How to Protect Your Business Electronics
Protecting your business equipment from power disturbances is much more complex and requires more planning than needed in your home. Your equipment protection needs will be entirely different depending on the type of business (retail, service, manufacturing) and types of equipment in use (computers, cash registers, refrigeration, small or large motors, alarm systems, elevators, lighting, ventilation, etc.). It is critical to consult with an expert on your specific needs. Here are some things to consider:
Have a business emergency / continuity plan
Identify the processes and equipment that will be affected by a power outage, determine the impact and how you will respond or protect it. Maintain an inventory of all equipment, including a list of equipment that must be turned off during a power outage and then reset when power is restored. Back up computer data frequently. Develop emergency response plans for employees and customers. Ensure Your business plan includes a schedule for regular maintenance and testing of UPS and backup power systems.
Install battery back up systems
Depending on your situation, you may need temporary battery back up systems for lighting, communications, security, fire protection, data and other critical functions. This includes Uninterruptible Power Systems (UPS) for computers and other digital equipment. UPS protects against both a temporary decrease in voltage (sag) and a power outage. You should regularly check UPS and back up systems.
Use Surge Protection
Install surge protection on computers and other sensitive digital equipment. UPS equipment can also have built-in surge protection.
Use Phase Protection
If your business uses high voltage 3-phase motors for production or manufacturing processes, install phase protection equipment that automatically shuts off motors if one phase of your 3-phase service is lost. This will protect motors from continuing to operate and burn up on lower voltage.
Have Back Up Power
Back up power for critical loads could be important depending on your business operations and your risk of loss. This is usually an emergency generator designed to automatically provide electricity to critical functions during a power outage. For large manufacturing facilities or data center operations, a backup utility power line may also be an option.
Talk to your insurance provider about coverage for losses resulting from an electrical power outage. This type of coverage is known as service interruption or utility interruption and is generally only available for losses that result from sudden physical damage to utility equipment. Losses that result from other causes, such as operator error, are not covered by most insurance.
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