Having a power failure plan to protect your home from a blackout has become a necessity today. According to one study, 75 percent of U.S. homeowners experienced a power outage each year.
So how do you protect yourself from these power failure problems? By setting up backup power systems to protect mission-critical appliances from damage or destruction. Here’s where to begin:
Standby Generators. Generators can run on natural gas or gasoline, and some can re-power most of the home's critical systems within a short time of a power failure.
Surge Suppression. Surges can occur from outside or inside the home. To protect yourself, you’ll need several types of devices:
- Lightning Rods – Good to protect against blasts of lightning hitting at or near your home. Lightning rods provide a “ground” path to divert this runaway power from harming your home’s electrical systems.
- Surge Arrestors – Surge arrestors are mounted inside your electrical panel and provide another protection against voltage spikes, which occur from the outside.
- Surge Suppressors - Surge suppressors provide the second stage of an interior defense system. Most suppressors resemble power strips with outlets, and protect equipment that's particularly sensitive to moderate surges such as computers, TVs, phones, and audio/video systems.
When shopping for surge suppressors, keep in mind that major qualitative differences exist. Generally speaking, you get what you pay for and finding out your suppressor didn’t work during a power failure can be a very expensive lesson to learn.
Battery Back-ups. Probably the single most effective equipment to protect computers from damage from a power outage is a battery back up. Known as an “uninterruptible power supply” or “UPS”, these small devices will not only protect your sensitive data from surges or spikes, they can also instantly restore power to your computer long enough to allow you to safely save your work and shut down the system. Battery backups are an essential part of your power failure plan.
Check out these sites for good tools and tips on protecting your power during a power failure:
- Electric Generators Direct.com– Use the home wattage wizard to find out how much power you’ll need in the event of a blackout.
- Generac - View a movie that explains step-by-step how stand-by generators protect your home from power failures.
- National Lightning Safety Institute – Get the facts on lightening and learn how to avoid becoming a victim.
- Energy Guide.com – Enter a few details on your home and learn what energy saving improvements makes the most sense.
Protecting your home from power failures with a thorough power failure plan has become a necessity, due to today's many power outages. But with a little preplanning, the inconvenience of losing electricity can be left at just that.