Overview of California Power Shutoffs:
The Bay Area has been getting hit with Public Safety Power Shutoffs recently and for good reason too. Around the fall season, Northern California and the Santa Cruz mountains become a hot spot for wildfires. Last November, California faced the deadliest wildfire in its history last year. In efforts to combat this ongoing problem and avoid facing liability charges. PG&E started doing Public Safety Power Shutoffs also known as PSPS.
According to PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoffs affect customers who are in “high fire-treat areas”. Because many powerlines are interconnected, customers in metropolitan and urban areas have found themselves without power. Power outages can last several days. With all the PSPS happing this month, its time to have a backup plan to keep your business going during the darkest of times.
Problems your business can have in the event of a blackout
Blackouts don’t just “turn the lights off” there are other more critical aspects of your business that can be affected. Your business can have the following problems in the event of electric power interference:
- Disabled air conditioning system
- Shutting down fridges or freezers
- Most retail stores depend on a POS system which is reliant on the internet connection, no transactions will be able to process
- Online retailers will also have problems transactions will not be able to process if there is an outage
- If your calls run through an online system, there will be no way that your customers or clients will be able to contact you
During an event of any type of natural disaster or outage, make sure that your employees, tenants, and customers know what steps to take. If you are the primary PG&E account holder for your property, it is your obligation to let your tenants know that there is a scheduled PSPS. Make sure your account and personal information are up to date.
TIP: During a power outage, disconnect any equipment, machines or appliances. When the power returns, it may cause power surges and damage them or your electrical lines.
Getting Backup Power
Having a backup generator can save you from headaches. During power outages, thieves like to take advantage of the situation. That is the main reason why many businesses must close their doors during an outage. Getting an efficient backup power generator is not as simple as it sounds. There are many factors to consider before purchasing a unit. Here are some things to consider:
Perform a Power Audit
Call your local electrician to perform a power audit. After the audit is complete you will have an overwhelming amount of information about your electrical usage. They should give you tips on how to save energy but more importantly, they will let you know how much energy your facility uses. Knowing how much electricity is being used is critical for gauging how big of a generator and how much fuel you will need.
Some questions to consider:
Do you need your whole business to remain operational or only a few appliances?
Do you have proper storage for your generator?
Remember: To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, backup generators should stay outside.
Location of the Unit
A popular choice is the installation of a standby permanent generator unit. These kinds of generators are installed by a licensed electrician and need to be approved by the city. Once the lights go off these generators are at work. There is no need to pull it out of the storage and start hooking it up. Permanent standby generators are hooked up to your property’s electrical cables during installation.
How can we help?
We are Bothwell Corp. a commercial construction and electrician company based in San Jose, CA. We have seen the effect the wildfires had on surrounding businesses. We want to help prevent your business from losing money this Summer and throughout the year. We have trained technicians that are available to help you decide which course of action will work with your budget. Our result is your success. Interested? Give us a call or fill out our contact form on our website to schedule an evaluation.