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Prepare Your Business for a Power Outage

Prepare Your Business for a Power Outage

"Be Prepared. "

If you were a Boy/Girl Scout before, you must have been familiar with this motto. All of us have now exceeded Boy/Girl Scouts' age limit, but its proactive, perceptive saying is still fully applicable. No matter what you do, preparation is a key to success.

Irrelevant to the location of your business, a power outage can happen at any time. Unfortunately, statics suggest that power outages are generally an increasing fact of life. Take a look at Quebec, for example, more people are getting affected by outages (8.2 million in 2021) and the average outage duration has increased by 63% since 2012.

Power outages are more than a temporary inconvenience to business owners. It can greatly damage the operation. In the worst-case scenario, a business can be entirely shut down.

In this article, we cover essential checklist items to help business owners/property managers to prepare for an outage. By following these guidelines, you’ll be better equipped for any power outages that may come your way.

Prepare Your Business for a Power Outage

Understand Your Property

  • Identify the location of the electric meter room & electric service entrance

  • Identify the voltage levels

  • Know the location & rating of your building’s fuses

Understand Your Equipment

  • Know the equipment that will need to be turned off during an outage

  • Install surge protection devices to protect sensitive electrical equipment

  • Know what equipment can and cannot be turned off during an outage

  • Contact your service providers (telephone, security, fire, etc.) to learn how these systems will operate during and after an outage

Plan it Out

  • Establish a notification process for handling emergency situations after hours

  • Develop a list of emergency phone numbers including electricians, contractors, suppliers, as well as managers at your business

  • Set up a safety committee to inform the employees in their work areas

  • Document a plan for shutting down and restarting electrical equipment and appliances

  • Put together an emergency kit that includes flashlights, a battery-powered radio/clock, extra batteries, and a copy of your emergency plan with key phone numbers

Prepare Your Business for a Power Outage

Educate Your Employees

  • Ensure your employees know what to do when an outage occurs

  • Teach key staff to know the procedure to report an outage

  • Have an emergency plan in place for anyone who needs medical equipment/special assistance

  • Maintain flashlights in each department

  • Keep protective gloves and goggles on hand in case someone needs to switch breakers back on when power is restored

Check Your Back-up Systems

  • Consider having a stand-by generator if your business benefits from it

  • All critical loads, such as elevators and emergency lighting, must be connected to the stand-by generator

  • Know how much fuel you have for the generator and how long it will last. know where you can get extra fuel when you run out of supply

  • Make sure all manufacturers’ operating instructions are being precisely followed

  • Have someone on-site/on-call who is qualified to work with the back-up system

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