An electrical surge happens when the voltage or current suddenly increases. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as faulty equipment, old wiring, a problem with the wider power grid, or even as a result of a natural disaster and bad weather.
If this happens, your electricity can completely crash, or it might cause irreparable damage to your equipment, damaging not only your infrastructure, but also potentially your reliability and reputation as a business.
As you can imagine, you often cannot anticipate the occurrence of a power surge – but you can take measures to reduce the impact it has on your business. Read on to find out more.
1. Install an uninterrupted power supply (UPS) on essential electrical equipment
Un uninterrupted power supply (UPS) is exactly what it says on the tin – it is a power supply that will not be interrupted, even by a power surge or complete power failure. In the case of a power surge, a UPS power supply will provide crucial emergency power to the electronic systems and data centres it is hooked up to.
Unlike a backup generator, the UPS will almost instantly provide the emergency power. This means that you can ensure essential electricity is always turned on in the event of a disaster, or can be shut down properly instead of suddenly pulling the plug.
This is absolutely crucial in many industries. For many companies, a power surge can damage equipment and cause extensive data loss – in other fields, a power surge might even cause injury or death – and, luckily, a UPS can help protect them all.
2. Have protections in place to reduce the risk of a power surge happening
Instead of waiting for the power surge to potentially happen, consider how you might prevent or reduce the risk of such an event from happening. Think proactively rather than reactively.
Of course, one of these measures might be to install a UPS even when you think you don’t need one to future proof the business. Other protections to consider include:
- Make sure circuits are not overloaded
- Conduct regular inspections of electrical wiring in the building
- Test, maintain and service electrical equipment
- Understand the early warning signs of an electrical fault
- Be wary of devices that use extensive amounts of energy
- Monitor your local power grid
- Include electrical equipment in your disaster recovery, health and safety, and business continuity plans
- Notify your electricity provider of any critical equipment that should be prioritised in the event of an emergency
- Regularly backup your work and data systems to external storage
3. Consider surge suppression devices in key locations
In the event of a power surge, the electrical current will suddenly become very large. When this happens, circuit breakers will often miss the surge as it happens too quickly for them to react.
But that’s when surge suppression devices come into play. These devices can be installed in critical areas, such as where the electricity enters the building, in electrical panels and controls, and where any critical equipment will be used.
In doing so, you will be able to identify an electrical surge and better understand how it happened, as well as catching it early enough that you can reduce the impact the electrical surge has on your business.