It has been a crazy time for us this year – there have been many severe thunderstorms occuring included the strong chance of another this evening! As spectacular as an electrical storm can be, there are inherent dangers that the flash of lightning can bring – Power Surges. These can cause huge losses to your electrical systems and here is the kicker: Lightning is only one type of power surge!
With all the heat, humidity in the summer months, there is a huge demand placed on electrical power. This increased demand can bring about power surges from normal current switching, brownouts and blackouts. The problem to equipment arises from the power returning after being disconnected. This surge can cause huge damage to electrical systems such as telephones, computers, CNC machines and production machines.
Most businesses depend on some type of electrical equipment in order to function and bring in sales (heaven knows that our industry life-blood is in the computer), and as such a power surge can cause huge financial loss.
Boiler and Machinery Coverage, now called Equipment Breakdown coverage, can be customized to suit your business needs from protecting phone systems to refrigeration units.
These losses are not small ones either. While reading a recent bulletin from an insurer we represent demonstrated a recently paid claim: (source: BI&I v3 no2 Spring 2008)
A spectrometer used by an environmental testing lab wouldn’t work after a loss of power – Electrical damage to components and reports of dimmed lights indicated that low voltage before the power outage caused the unit to overheat and break down:
Repair Cost: $44,666
Extra Expense (to keep operations going):$ 7,288
Total Paid Loss: $51,954
So How do you protect your equipment? Try these suggestions where possible:
1. Install property grounded surge suppression devices where power comes in to the building, at circuit breakers and pieces of equipment
2. If possible, unplug equipment when you expect a storm or power discruption
3. Don’t forget to protect telephone and fax lines as well – surges can enter on telephone/fax lines, cable/satellite systems local area networks and plumbing too!