One of the key user problems reported with the Scout Alarm system is battery issues. Most home security sensor batteries last anywhere from 2-5 years. They use very little power even when a door or window opens or closes, or a motion detector light goes on and off constantly.
Scout Alarm advertises that you can expect the batteries to last for 12-months. However, a large number of users report the average is as low as 2-3 months. This can add significantly to the cost and aggravation associated with any system.
Scout Alarm is aware of the problem and appears to be aggressively seeking a solution. They will replace batteries for free if the problem appears to be with the system and not the user. However, even with this arrangement, the homeowner must pay shipping.
Types of Batteries
The Scout Alarm sensors use CR2 batteries. The motion detector requires two and the access sensor requires one.
The door panel needs two CR123A batteries.
The equivalent of the control panel for traditional home security systems, the hub, plugs directly into any outlet in the home. There is also a rechargeable lithium battery in case the power goes out. The backup battery will keep the system functioning for approximately 24 hours.
Scout Alarm claims that for “average” use the batteries should last nine months or more before replacement.
The faceplates on the sensors and the hub have slots that you can turn with your finger to access the battery compartments.
Low Battery Reports
The Scout system sends users an email whenever the batteries are low. You will also see a low battery indicator listed by sensor on your web panel.
However, some users report that days or weeks prior to receiving notification the sensors and door panels malfunction due to power issues.
What Affects Battery Drainage
According to the company, battery life depends on hub connectivity, sensor testing frequency and general usage.
Using a mesh network, which Scout Alarm uses for its system connections, can also cause power drains. The sensors are constantly using power while interconnecting.
Scout Alarm system users report that something else must be causing the drainage. There are many reports that sensors remaining in the closed state and never accessed or tested need a replacement battery after two-three months.
Occasionally a user reports that the battery provided tested as dead or depleted upon receipt. However, most of the complainants have replaced the batteries with ones that they bought themselves and still report drainage after only two-three months.
Firmware and Software Fixes
Despite user speculation on possible firmware or software fixes available in the near future, there is no indication from the company that this will happen.
Some users have reported that the Scout Service department has told them that a new version of sensor will be available soon that will shut itself off from the mesh network whenever it is not needed, which they claim with conserve battery life
Given the number of complaints appearing on message boards, it appears that Scout has a major power drain issue that adversely affects its competitiveness with other home security company sensors. Even 12 months, if users could actually get the advertised battery use, is well below industry standards. Learn more about this security company in my Scout security review.
Since Scout Alarm sensors are proprietary, there is no easy fix other than a redesign. The cost and hassle of constantly replacing batteries may drive many consumers to other home security providers.