Nothing brings work to a screeching halt faster than a power outage. Employees may enjoy the unexpected break, but losing power is bad for business.
In addition to holding up productivity, a blackout can also be dangerous. It’s important you prepare for an outage so chaos doesn’t ensue.
Fortunately, there are many things a business can do to get through a few hours or even a whole day with no electricity. Check out these seven power outage tips so you and your staff aren’t caught off guard.
1. Keep a Supply Kit on Hand
Keeping an emergency blackout kit on hand will help your staff during the moments directly following a blackout. Make sure all employees know where it’s located.
Your kit should include the following:
- A first aid kit
- A battery-powered radio
- A small toolbox
If your business is at a large facility, you can even invest in headlamps. This is especially important if employees need to navigate large machinery.
You should have multiple kits if your office or facility is sizeable. This ensures all employees will be able to find their way through the space.
2. Invest in a Backup Generator
The best way to stay up and running after a power outage is by having a generator on standby. Depending on the model and size you have, you may be able to function at maximum capacity.
To determine what type of generator is perfect for your business, you’ll need to analyze your power requirements. This is a difficult process, so don’t hesitate to hire an electrical technician to help you out.
If you operate out of a small office, a portable generator may be just what you need. They’re affordable, easy to use, but don’t provide as much power as the larger models.
For more reliability, consider a standby model such as synchronous diesel generators or hydrogen models. These can power your business until the blackout is over.
3. Have a Safety Plan in Place
The safety of your staff is your first priority during a power outage. It’s crucial you have a plan in place so employees know what to do when things go dark.
Make sure you have an evacuation plan in place. This should include avoiding all escalators or elevators and determining the best route out of the building.
All staff members should be aware of where the power outage and first aid kits are. This is especially important if you live in a region prone to violent weather.
You should also know how to operate the generator. The last thing you want is to get stuck in your building during an outage in the middle of winter.
Finally, if you work with large equipment, all employees should know the proper shutdown procedures. This will help avoid unnecessary injuries.
4. Uninterrupted Power Supplies
If your business has an onsite server and your employees work on computers, invest in uninterruptable power supply (UPS) devices. These will provide a limited supply of power in the event of a blackout.
The benefit of UPS devices is you can save all work or perform a quick backup after a power outage. You can also power essential things like printers and fax machines so you can still perform work.
Consider which computers or pieces of equipment are crucial during a blackout. You can save money by only buying UPS devices for these work stations. Just remember that you only get temporary power with them.
5. Install Surge Protectors
So far, all the tips we’ve discussed pertain to when the lights go out. But what about when they come back on?
If an outage occurs, there’s a good chance all the electrical equipment that was on will remain on. They just won’t have any energy.
However, when power gets restored, a surge of energy may travel to computers, printers, or servers. This could overload the device, thus causing damage.
You can avoid this by using surge protectors on all equipment. These devices work by detecting high levels of voltage and diverting the energy into a ground wire. When this happens, the device that the surge protector is connected to remains safe.
Surge protectors can also prevent fires caused by too much power running to a socket.
6. Stay Connected
If maintaining lines of communication is crucial to your operation, there are things you can do to avoid losing touch during an outage. This will help you avoid problems with customers, business partners, or vendors.
The first thing you should do is create a list of important phone numbers. These could include remote workers, sales reps, your bank, your insurance company, or important customers. Many people keep these business phone numbers on their computer, which is useless during a blackout.
If your staff carry business cell phones, make sure they always keep them charged. You may even want to invest in a battery-operated charger you can use in an emergency.
Finally, if you operate out of a large facility, keep battery-powered two-way radios on hand so you can communicate with employees in other sections of the building.
7. Backup Everything
If much of your work is done digitally, backing up everything on a regular basis is imperative. Make sure protocol is in place so each employee understands when to perform backups.
A great idea is to have everything backing up to a cloud server. Setting up automatic syncing will ensure nothing gets lost when a blackout occurs.
If you have an onsite server, your IT team should perform backups on a regular basis. This is critical if you perform ongoing work for clients such as web development or graphic design.
Don’t risk losing customers because a power outage wipes everything out.
Get Peace of Mind with These Power Outage Tips
In today’s digital world, businesses rely on power for almost everything. When an unexpected blackout happens, work is close to impossible.
To avoid a complete shutdown and stay safe, use these power outage tips in the workplace. Staying prepared will help you and your staff through a dark period com facebook orca error.
Check out our blog for more tips and tricks on work, home, and play!