Power Outage Highlights Need for Electrical Protection

June 16, 2017

By Andrew Bindelglass - Contributing Writer

Yesterday, a trucking accident in Hazelton, Pennsylvania caused a half hour power outage that left almost 1,500 customers without power. The report is that a dump truck was too tall to pass under the power lines that crossed a main street in the town, and when it attempted to, those wires become entangled around the smokestacks of the truck. This caused the power outage and, in addition to residences and businesses, disabled traffic lights for a short period of time.

Jessica Baker, a spokesperson for PPL utilities, said in a statement that the company’s new smart grid allowed them to restore power quickly, noting that, in the past, an accident such as this could leave customers without power for hours or even days while lines are repaired. Newer smart grids allow utility companies to quickly and easily divert power in order to make up for malfunctions in other parts of the grid.

Despite the fact that utility providers are becoming better at dealing with these sorts of outages, the fact of the matter is that, for any business that relies heavily on technology, this is not enough. Any outage can have catastrophic results for these organizations. The power surge that tends to accompany these sorts of events can permanently damage hardware to the point of needing replacements or wiping out immense amounts of data in the blink of an eye. Yes, power grid systems are growing to be more secure and stable than ever, but no one can plan for anything, and freak accidents (like a truck getting itself tangled in wires) can happen at any time.

The great American thinker Ben Franklin once said, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” That maxim still holds true today. Businesses should prepare for any sort of freak accident or power outage by investing in power protection and UPS systems. These systems “harden” hardware, ensuring that they will not be short circuited by sudden power surges, and also helps protect data in real time in the event of a sudden severed connection. More advanced models even conserve power so that, in the event of an outage, systems can continue to run. Any business that relies heavily on technology should thoroughly examine the use of these systems.

Edited by Alicia Young

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