Four steps for preventing losses from power outages

Power surges can damage valuable equipment and personal property. They can occur after an electrical power interruption or within the normal course of day. Below are a few important steps you can take to protect your personal or business property:

  • Know your system. At which points in your electrical system do you have surge protection? At the incoming panel? At a distribution panel? A surge protector at the device? All three points in the system are important to providing surge protection. Consult with a qualified electrician to understand your system and related risks.
  • Surge protection at the main panel. Most utilities provide power where voltages fluctuate which can cause damage to electronics over time. A surge protection device on the main electrical panel will safeguard the power coming into the building.
  • If needed, apply additional surge protection. Larger buildings may have additional electrical distribution points. Surge protection at those points can help protect against internally generated surges.
  • Consider UPS devices. In addition to surge protection, an uninterruptable power supply, or UPS, attached to a computer protects against data loss by providing backup power for a short period.

If an electrical power outage occurs:

  • You can benefit from having clear instructions for turning off equipment during an outage as well as bringing everything back online.
  • You can further protect against surge damage by turning off electrical equipment and isolating equipment by opening circuit breakers.
  • When power is restored, circuit breakers nearest the power source can be closed one at a time until all equipment is energized and back online.

By proactively installing three levels of surge protection, valuable equipment such as computers and compressors can be protected at an economical cost compared to the costs of uninsured losses, deductibles, new equipment and/or downtime after a loss. Surge protection can also help equipment last longer by avoiding the heavy wear and tear that fluctuating voltage can cause over time.