Power Protection FEATURED ARTICLE


Outages Point to Need for Protection

May 12, 2017

  By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC

Missouri has been hit with some major storms in recent weeks, and that has led to significant flooding. So when we read reports that an underground equipment malfunction was blamed as the cause for a power outage that impacted about 1,000 people in downtown St. Louis, and that was all the available information as to the cause, we weren’t sure if that was a stand-alone equipment event or part of a larger story.


Power outages can pull the plug on a wide array of equipment and operations. For example, the St. Louis outage took out power to a dozen traffic lights, at least a couple of hotels, and various other businesses.

And a recent power outage in Middletown, Ohio, impacted an election, forcing a polling place serving six precincts to be moved. That outage was caused by a car crash that knocked over a utility pole.

That resulted in a power outage at Grace Baptist Church, which was being used as a polling place. As a result, 3,700 registered voters had to be notified that they would have to vote elsewhere.

Equipment malfunctions are a common cause of power outages. Sometimes they are due to flaws in the equipment itself. Sometimes power outages occur because electrical equipment is interrupted or taken offline by accidents like car crashes and backhoe cuts. And sometimes power outages are the result of bad weather, which is an increasingly frequent occurrence.

Sometimes wildlife like birds, snakes, and squirrels take out power by chewing on equipment and its connections. In other cases, animals get tangled up in equipment. Or they may leave sticky material from excrement or nests on equipment that adversely impacts that gear.

But whatever the cause, all of the above point to the fact that unexpected power outages can occur anywhere, anytime, and for any number of reasons. And it reminds us that businesses may want to consider putting power protection systems in place to avoid losing business and damaging their infrastructure in the event of a power outage.




Edited by Alicia Young

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