Power outages and what to do
Many things can go wrong in business, and power outages are one of them. A power outage can be inconvenient, but it could also be a disaster for your business if you don’t prepare for it. When the grid goes down, what happens? Here are some answers for you:
The 101 on power outages
Common causes of a power outage
Power outages are common, but they’re not always due to human error. View below some of the most common causes:
- Severe weather – An unexpected storm or high wind can cause power outages.
- Vehicle accident – If someone hits a pole or building while driving, some damage may lead directly back to the electrical system.
- Equipment failure – Sometimes, equipment issues in your facility or office can lead to a power outage.
- Fallen trees – During a storm, trees might fall on the power lines, disrupting the city’s electricity network.
- Planned outage – Power stations might temporarily shut down the electricity for routine maintenance or repairs.
Different types of power outages
There are many types of power outages. The following are some common ones:
- Power outage: This is the complete loss of electricity. It can happen suddenly or gradually and may be caused by accident such as a fire, storm damage, or other events. These accidents can interrupt the flow of electricity from your utility provider to you.
- Brownout occurs when the electrical power supply system has a voltage drop.
- Blackout: A blackout occurs when the power grid crashes because of an imbalance between the generation and consumption of power.
- Rolling blackouts occur when the electricity demand exceeds the network’s power supply capability.
What exactly happens when power grids go down?
When a power grid goes down, there are two main consequences: an outage and a blackout.
Outages occur when the electricity has been disconnected from the grid, and you don’t have access to it for some reason. This could happen because one of your neighbors’ electrical wires got cut off, but it could also be caused by equipment failure or other factors. Contact a professional if you’re having trouble with this problem (e.g., no lights on or dead appliances).
A blackout occurs when there’s no power—not just in one area but across an entire city or region of land outside its borders. This means that you won’t be able to use any electronic devices until repairs are made, and order is restored to society!
Electrical services you can count on
To make preparations for a power outage, having a generator installed is the best electrical service you can count on.
How do generators work
Generators convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. There are two ways that generators can do this:
- Internal combustion engines, which run on fuel and produce ignition
- Turbines, which turn the shaft of a rotating machine (such as an electric generator) to generate electricity
- First, determine where you want the new unit installed by measuring where all your electrical cables are currently connected in your home or business establishment.
- Then make sure there’s enough room for the unit itself!
- The next step is connecting everything properly and testing it to ensure everything works together, taking the necessary steps to prevent issues later down the road.
You must refrain from carrying out the generator installation process. You could electrocute yourself and potentially cause significant damage. You could also cause damage to the unit and pay for the repairs or replacement.
Professionals know what they’re doing! If you try to do it yourself, you can easily get hurt.
Maintenance consideration for a generator
Generators also require regular maintenance. The frequency of these checks depends on the type and age of your generator and how often you use it. A portable generator that operates on gasoline or diesel fuel should be checked every 30 days or at least once per season.
Generator owners should also take their units to an authorized service center for routine oil changes. This includes spark plug replacements and other preventative maintenance tasks such as cleaning filters and changing belts if needed.
Preparing for a power outage
Preparing at home
- Have a plan for heating your home in case of a power outage.
- Get a backup generator to keep you warm and prevent your food from spoiling.
- Prepare your car for cold weather. Check battery, oil, tires, and wipers regularly.
- If you can get to a store, stock up on water and canned food.
- Keep a first aid kit handy.
Preparing at office
- Ensure that all employees or staff members are aware of their roles in an emergency.
- Create a plan and determine how you will react to an interruption in service with each member of your staff listed beforehand.
- It is recommended to talk with your business insurance provider to see how your coverage protects you during a power outage.
- Store regular backups stored offsite.
- Invest in a generator
- Protect your computer from power spikes and surges using a surge protection device.
It is vital to know what to do if you are in a business that relies heavily on power. There are many ways to prepare for an outage and ensure that your business can function during a power outage. Set up a generator, keep backup power supplies handy, and make sure your computers have battery backups.
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