What is a Power Failure?

A power failure, also known as a power cut, power outage or blackout, is a short or long term loss of electric power to an area. It can affect a single house, a building or an entire city, depending on the degree of the damage or cause of the failure. They often occur with little to no warning, making it very important that you are prepared. 

Although electricity is not something we often think about (and hardly ever worry about!), many of our daily activities rely on it. Our work, leisure, healthcare, economy and livelihood all depend on electrical power. 

A power failure can cause significant disruption and if you’re a business owner, or in charge of assuring your business stays operational at all times, you should have a backup plan.  In today’s world, most businesses require electricity to operate and without it, the business can be severely hurt or come to a complete standstill.

When a power failure occurs, the loss of electricity to a computer or other electronic devices results in any data in temporary storage, for example, the computer's memory, to be instantly lost and unrecoverable. 

When it comes to protection, knowing which power problems are most prevalent, their magnitude and frequency, will affect the choice of power solution selected. 

Types of power failures: 

There are various different types of power outages, sorted into three main occurrences, relating to the length and effect of the outage. 

Transient Fault– Lasting only a few milliseconds, this loss of power is typically caused by a temporary fault on a power line. Power is automatically restored once the fault is cleared.

Brownout– Long term reductions in the mains power supply voltage which can last up to several days. It is characterised by the lowering of light levels within office and other environments.

Blackout-  A complete loss of power lasting from milliseconds to several hours or more. This is the most severe form of power outage that can occur and is particularly difficult to recover from. 

How it can affect your business

Our cities live on electricity and without the expected supply from the power grid, there would be absolute chaos. A loss of power can result in lost data, missed deadlines, a decrease in productivity, or a loss in revenue. 

Most companies are unprepared for business disturbances caused by power failures and are often unaware of the actual costs and impact that they can have on their operations.

With an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) installed, if the power goes out, your critical electrical equipment would be kept up and running and help ensure minimal disruption to your business, the difficult decision is choosing in advance how long you need this period of runtime to be and will depend on various factors. We highly recommend that all critical electrical equipment is connected to a UPS – not having a UPS or disregarding the UPS battery warnings really isn’t worth the risk. 

It’s essential to know about the possible causes of power failure in order to better protect ourselves and our businesses from its destructive consequences. 

If you’re caught off guard by a power cut, you can call the national phone number 105, recently launched by network operators for customers to call should they need to report or get information about a power failure in their area. 

Is it time to think of implementing an uninterruptible power supply?