Snakes Becoming Frequent Cause of Power Outages and Business Disruption

August 04, 2017

By Erik Linask - Group Editorial Director

The overwhelming majority of major power outages result from severe weather conditions and, fortunately, Texas A&M University Researchers have developed a model to help predict weather-related outages.  But, localized outages are becoming more frequent, particularly those caused by animals, birds, and reptiles finding their way into electrical substations and other infrastructure, coming into contact with sensitive, energized equipment.

Snakes, in particular, are adept at finding even the smallest of holes to slither through, seeking shelter from the elements or noise, and often creating localized outages, such as the one that impacted a small area of Green Valley, Arizona, yesterday, when the culprit found its way into a switching cabinet.  The reptiles have become an increasingly frequent cause of outages.

While localized outages have a much smaller footprint, they are no less damaging to local businesses, which are unable to operate.  The Green Valley outage, which happened around 9:30 a.m., at the beginning of the business day, impacted a number of local business, which were without power until the afternoon.  The Green Valley Recreation administrative offices were closed all day as a result. 

Beyond the immediate impact of a lack of electricity, today’s businesses rely heavily on technology, which includes small circuitry that can be completely broken or partially degraded to weaken them and make them more susceptible to future damage, which is why power protection systems designed to insulate sensitive technology from surges are instrumental in ensuring longevity of systems and business continuity. 

There’s little – perhaps, nothing – businesses can do to prevent outages, but having invested in their businesses and technology, they can ensure those investments are long-lived and deliver an extended ROI.  With several types of UPS systems to choose from – Standby, Line-interactive, and On-line – businesses can proactively install one that meets their needs and adequately protects their technology.  Unfortunately, too many businesses wait until after they have already suffered losses to consider power protection systems, resulting in lost productivity and expense.

Edited by Alicia Young