Do You Know How to Prepare for Power Failure?
Power failures affect millions of businesses every year. In fact, one 2018 study found that one in four companies experience a power outage at least once a month. These outages aren’t just inconvenient—they can cost your business thousands of dollars, if not more, in lost productivity.
As severe weather issues affect the area, power disruptions are becoming more and more common and it is important to prepare for power failure. This leaves many businesses scrambling to maintain operations. Knowing how to prepare for a power outage can help you minimize losses. Use the following guide to ensure your business is ready for the unexpected.
Invest in a Backup Commercial Generator
The best way to make sure that you can continue operations during a power outage is by purchasing a backup generator, which will kick on when you lose power from the main grid. It’s important to consider your power load requirements to ensure your generator will be able to sustain your total business needs. Most facilities will need a large, industrial-sized generator to handle their higher power requirements. Also, you and a few select employees should know how to use the generator beforehand so that you’re ready should a power failure actually happen.
It is also recommended to develop a generator maintenance plan to ensure reliable operation. Maintenance should be conducted in regular intervals as recommended by the manufacturer. It should cover:
- Oil and filter change
- Fuel and coolant refill
- Battery test
- Engine run test
- Exterior cleaning
- Leak checks
Taking care of all of these tasks on a routine basis will reduce your risk of generator failure during a power outage so that your business can continue without disruption.
Use Power Surge Protectors
When the electricity returns to your facility, it can result in power surges that can cause irreparable damage to your important business systems. Surge protectors are designed to keep your electronics safe by circumventing this excess power. If you won’t be using a generator, you can also help prevent power surges by turning off all the electrical equipment in your building as soon as possible after the outage strikes.
Train Employees to Prepare for Power Failure
If all of your employees know how to respond to an emergency power outage, it will help keep everyone safe and make the process go much more smoothly. Ensure everyone receives safety training and emphasize what should be done before, during, and after a power failure. Use this comprehensive Outage Preparation Checklist for Businesses from San Diego Gas & Electric to develop your training. Be sure to perform regular practice drills to determine if you need to make any adjustments before an outage actually occurs.
How to Prepare for Power Failure
In the event that you do experience a power failure, there are some things you will want to do immediately. First, calmly assess the situation. Is everything out, or has just certain equipment been affected? In the latter case, a breaker may have just blown, or you might be experiencing equipment failure. If all electronic equipment has shut down, check with your power company to confirm the outage and get an estimate of when power will be restored. If it will be more than a few minutes, consider using a standby generator to minimize any downtime for your company.
If your power outage is due to weather conditions, you and your employees may need to stay inside the building until the worst has passed. In this case, make sure your emergency kit is accessible for everyone. You should also do your part to minimize safety risks by:
- Installing carbon monoxide (CO) alarms
Carbon monoxide is a tasteless, odorless, and colorless gas that can cause serious health issues. High levels of carbon monoxide can even be deadly within just minutes of exposure, but it’s nearly impossible to detect on your own. Installing alarms throughout your facility can protect you and your employees.
- Ensure adequate ventilation
Your generator omits dangerous chemicals like carbon monoxide, so it’s critical to ensure proper ventilation. The best way to do this is by placing the generator outdoors as far away from any vents, doors, and windows as possible.
- Practice food safety
You won’t want to be dealing with a case of food poisoning during a power outage, so remind your employees to practice food safety. If your building has a refrigerator or freezer, you should use perishable foods from the refrigerator first. Refrigerated foods are safe to eat at 40 degrees Fahrenheit and below, so be sure to keep a food thermometer nearby. Then, use the foods from the freezer before turning to any non-perishable items.
- Turn off unnecessary equipment and devices
Be sure to shut off and unplug any electronic equipment that won’t be in use during the power outage. This will reduce your generator’s power load and prevent power surges that can damage your equipment once the power returns.
Contact Valley Power Systems
Frequent power failures could significantly disrupt your operations and impact your overall profitability. Make sure you are prepared with the right equipment. Speak to one of our sales representatives at Valley Power Systems. We serve the power needs of businesses across California, and we can help you find a solution that works for your facility. Contact us today!