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The Powers That Be:

Security Alarms in Legislation

The powers that be are examining the powers that charge alarm security systems. Congress recently approved the Power and Security Systems (PASS) Act. What is it and why does it matter to you? Read on to find out!

The average American home has five to ten external power supplies. As explained in the bill,“external power supplies are used in hundreds of types of electronics and consumer products, including cell phones, tablets, laptops, video game consoles and power tools, to convert power from a wall outlet into lower voltages.” Your security system is no exclusion to this list!

Alarm security systems are low-voltage systems powered through your wall electricity by a transformer. No, not the robot-alien car things from the movies. This transformer is a 16-volt, two-prong adapter (external power supply). They are usually off white or light tan in color and installed near the control panel.

Keep in mind that the system also has a backup battery, in case the transformer comes unplugged or there is a power outage.

These types of external power supplies are considered class A and, according to the Department of Energy, have to meet certain standards. One such set of standards is the No-Load Mode. This essentially refers to the power supply’s energy efficiency. Because security system transformers must always be connected and in active mode, meeting these No-Load Mode standards would require redesign and change to manufacturing processes. This change would lead to a 200 to 300% increase in equipment cost; cost which could be passed along to the consumer (that’s you!).

No need to fear! The Power and Security Systems Act states that external power supplies designed to be connected to a security or life safety alarm or surveillance system may be treated as a separate product class or may receive non-application provisions. Simply put, the PASS Act allows for an exemption to security system power supplies AND makes this exemption permanent. With a permanent guarantee that manufacturing isn’t required to change, you have a permanent cost savings guarantee!

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your security system’s power, contact our office.