Archive for Backup Power

Need Backup Power for a Big Family Event?

backup powerYou have a big family event coming up. At this point, it really doesn’t matter whether it’s a huge family reunion set in South Florida, or if it’s a destination wedding. You’re responsible for setting up activities and entertainment. You’ve secured entertainment for the kids in your family. You gave in to your son’s suggestion and hired a rock band – that needs electrical power for their mics and speakers. Clearly, you’re going to need a reliable source of backup power, because your mother suggested buying a bagful of power strips and extension cords!

Reasons to Choose a Home Generator

You are blessed with consistently good South Florida weather. Because hurricane season ends at the end of November, as long as you schedule your celebration at the right time of the year, you won’t have to worry about anything more than heat and humidity.

Because you’re planning so many outdoors events to make the most of Florida’s sunny weather, you’re thinking of sources of backup power to have energy running to all the electrical equipment you’ll be using. Don’t forget – your community or neighborhood can experience a power outage unexpectedly. It’s during these times that a home standby generator can help rescue your event from an unnecessary disaster.

Drawbacks to Extension Cords and Power Strips

Your mother might believe that her suggestion of setting up a series of extension cords and power strips is a good one. These items can be put to limited use because the National Electric Code forbids their use in certain circumstances.

Extension Cords can’t be used under the following circumstances:

º Where they are vulnerable to damage

º Extended through windows or doorways

º Placed in wall, ceiling or floor holes

º To substitute for fixed wiring

º For equipment that demands more than 15 amps

º Can’t be connected in a daisy-chain or piggy-back fashion to other cords or power strips

The use of power strips is also limited:

º All surge suppressors are power strips

º Not every power strip has surge suppression capability

You are probably beginning to realize that you need a more-reliable source of emergency power. You want everyone to have fun at your family event – nobody needs to be needlessly hurt. In the event of an unexpected power outage, you want to be sure that nothing electrical stops functioning, either inside or outside your party venue.

The Safety Risks

All surge protectors are power strips. Not every power strip is a surge protector. Should you have all those power strips and extension cords daisy-chained together, a power surge could short out the equipment being used. Not only that, the surge and resulting short out could result in a fire. If you’re relying on a power strip and extension cord to keep crock pots and electric frying pans powered, you need to know that power strips are not supposed to be used with anything that has a heating element.

If the price of a new commercial standby generator is beyond your family’s reach, a pre-owned generator or one available on sale could help you solve that problem.

Having a Safe Family Event

Now that your event is nearing, you need to have a reliable source of emergency power. The right-sized generator can fill your needs for this family event and, when everyone has had their fun and gone home, you have a generator available for the next hurricane and blackout.

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A Year After Sandy, Backup Power Generators Remain Popular

backup powerWhen Hurricane Sandy hit the Atlantic Coast in October 2012, it surprised a lot of people. People who were not prepared to deal with the aftermath of a powerful storm and the destruction it can bring.

Sandy’s devastating effects opened a lot of eyes to the importance of being prepared with an escape plan, backup power and emergency supplies.

In the past, backup power generators were something that only people in hurricane-prone states bought. Since Sandy, however, more and more homeowners are realizing the importance of generators everywhere, according to Generac’s (the leading maker of home standby generators) Chief Executive Aaron Jagdfeld.

Choosing the Right Option

When you’re thinking of a secondary source of power, your first reaction might be to go to solar paneling or other forms of green energy. While that’s a great option, solar systems are more expensive, more difficult to install and take more time to get up and running than standby generators. Plus, solar systems often require unsightly installations on your roof, which might not even be acceptable depending on the building codes in your city.

Standby generators, on the other hand, are located next to the house or in your basement, so they’re not an eyesore. They can also be up and running in just a few hours.

What Makes Standby Generators So Important

In an interview with National Geographic Daily News, Jagdfeld pointed out that Hurricane Sandy was a wakeup call for many when it comes to standby generators. He explained that more and more people rely on the electric grid for power without taking into consideration the increase in severe weather and the ever-aging population. Combined, these things could spell disaster, especially in many large cities and communities, where installing a standby generator has often been deemed unnecessary in the past.

Some Numbers

To give you a clearer idea of the impact of Hurricane Sandy, here are some stats:

  • Over 8 million homes lost power when Hurricane Sandy hit
  • By the time Thanksgiving rolled around almost a month later, 80,000 of those homes still didn’t have power restored
  • According to an article in Time, 10,000 people called their local True Value Hardware in New Jersey in the days before Sandy hit. The reason for the call? They were searching for an emergency generator.

Are Generators More Popular?

They certainly are. Generator sales went up 40 percent after Hurricane Sandy. That’s because more and more people are now very aware of the importance of having backup power, regardless of where they live.

In the past, people were more likely to go with portable generators, but standby units are now becoming more popular. Why? Well, for starters, standby generators don’t require gasoline, which might be difficult to obtain if you’re going through a major storm. After all, if there’s no power, gas pumps won’t work. On the other hand, standby generators run on either LP or natural gas, which can be easily stored in tanks so you don’t have to constantly refill the unit to keep it running.

While standby generators are more expensive than portable units, here’s something you might not know: many home insurance companies offer something known as a “loss mitigation credit” if you install a standby generator. This is a special discount offered to customers who own a unity, based on the fact that having backup power can reduce your losses and damages during and after a storm.

Regardless of whether you were affected by Hurricane Sandy or not, a standby generator can be a sound investment for the safety and the future of your home and your family.

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