Baby It’s Cold Outside So Let’s Keep The Lights On!

If you live in a house or apartment, a power outage is an irritation: one that is patiently waited out with candlelight and maybe a card or board game. And maybe you have a small generator in your garage for these types of things.

But HELP! We’re not at home, we are in an Emergency Room and the lights go dark… what now?

Since nearly every facet of a facility depends on electricity, taking steps to ensure that your electrical systems are prepared for unplanned outages is essential to the resilience of your operations—lives may depend on it!

Expect The Unexpected and Inspect The Uninspected!

  • Three common reasons that backup generators fail are that the start switch was left in the OFF position, the starter batteries were dead, or the fuel system failed. Everyone makes mistakes, so take a close look and then look even closer again!
  • Following regularly scheduled preventative maintenance procedure for backup power systems can make all the difference when it comes down to crunch time and a real power emergency occurs. Identifying all parts of the power redundancy system and creating task lists for proper upkeep can save lives and save millions in revenue.
  • Make sure that in addition to preventative maintenance procedures that a visual inspection of all electrical systems is conducted often. Looking for signs of corrosion, potential fire hazard, or “inventive” wiring can help identify trouble before it starts. See for yourself: http://www.ecmweb.com/ops-maintenance/12-reasons-why-electricians-should-always-be-looking-trouble
  • For backup generators that run on fuel, it is ESSENTIAL to regularly test the fuel and the tanks and inspect for any deterioration or sediment in the fuel lines. Something as small as a clogged filter in a generator fuel tank could create a domino-effect catastrophe that can cost lives as well as money.

Power outages aren’t hypothetical scenarios—they are inevitable—and often times severe weather is the cause. As we all continue to re-learn, Mother Nature has no mercy. Between Blizzard Season and Hurricane Season and Tornado Season, it’s hard to find a window of time where power outages aren’t a constant threat. According to a case study published by the U.S. Department of Energy,

“Severe weather is the leading cause of power outages in the United States. Between 2003 and 2012, an estimated 679 widespread power outages occurred due to severe weather. Power outages close schools, shut down businesses and impede emergency services, costing the economy billions of dollars and disrupting the lives of millions of Americans.”

So when the lights inevitably go out, will you have a plan???