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.
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
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