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Monday, January 12, 2015

Protecting your business from power cuts

Business electricity
Business power outages disrupt day-to-day operations
By  Kelly Gilmour-Grassam

As demand for electricity continues to grow, so does the strain on the national grid, increasing the risk of power cuts throughout the UK. Not to the mention the impact of severe weather such as wind, rain and storms on the electricity supply of millions of homes and businesses.

As a business, power cuts can cause chaos in your workplace, with consequences ranging from lost hours of work to vital information that disappears when the power is cut. To help you minimise the impact of power cuts if and when they do occur, we’ve got some expert advice.

Emergency power supply

If your workplace is large enough to warrant the expense, it can be a smart choice to invest in a generator that can act as a back up if the power goes down in your office. The generator will automatically kick in in the event of the power cut, to keep your computers, electricity, and systems running smoothly for hours until the problem is fixed. 

Alternatively, smaller businesses can benefit from a UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply) device, that will prevent your computers from cutting out immediately with a power outage, to give you time to save everything and shut them down safely. 

Internet problems

Whilst the above safeguards can protect your business from being left in the dark in the event of a power cut, you will still lose the main hub of activity around which your work revolves – the internet. It’s a good idea to encourage your staff to get into the habit of saving their work regularly, both on cloud platforms and on the computer itself. Meanwhile, as 3G and 4G will often remain unaffected during a power cut, equipping your staff with company phones will help them stay connected at all times, wherever they are.

Business insurance

Only in very rare circumstances will you be able to claim compensation from your electricity supplier if you are affected by a power cut. However if you have experienced severe losses to your business either through damaged stock, lost hours, or other ways it is possible that you can claim for loss recovery with your insurance. When choosing your business insurance provider, it’s worth looking into what the policy covers for unforeseen circumstances such as power cuts, and paying a little extra for insurance that will protect you with loss recovery as standard.

Power cuts pose a huge inconvenience to businesses and homeowners alike, but the financial costs of this can be truly crippling for companies. Whilst you will always be at the mercy of the energy gods to a certain extent with power outages, preparing for the worst with some of the expert electricity tips from this guide will help you minimise the impact of these scenarios, and get back up and running asap.

Can you think of other things people should consider too? If you can, feel free to leave a comment so others can see your thoughts and contributions.

About the author: Kelly Gilmour-Grassam is a freelance copywriter from Yorkshire. You can follow her on Twitter at @KellyGGrassam. This article was written with useful information from Option Box.

Image license: Gordon Robertson, "Power Button"; CC BY 2.0