Once again, Facebook friends, feel free to skip this. You’re read the blow-by-blow drama already.
We had a security issue at our home a few weeks ago. Our inverter batteries failed. Let me explain why this is bad:
- Power outages happen in Kenya. It is a fact of life. So, you need to be prepared.
- During the rainy season, power outages happen more often.
- We have inverters for back up power. These run on batteries.
- Our security system needs power to be active. It can run on the main power or the inverters. Should the inverters fail, the security system can run on its own back up supply for 12 hours.
- After that 12 hour period runs out…no security system.
- You absolutely need a security system in Nairobi.
I think you can tell where this is going. Heavy rains caused a very long power outage. This was not a problem for a while. Then, one night, the inverter failed. I was still able to arm the house.
Then, around 5:30 or 5:45 in the morning, the alarm went off. I was able to look around from the upstairs balcony to make sure the house hadn’t been broken into. Still, I stayed upstairs behind our Safe Haven gate until I could talk to the security company (we use KK Security) and knew that security guards were on their way.
They came and checked things out. Everything was fine. But, I couldn’t turn off the alarm. After about 15 minutes, the alarm stopped on its own. What happened was that the security system had gone through its back up power supply. Hence the alarm went off.
I spent the remainder of that week getting everything sorted. I was able to quickly determine the point of failure: the batteries for the inverter. Getting the batteries took a few days.
Until that was resolved, each night I had to make a decision as to whether or not it was safe to sleep at home or not. Was there enough power during the day so that the security system’s back up power could recharge? What were the chances of heavy rain and another power outage? Would it be okay to risk it?
I opted to stay with neighbors, and thank goodness we have amazing neighbors!
We did get the new batteries. Our home is a fortress once again. We’re also getting a generator on top of the inverters as an additional back up.
I can sleep soundly again, and in my own bed.
Special thanks to Wandia, Steve, Nick, and Majo for coming to my rescue!