Preparing for Power Outages - When the Snow Hits!

Snow calamity in Bratislava SlovakiaElectrical power outages have increased dramatically since 2000. But, why? Two reasons: a growing population with an insatiable appetite for electricity coupled with more frequent extreme weather events.[1]
Now, is the time to prepare for those unexpected power outages before a snow or ice storm hits. Here are some helpful tips to prevent a power outage from shutting your business down, when the lights go out.

Tip #1: Check all emergency lighting and backup power supplies. A power outage can occur at any time of the day, even when your office or commercial building is bustling with employees and customers. Getting everyone out of the building safely, is a top priority, and emergency lighting is essential for keeping exits and stairways well lit. Whether you have a backup generator or an uninterrupted power supply (UPS), be sure to have it inspected, now, before they’re in full use. Your preferred commercial electrical company can provide guidance on how to properly maintain and service these electrical backup systems.

Tip #2: Identify critical electrical components and equipment. To protect against voltage irregularities when the power is restored, or when the backup power supply kicks on, unplug all sensitive electronic equipment.[2] Sudden electrical surges can damage critical equipment. Also, if you’re using a backup generator, your electrical output will likely be limited. Identify your mission critical electrical components before bad weather hits. This is good practice to ensure that all of your important electrical systems are still running, when your electrical usage is capped.

Tip #3: Check for electrical hazards around your building. A quarter inch of ice can bring down power lines and create an immediate hazard.[3] Before ice and snow hit, check the power lines around your commercial property. Consider scheduling an electrical inspection of external electrical systems and fixtures, at least once a year. A licensed electrical service contractor can inspect all power lines leading to your building to make sure they are well secured and connected properly. As always, assume a downed power line is live and advise all employees to not touch it and instead, to alert your facility manager.

Snow and ice are inevitable, but being prepared for power outages is well within your control. To keep the lights on, even when extreme weather hits, consider installing a reliable backup generator or investing in an uninterrupted power supply. Capital City Electrical, Atlanta’s trusted electrical company, can provide backup generator selection, UPS design, and preventative maintenance services.

[1] http://insideenergy.org/2014/08/18/power-outages-on-the-rise-across-the-u-s/

[2] http://emergency.tufts.edu/weather/winter-power-outage-tips/

[3] http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/how-to-survive-an-ice-storm-po/20680035