Truck Wreck Cuts Power to Homeowners, Businesses

March 07, 2016

By Casey Houser - Contributing Writer

The recent wreck of a big-rig into a house in a California town demonstrated just how easy it is for a collection of buildings to lose power.

The San Jose Mercury News reported on March 1 that the driver of an 18-wheel truck, which had its bed filled with dirt, lost his brakes as he descended Torino Drive. He went directly through a stop sign at Winding Way and eventually hit a power pole before overturning inside a resident’s house on Windsor Drive. The crash removed power from more than 140 residents in the area.

Luckily, the driver only faced minor injuries. There was also no one in the Windsor Drive house at the time, so no one else was injured during the accident.

It only took a brief period for the entire neighborhood to lose its power source. Obviously, this is not an occurrence that happens every day, but the unpredictable nature of life can often throw expectations in the wrong direction. For residents in San Jose, they likely did not leave their houses expecting to lose power. Likewise, the unfortunate residents of the house who occupy the Windsor Drive home surely did not expect to find a truck inside their walls.

Business remains in the same situation as these residents and, in fact, may be at a greater risk for sudden power outages because of their constant proximity to larger vehicles. Many businesses sit on main thoroughfares and see a stream of large trucks and other vehicles pass by their windows day in and day out. If any of those vehicles were to hit a nearby power pole in a manner similar to this San Jose event, power could just as easily become a scarce commodity for the surrounding firms and their patrons.

TMC CEO Rich Tehrani (News - Alert) recently spoke with Bill Allen, the director of marketing at Minuteman, a manufacturer of power protection products such as surge protectors and whole-building backup units. Allen mentioned to Tehrani that IT managers, telecom managers, and managers in similar positions want to be in a position where they can easily manage the power source that feeds their company networks.

“We’re seeing a lot of remote power management come into play,” Allen noted. He said managers can use devices such as smartphones to get a quick look at their network status from anywhere in the country. They could even check from down the street. What matters is that these professionals gain the ability to check the status of their power and to make changes, such as activating a generator, as they see fit. Minuteman products also can ensure that generators spin into action as soon as a primary power source such as a city power grid goes down.

Businesses do not have to find themselves out of control when it comes to providing themselves with power. They can ensure the consistency of their operations by utilizing UPSes to stem the loss of any situation that arises – downed power line or otherwise. In the case of San Jose, there was no word about how long until the power company could restore service to the 140 residents. Those residents surely do not want to find themselves waiting for long, and businesses in the same situation cannot afford to wait. Neither necessarily have to.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

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