Fire Destroys Business in Arkansas Near America's Oldest Federal Reserve

May 28, 2019

By Erik Linask - Group Editorial Director

A fire broke out early Monday evening at a local woodworking shop in Hot Springs, Arkansas, shutting down traffic in the area while firefighters used four engines to contain the blaze.  In order to allow a ladder truck to operate safely, utility company Entergy Arkansas said it had to de-energize a power line, causing some 1,700 customers to lose service.

Fortunately, nobody was in the building, according to Hot Springs Fire Marshall Carlton Scott.  However, the fire, which started out as thick smoke that eventually burst into a blaze, destroyed the structure.  The building had been home to What’ll It Be? Woodworking, a local business in operation for more than 35 years.

The fire was contained by about 7:00pm local time, and Entergy said it would have power back on a few hours later.

While the fire didn’t physically impact other businesses in the area, the power outage carried a risk to their technology.  Specifically, outages often are accompanied by power surges, which send bursts of higher-than-normal voltage electricity into businesses and then into any powered equipment.  Damage can be minor, merely weakening circuits and wearing them down so they eventually break even without a power outage – or much more severe, immediately breaking circuits and rendering systems useless.

Either way, any number of systems are susceptible any time unclean power runs through them.  In addition the costs of repairing or replacing servers, switches, firewalls, corrupted software, or other technology critical to business operations are high, and even higher when factoring in days or weeks of downtime. 

The best way to avoid damage is by installing power protection systems with UPS capabilities.  The UPS feature allows for continuous power even during an outage, so equipment can be manually shut down to prevent damage or data loss.  Longer runtime solutions can keep systems operational for longer periods to service business continuity needs.  Most importantly, though, the power protection systems regulate line voltage to ensure only clean power runs into businesses.

A fire is likely to cripple businesses, but even extended downtime due to  equipment damage can be difficult to overcome.  With the right power protection system in place, business owners can rest easily.

Edited by Erik Linask