throughout the day, allowing you to check in on your home at any time while you’re away and, if your cameras are connected to sensors, you can receive a warning on your smart device whenever there’s suspicious movement on your premises.

Solar-connected cameras will help bring you further peace of mind by allowing you to check in on your home and belongings to make sure they are still safe, allowing you to fully enjoy your time away with family or friends.

Internet connectivity

Lastly, to ensure that all of the previous systems can be controlled remotely while you’re away, you will need a consistent internet connection. Solar energy will ensure that your internet router stays active during load-shedding and that all of your smart security devices maintain connectivity.

Once you’ve decided to fortify your home with solar, make sure to contact an experienced and well-established solar provider and installer.

* Snoeck-Henkemans is the CEO of Alumo Energy.