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Protection from Power Surges

It’s something every business owner should expect—a power surge. It’ll likely be a fraction of a second, but the damage it can leave behind can be lasting. All of us at Hortica want you to understand the dangers power surges present and how to protect your business from them.

Just what is a power surge? It’s an increase in voltage significantly above what would be considered a normal flow of electricity. Power surges can be so quick, they’re measured in nanoseconds, microseconds, and milliseconds. If the surge or spike is high enough, it can cause heavy damage to machines or electrical equipment. Electrical industry experts estimate businesses lose about $25 billion each year from power issues like this.

Power surges are most often caused by lightning strikes. But they can also be the result of other issues. Brownouts, heatwaves, accidents, and small animals getting into a transformer can be the cause of a power surge. Your internal power system can even experience a surge as equipment turns on or off. They can also happen with the restoration of power after a storm, flood, or other disaster. That’s why it’s recommended you unplug your sensitive electrical equipment when you prepare for a natural disaster.

Security systems, data servers, motor controls, video monitors, and computers are the most likely to be damaged in a power surge. And that damage can be devastating. 40 percent of computer data loss is caused by power surges. It’s estimated a business that experiences a computer outage lasting more than 10 days may never recover financially. In fact, half of those companies it happens to will be out of business in the next 5 years.

But there are ways to protect the investment you have in your business. Surge protection devices are the best way to deal with unexpected power spikes. Installing one at your main circuit breaker panel can help avoid costly damage. Often, your electrical provider can rent you one and take care of installation and any replacement that might be needed over time.

Individual surge protectors or power strips may also be an option. They can only be used indoors and in dry locations. These protectors are mainly used to connect a number of electronics into one power outlet. Many are built with a fuse or circuit breaker trip. When there is a surge, the fuse or circuit will turn off, protecting what’s plugged in. Portable surge protectors are also available and can be used with an extension cord.

Of course, this is just an overview of power surges and protection methods. Check out the infographic on our website for more. If you have specific concerns or questions about your company’s power system, talk to a qualified electrician.

By taking some extra time and precaution, you’ll be able to protect your business from the unexpected—and unseen—dangers of power surges. Remember, your Hortica agent can also help you with this or any other safety issue you might encounter. They’re ready to sit down with you and explain all the details to make sure you’re protected.

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