Potential Reasons Your Security System Failed and How to Troubleshoot It


Imagine just moving into a new home. You’ve set up all the furniture, tested all your doors’ and windows’ locks, and most of all, installed a sophisticated security system. You slept at night completely secure that your home won’t be broken into.

And for a while, that was the case. But then a few months later, you experienced your first burglary, and a few of your valuables were taken.

How could this happen if you have a robust security system? You were sure that you locked all your doors and windows, and that your alarms would go off when it detected forced entry. Alas, the burglar outsmarted you and your security system.

The answer isn’t necessarily a faulty device or deadbolts. Sometimes, circumstances out of your control can affect the inner workings of your security system. Below are the possible reasons for its failure:

1. Lightning Strike

During a thunderstorm, it’s best to unplug all your electronics. That’s because if lightning strikes a local electric pole nearby, a surge of electricity can burst through the power lines, damaging your electronics.

In North America, most devices that plug into a wall outlet are designed to use around 120 volts of electricity. But they can withstand up to 169 volts. In some other parts of the world, plug-in devices can withstand up to 240 volts. But when lightning strikes, the voltage it supplies is much more than 169 and 240 volts. They can be millions. No electronics are designed to withstand such voltage, explaining why the sockets get fried during a lightning strike.

Thankfully, electrical surges due to lightning are rare. But you should still unplug your electronics during a thunderstorm. Have a battery-operated alarm system to avoid sacrificing your security. Burglars may take advantage of the low visibility to break into your home.

2. Old Batteries

If you’ve been living in your home for a while now, ask yourself when was the last time you changed your alarms’ batteries. It’s possible that you’ve never changed them yet, and they’re still using the same batteries you inserted the first time.

Old batteries can get weak, reducing the effectiveness of your alarms. It is recommended that you replace alarm batteries every four to five years. Make a reminder for yourself so that you’d always have new batteries ready before replacement is due.

3. Cable Damage


Cable damage is a more complex issue that should be handled by a professional only. The fix to that is replacing the faulty cable or patching it up, which an inexperienced handyman may perform poorly. In this case, don’t attempt to troubleshoot the problem yourself. Just call an alarm system repair professional.

4. Faulty Sensors or Panels

In the case of a faulty sensor, you either need to get a new sensor or have the wiring of the sensor repaired. Check the sensor lid as well, because it could just be loose. Tightening the lid will fix the problem immediately if that’s the only problem.

If the issue seems to be in the panel, consider getting a new alarm system. It is common for alarms to suffer faults and require a replacement over time.

5. Bad Connector

If your security cameras lost signal, check the voltage and connector. The camera should have a 1-volt peak-to-peak signal. That’s roughly 0.707 volts AC if you have a standard RMS (root mean square) voltmeter. If that’s not the number showing up, the camera itself or the connector could be the issue. Reconnect the connectors and check again.

6. Impact

Since security cameras are normally installed in discreet corners, they can be subject to impact during harsh weather. If a tree branch is right over your security cameras, it might’ve struck the device at one point, causing the signal problems. Check the device for signs of impact. If you see any, have them checked by a professional, or get new units and install them somewhere safer.

7. A Burglar Has Disabled it

The worst-case scenario is that the burglar has disabled your security system. This is not implausible, because some detained burglars confess to knowing how to do this. To prevent another burglar from doing the same thing, have additional security measures, such as using sturdy deadbolts and having a pet. For a pet, a big dog would be ideal. Burglars aren’t fazed by small dogs, but large breeds intimidate them effectively.

In addition, if someone comes to your home to render services or deliver packages, keep an eye on them. Many burglars are people that look familiar to us. So stay vigilant and don’t be so lax just because someone looks harmless.

Security systems aren’t foolproof, so maintenance is crucial. They’d only work optimally if we regularly monitor them. Even if technology can do a lot of work for us, actions from us are still important.

Scroll to Top