Veritas Rs Plus/Excel - Keypad and control panel 'dead'

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I had this fitted about 5 years ago in a house that has been empty a lot.
I think something alive has triggered it before -full description below*

Recently the electricity has been turned off at the mains a couple of times for a couple of hours. Then I had the power off for about 6 hours...it kept making an intermittent chime which I think it is supposed to when the mains is off (it has always done that if I remember right).
When I tried to (part) set it, it seemed to not be working right - I was in a hurry so couldn't play with it and I was only leaving it overnight so I left it.
Apparently (a not very happy neighbour told me -so it might be a slight exaggeration) it went off for an hour the next morning. They also said it had gone off a couple of times in the last week. If it had (and it was my alarm - I keep hearing another one going off when I am there) it was doing it when it was only the door sensors set and pretty sure it hasn't indicated that an alarm has been activated -although workmen have been in at times but they know only to part set -I have only found it part set)
Anyway it is now 'dead' - no lights on the keypad or control box. There is power getting to the control box - a mains tester screwdriver lights up - I think it was on one side of the fuse (I didn't have the installation manual with me at the time or a multimeter). I will go back and check.
I suspect it will need a new battery whatever (although I will check the voltage on that too).
Help!!!
To change the battery am I right in thinking I need the boss code? I think the default is 4321 or 1234? I can't ask the installer if they changed it or if they did get the code/them back as they were also a friend of a friend and there has been a falling out...
Will it just be the battery? Could it be the mains fuse too? Why would it blow?
There is a tiny chance that I might have damaged a cable...I put a slightly longer screw in a wall where the cables could run - but I am pretty sure they don't - I would have to rip floor boards up to double check...and when I put the power back on it stopped chiming so I don't think it was on battery only power.

*I had a problem a year or so ago with the alarm going off in the evening - I put down mouse traps in the area the sensor had triggered the alarm (upstairs) and one went off but didn't catch anything (except a single black hair. The bathroom had been stripped out at the time - so 'open' soil stack thought it might be something bigger than a mouse -eek)
No more problems until a month or so ago when it started going off again in the evening. This time the downstairs loo had been stripped out and the floor boards were up - the triggered sensor was in the living room, a bit odd cos even though all the internal doors were open if it was a 'mouse' from that area it must have gone through one area and not set the sensor off. I put traps down, none were touched (one did get the plumber though!). No other signs of rodents...
Anyway I started part setting it - so it was just the door sensors active - plan was until the new loo had been fitted/floor back down -which it has now but still haven't got the courage to go back to full set just yet.
 
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Obviously that was too long winded a post...
I have looked at it again - the mains fuse had blown - does anyone know why that might have happened?
Changed it (with the spare one in there) and I have power in RKP/control box. Engineer hadn't reset code - so that's all good.
The internal battery was dead - I guess it might just have needed leaving in there to charge it up - but as it is 5yrs old I have ordered a new one to be on the safe side.
But I left it with the mains on for a while and it must have recharged the battery in the bell box. At 10pm when I tried to turn the mains off it started going off -I had to turn the mains back on.
Read another thread where it says just let it ring for 15 mins until the battery is dead - but really reluctant to do that as I have upset the neighbours already. I've left it powered up, unset, with no battery in the control panel for now. But realise when I put the new battery in I'm going to have to turn the mains off - so it will go off. Is there a way around that?
Also the tamper light is on - but I think that will be pretty easy to reset when I've put the new battery in - am I right?
 
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Faulty battery ....transformer gets hot trying to charge battery ...mains / transformer fuse blows ....replace battery ...no need to switch off mains ....
 
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Thanks - that makes a lot of sense! I have ordered a new mains fuse so I have a spare - hope no other fuses have gone.
Just one thing - Will I not get electrocuted if I don't turn off the mains? Is there not some current going into the battery to recharge it - through the connectors?
Do I need to take any precautions?
 
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Ok - I'll be careful. Will I not get a kick from them even though they are only 12V ? (memories of touching electric fences connected to car batteries as a child for 'fun')
 
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To update ...battery arrived and fitted - no kicks (the wire to the battery terminals are insulated so no need to touch bare wire at all) - guess it helped that I didn't lick it ;)
For anyone else reading this - I set the alarm off replacing the cover of the control box - some kind of tamper alarm I guess. It was easy to silence once I got to the keypad - so only went off for a minute or so - but probably not something to do at 6am or midnight if you like your neighbours -or want them to like you!
 
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