Power Outages Affecting Thousands in California
Last week, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), California’s largest utility company, cut off power to more than 500,000 businesses and homes. This decision was included in the company’s Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) plan as a precaution against potential wildfires due to the strong winds that have spanned large portions of the state. PG&E officials say that more power outages could be scheduled depending on weather conditions in the coming weeks.
Dealing With Power Outages
PG&E has warned that power outages could last for days, even weeks for some customers, and the shut-offs are likely not over. After the PSPS plan is complete, one estimate finds that approximately 2.5 million people could be without the power they need to run their businesses and/or households. This has left many Californians looking for ways to prepare. Follow these tips to help you plan for a power outage:
- Make a list of everything that uses
- electricity in your facility. This will help you determine your general power requirements.
- Plan for other ways to achieve power, such as a generator rental, in the event that your business is affected by the outage.
- Purchase the extra supplies that you or your employees might need until you are able to line up an alternative power source. These could include flashlights, batteries, water, and non-perishable food and medication.
- Ensure your cell phone and other electronic equipment are fully charged. It’s also a good idea to refill any fuel tanks after each use. These steps could help you stay in business for longer while you wait for power to be restored to your facility.
- Turn off electronic equipment once the outage has occurred. When the power returns, it could cause a brief surge that can result in significant damage to your machinery.
Since the planned shutdown was announced, many Californians have been looking for other power alternatives. Valley Power Systems has been partnering with businesses to provide the power they need to keep their operations running with minimal disruption. Each day without power can result in significant financial losses for any company. If you experience an outage, our generator rentals can have you back in business quickly—often within 24 hours. Customers looking for a more permanent backup power solution can benefit from our relationships with top manufacturers in the industry. Our goal is to make sure our customers have the reliable power source they need as quickly as possible.
Commercial-grade generators can help you avoid expensive service interruptions during a power outage, but it’s important to keep safety in mind and follow the manufacturer’s instructions once you need to operate it. The improper use of a generator can have serious repercussions, such as electrical shock, fire, and carbon monoxide poisoning. Here are some safety guidelines every generator owner should follow.
1. Locate Generator Outside
It’s best to install a generator outside somewhere that is a good distance from any windows, vents, or doors. This will reduce the risk of carbon monoxide and other harmful chemicals entering your facility.
2. Don’t Connect Generator to a Wall Outlet
Plugging a generator into a wall outlet is extremely dangerous, so it’s recommended to work with a professional for the initial installation. A licensed electrician can connect the generator to the main electrical panel using the appropriate equipment.
3. Use Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Install carbon monoxide (CO) detectors in your facility and make sure that you have backup batteries on hand. Power outages increase the risk of CO poisoning. Carbon monoxide results from engine exhaust. It is a colorless and odorless gas that’s difficult to detect and often fatal with excessive exposure.
4. Have Extra Fuel Ready
Gas and diesel generators will need plenty of fuel to see businesses through this prolonged power outage. Store extra fuel in proper containers in a dry, ventilated, and temperature-controlled space that’s far away from any heat sources that could ignite the fuel.
5. Shut Down Generator Before Refueling
Generators run hot, so it is crucial to turn them off and allow them to cool down completely before filling up fuel tanks. This will help you avoid injury or fire should any fuel spill over onto the generator. You should also be careful not to overfill the tank as fuel may expand as temperatures rise.
6. Keep Your Generator Dry
A generator should always be used on a dry surface, and you should never touch one with wet hands. Excessive moisture can cause operational failure and even electrocution. Installing a canopy-like structure over the generator is a good way to avert rain away from the unit.
7. Don’t Forget Maintenance
With power outages, you will be running your generator much more often than usual. This puts more wear and tear on the unit, so you will need to inspect it regularly to make sure it is in prime operating condition. Keep plenty of filters, oil, and fuel on hand. Check valves, hoses, and other connections for any leaks, cracks, or corrosion. These should be repaired or replaced immediately. The last thing that you will want to worry about is your generator shutting down in the middle of an outage.
8. Call Your Generator Professionals
Working with the trusted generator professionals from Valley Power Systems can help you best prepare for an outage. They will be able to inspect your unit and make sure you have everything you need to keep the power on. If your generator needs any repairs, they will be able to handle them for you promptly while you focus on other important aspects of your business.
Providing Power to California Businesses
Don’t be left without the power you need to run your business. Valley Power Systems can help you prepare for power outages with a temporary or backup power solution. Call our office at (800) 924-4265 for generator sales or at (800) 254-4557 for 24/7 generator rentals. Our knowledgeable staff is ready to help you find the right generator for your power needs.