Electronic and computer based equipment need high quality, uninterrupted power supplies.
In Australia, particularly during summer months, excess strain is placed on our aging electrical infrastructure. Adding to this is the unpredictable weather patterns associated with summer storms which can cause electrical surges and power outages for extended periods of time.
The best form of PC protection is at all times to be plugged into a quality UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply). This is a surge protector and voltage regulator with a back up battery. The better ones actually talk to your PC via USB, so when power drops out, the UPS instructs the PC to close all programs safely and then shut down all under battery power. For Laptop users, this is not such great concern, however, plugging into a surge protector may just save your power adapter and in some severe cases your laptop.
With no UPS, if lucky enough to be home before a storm hits, you should power down your PC and unplug it from the wall. BUT, that isn’t all; the most vulnerable route for a voltage spike is through your telephone line. We have seen some pretty severe cases where a Lightening strike has merely passed a telephone pole, to completely render every device useless connected to the router by wire (Ethernet). EMF will surge down a phone line and through your equipment like an electrical Tsunami… It takes out everything in it’s path. The safest way of protecting your equipment during an electrical storm is to firstly disconnect your telephone line from the wall (this is your source of ADSL as well as telephone), and then shut down your computers and disconnect from the power. Unfortunately, even a moderate UPS is no protection against a huge EMF spike.
We also strongly recommend you have insurance to protect your for business interruption as well (Liaise with your broker or insurance company for this) as even with recovery of systems, the loss of income could be claimed.
Even with a UPS, we have found equipment to be affected. This can be due to massive spikes or phase drops as well as the surge coming from phone lines rather than electricity lines.
Some of the more sophisticated UPS’s on the market come with software which monitors the power usage and demand on a computer or server, if the power is off for any period of time, this software will log the users off, and close the programs, then shut down the server safely.
Size matters, having the correct UPS installed will ensure that the power requirements for the business are met and the key hardware protected.
It is also worth checking your UPS from time to time, to make sure that it is doing what it is supposed to. If you’re not sure what your needs are, please request that we check next time we are onsite or book in a health check.
If you do suffer a computer failure after a storm, contact us at Sterling IT on (02) 9756 6866 and we’ll do our best to get you back on line.
“Sterling IT also provide insurance reports, quotation estimates and repairs or replacements.”