Spring has sprung, and that means a barrage of spring storms, some of which can be quite violent. There are approximately 20 million lightening cloud-to-ground strikes every year in the United States. With these statistics, it doesn’t matter that lightening is believed to never strike the same place twice.
A lightening strike could cause a power surge, even if it occurred many miles away from your business. And a power surge could damage critical business equipment, requiring expensive repairs or rendering it useless.
Through a cable, wire, or line that connects your equipment to its electrical supply, a typical power surge could send up to 1,000 watts of voltage. And just one bolt of lightening could send 100,000 volts of electricity your way, through its path of least electrical resistance. Once this energy enters a building, it can travel through copper wires, electrical whiles, phone lines, data cables, duct work, and even plumbing.
Not only can power fluctuations and surges like this disrupt your business operations, but it can impact software, destroy circuitry, and result in lost data. Repeated power surges can damage motherboards and cause hard drive failure. Downtime, lost income, repair or replacement of expensive equipment are all possible results of a power surge — not to mention a fire that can beak out as a result of an overloaded electric panel or power strip
So, how can you protect your business from storm-related power surges? Here are three ways:
1) Use the right type of surge protectors. Point-of-device surge protectors provide a vital line of defense for your business equipment. However, keep in mind that after absorbing a few substantial power surge hits, these devices may not be able to bear the full force of the next surge due to being worn down.
2) Install a main service suppressor panel. While surge protectors are an important safeguard, they’re really no replacement for a heavy-duty, main surge suppressor. These are set up to handle large voltages as they enter the building, reducing blow to surge protectors and business equipment. A good main service pain may cost you several hundred dollars or more, but that’s a stone’s throw in comparison to cost of lightening damage. Main service suppressors should be installed by a licensed and professional electrician, and checked regularly for safety.
3) Invest in insurance. Check with your insurance agent to ensure that your policy contains commercial power surge protection. Additionally, if your business relies on equipment for its continuous operations, then it’s prudent to consider equipment breakdown insurance. Without these types of business insurance, you’re not doing all you can to protect your business from storm-related power surges.
Business owners: take the above steps to be ready for storm season, random power surges, and protect your business equipment.