Category

Emergency Preparedness

Prepare For Cold Weather Outages With An Industrial Diesel Generator

By | Emergency Preparedness, Generators

Winter is indeed coming and that can mean cold weather power outages. Unfortunately, whether it’s tree limbs on power lines, a car skidding into a utility pole or ice affecting the connectivity of your infrastructure, you can always expect power outages during snowy, icy weather. Lucky for us, there is a solution. You just need to buy, service and maintain your industrial diesel generator.

A Generator Is A Powerful Tool

A generator is a powerful tool in the fight against power outages. But, an industrial diesel generator isn’t the only weapon you’ll need. Here are some other ways you can combat power outages and triumph over the cold weather outages.

Come Up With A Plan

Regardless of whether they’re caused by human error or weather alone, you know that cold weather outages will happen. Come up with a comprehensive plan to keep your business afloat during an outage. Be as detailed as possible and factor in any scenario you can think of.

Make Sure You Have The Right Tools For The Job

Determine how much power you want your generator to cover, whether you just need emergency power, or your business needs full power. Calculate how much power you need and make sure your generator can handle about 10-20 percent more than that, in case of a dire emergency. A trusted generator retailer can help you to find a generator that fits your business’ needs.

Maintenance And Fuel

You should always have enough fuel to power your business through the worst storm. Ask your county for data on the length of storms and how often they cause outages. Also look for data on how often outages are caused by winter accidents. Estimate how often and how long the outages are, then buy enough fuel to sustain you through that time. Approximate fuel consumption charts can help you to make those calculations. Be aware of laws regulating which ways and how much fuel you can store.Winter Storm

Also, before the winter gets too unmanageable, if you have an older industrial diesel generator, make sure you’ve had it maintained. This way, you know it’s in proper working order.

Winter Is Tough, But Critical Power Is Tougher

Winter may be on its way, but that doesn’t mean you can’t triumph over the cold and snow. Critical Power Products and Services can help you to find an industrial diesel generator that will help your business to battle through the winter. Contact us for more information on how we can help you prepare.

Don’t Suffer Through Another Power Outage Without A Backup Diesel Generator

By | Emergency Preparedness, Generators

You don’t have to be the victim of the next inevitable power outage. Preparing yourself with a backup generator can mean the difference between business as usual for your company or lost revenue.

The next step is finding the right generator for the job. Here are some reasons why a backup diesel generator may be the right generator for you and your business.HiPower on trailer

Cost-Effective:

Most generators run on gasoline, propane, natural gas or diesel. Although any type of emergency generator will offer your home or business temporary power during outages, diesel is a more cost-effective fuel. It offers more power per ounce of fuel than propane, natural gas or gasoline. Diesel is not expensive or difficult to get, either.

Safe:

Though diesel is flammable, it is less volatile and flammable than other fuels. This may seem insignificant, but most power outages are caused by hurricanes, tropical storms and other damaging weather, which in turn can cause dangerous conditions. Using a highly volatile fuel compounds an already dangerous situation.

Easy To Use:

Its true, backup diesel generators can be a little intimidating for first time buyers. Most backup diesel generators have easy and straightforward maintenance and operation, especially if your generator is professionally installed. You should always follow safety procedures and read all of the literature about your generator. 

Be Prepared:

Once you’ve had your generator installed, you should be able to get through most power outages, as long as the generator itself is still standing. But, rest assured, your diesel generator is designed to endure extreme weather and rugged conditions.

Critical Power Offers A Wide Variety Of Backup Diesel Generators

Winter Storm

photo c/o baltimoresun.com

The type and size of your generator depends on whether you need basic power, like lights, refrigerators and your stove or you need full power for medical equipment or data center equipment. Ask a trusted backup generator retailer for advice on which generator works best for you.

Critical Power offers a wide variety of both new and used backup diesel generators. We also have the experience and knowledge to help you or your company choose the right generator for your needs. Call or email us for more information on how to choose the right diesel generator.

Reduce Storm Stress! Rent A Standby Generator This Winter

By | Backup power, Emergency Preparedness, Generators

Winter is on its way! And we may all be looking forward to the New Year or the holidays, but businesses have an added stress during this time of year that’s enough to dampen any holiday spirit. Winter brings cheer, but it also brings stressful, damaging winter storm power outages. Storm stress is real and if your business is unprepared for the winter, it just compounds that stress. You can help to eliminate storm stress by preparing for winter storms in the fall, before a disaster happens. One of the best ways to prepare is to have a standby generator on hand. Depending on your need and the size of your business, a long-term rental agreement may be the best option.

Why Rent A Generator Long-Term?

A long-term standby generator rental can help your business reduce downtime. A generator that is in standby mode can deliver power to your business when power infrastructure is down due to winter storms. Depending on the severity of the storm, emergency crews might not even be able to reach your business, let alone help repair and restore power. A standby generator offers emergency power that will keep your business afloat and connected to your cloud or data center. This way, you lose little or no time while your community thaws out and repair crews are sent in.

Calculating Your Storm Window And Gaging Your Fuel Use

Determine your community’s “storm window” by averaging the number of winter storms in the last 3 years and averaging how spread out they are throughout the winter months. Ask your standby generator retailer how much fuel your generator will need for a day, week, or month. Depending on your storm window, keep a supply of fuel to last you through your estimated period, plus at least two extra weeks. This will help you to gage how much fuel you’ll need, and it will give you a buffer if repair crews take longer to repair power lines and other infrastructures.

Critical Power Offers Standby Diesel Generators And Something Even More Important

Critical Power Products and Services offers standby diesel generators and something even more important, peace of mind. Contact us to find out how we can help your business reduce stress and keep the power on this winter.

Industrial Diesel Generators: Know Your 3R’s When Prepping For Tornado Season

By | Emergency Preparedness, Generators

Thankfully, tornado season is behind us for another year. However, the best time to prepare for tornado season is right after tornado season. States that are in “Tornado Alley” should begin making preparations immediately after the threat of tornado season is over. Checking and servicing your industrial diesel generator and other emergency equipment is a must. 1250 kW Cummins QSX45 Diesel Generators over all

There are three things that need to be done immediately after tornado season is over: Rebuild, review, replenish. We like to call them “The 3 R’s.”

Prepare For Tornados With The 3 R’s

Rebuild

If the foundation for any of your buildings or equipment is damaged, you need to rebuild them to be structurally sound again. If that’s not possible, you may need a new location. This also includes any housing around your industrial diesel generator or any other data equipment housing. If your buildings or equipment have superficial damage, like missing shingles or seals, you need to repair them.

Review

Everything that was not damaged needs to be checked to ensure it’s still in working order. This is especially important even if you haven’t been hit. Simply because you’ll want to test to make sure your industrial diesel generator and other equipment works, especially if it’s been sitting for a while.

Replenish

Now is a good time to replenish any supplies you lost or used, while tornado season is fresh in your mind. You may want to replenish generator fuel and other items that you need to survive or evacuate the next tornado.

Expert Tip: Use a fuel usage chart to help calculate how much fuel you might need during an outage.Cummins Diesel Generator

Things To Keep In Mind For The Next Tornado Season

Even Small Tornados Can Be Dangerous. Just because they can’t take down a building, they can take down electrical lines, which can cause fires and other types of damage.

Tornados Come In Clusters. It’s true, there are rarely singular tornados. Count on at least two to four touching down at a stretch. Make sure to evacuate, if necessary, before the first tornado hits.

Don’t Forget The Aftermath. Unless you’ve been severely hit, the worst part of the tornado is the aftermath. This is why it’s crucial to have enough fuel and a tested industrial diesel generator because you don’t know how long you’ll be without power.

Critical Power Can Help Your Business Get Ready For Tornado Season

Critical Power is no stranger to tornados, contact us for more information on how we can help you to keep your business and sensitive information safe in the event of a tornado. We offer a wide range of industrial diesel generators, to help keep your business running when tornados strike.

Protecting Your Commercial Building: Common Types of Fire Suppression Systems

By | Data Centers, Emergency Preparedness

Protecting Your Commercial Building:

There are some great ways to protect a commercial building from harm, and one of those is reducing the risk of fire. To do that, the building needs a good fire suppression system. There are several different types, and understanding more about them can help make it easier to choose which one will be the best option. They all have their pros and cons, like anything else, so a building owner will want to take a look at them and choose the one that is going to provide the highest level of benefit. Here are the common types to choose from.

Water as a Suppression System

The most common suppression system is water, for a number of reasons. It is easy to get, cost effective, and valuable as a resource that will suppress most fires quickly and efficiently. It is also generally a safe option because it causes less damage than chemicals if it happens that the system springs a leak or the water ends up in places where it was not intended. The best way to use water for suppressing fires is through a sprinkler system, which can be automatic or manual.

The manual systems need to be activated by a person, while the automatic systems can be connected to a heat sensor, smoke alarm, or some other method of determining that a fire may be in progress. In short, water works well in most cases, and it is safe, easy to use, and less expensive. But there may be times where water does not work as well, and in those times it is important to have other options.

Fire Suppression tanks

Choosing Inert Gases for Fire Suppression

Inert gases are those that are basically safe and non-flammable. They work by cutting off the oxygen supply to the fire. Since fires need oxygen to burn, the lack of oxygen in the air around the fire effectively suppresses that fire. There can be some danger to the release of inert gas, but when it is used the right way it is extremely safe and very effective. If water will cause a lot of damage in a particular area, such as a location full of electrical equipment, computers, or other sensitive items, inert gases can be the better choice.

A Chemical Agent Can Suppress Fires

Chemical agents , which can be either wet or dry, are also used in suppressing fires. Potassium carbonate is the most commonly used option for a wet chemical, but is not the only one. However, it is used because of its safety. It can also be used in baking, winemaking, and more, so it is a very safe choice for chemical fire suppression. Fire extinguishers generally use this chemical, and any company that is looking for a way to make fire suppression as safe as possible may want to look at this option as one of the choices for their commercial buildings.

Fire Suppression Controls

Which Option is the Right One for a Particular Building?

Finding the right option matters. In order to do that, the three common types of fire suppression have to be compared. Water is used most often and generally works well, but inert gas is a better choice for electronics and other sensitive equipment that could be damaged or destroyed if it gets wet. Potassium carbonate as a chemical agent is extremely safe, but it can cost more than water or inert gas, and may not always provide the protection needed. Inert gases are very safe when used properly, but can also post some risks.

With all of that in mind, the bottom line is that all three of these options are good ones depending on the location. They are very safe and effective, so commercial building owners should choose the one they feel best about based on the kind of industry they will have in their building.

Guest Post written by; Ryan Tollefsen

http://www.realestatespokane.com/about.php

 

Think About Fuel When Choosing An Emergency Generator

By | Emergency Preparedness, Generators

The biggest concern for most people who need to source an emergency generator is how much power it can supply. That’s definitely a legitimate concern and is the best way to make sure you get a generator that meets your needs, but it’s not the only thing you need to think about.

Whether you buy a standby generator or rent one during an emergency power outage, you also need to consider the type of fuel it requires. More importantly, what kind of access do you have to the fuel your generator needs and what kind of access will you have in the event of an emergency?

Sourcing Generator Fuel

If you buy an emergency generator, you’re on your own for fuel. You’ll have to work with a fuel supplier to source it, store it, and replenish it when the fuel runs out. If you rent a generator, the rental agreement may include a certain specified amount of fuel, perhaps a full tank at delivery. After that, you will probably have to replenish the fuel yourself.

This all begs the question, “What kind of fuel is and will be available in your area during and after an emergency?”

Types Of Fuel

Diesel and natural gas are the two most common types of generator fuels with natural gas being more common for permanently installed standby generators than portable models. If you run a business or need to have power in your home no matter what, a permanently installed natural-gas powered generator is a good choice. The generator is connected right into your electrical system and the natural gas line coming into the building. This ensures a dedicated supply of fuel – so long as the gas lines remain intact.

Diesel powered generators are extremely common. They can be permanent installations or portable. Fuel may be stored in a large tank and always connected to the generator, ready for use when needed. Smaller, portable generators use diesel fuel that is stored in external tanks and poured into the generator’s tank as needed. These types of tanks will have to be refilled more frequently than larger tanks and, in an extended emergency situation, there’s a chance fuel providers won’t be able to get to you.

Planning For Emergency Generator Usage

The best way to plan for emergency generator usage is to research fuel providers, talk to generator rental services, and friends and colleagues who have emergency generators to learn more about what kinds of fuel options are available in your area and how available the resource is likely to be during an emergency situation. Utility companies and generator providers can also help you determine what kind of generator would be best in your situation and if there are any local building or use codes you need to worry about concerning fuel and generator placement.

It’s difficult to know ahead of time just how long you’ll have to use the generator and, as a result, how much fuel you will need, but taking some time to research fuel providers in your area and how and where to store your emergency generator fuel will save you headaches when the time comes that you actually need to use the generator.

Plan Ahead For Generator Rental

By | Emergency Preparedness, Generators

Whew! The Atlantic hurricane season has been a doozy so far this year! Between Harvey and Irma, those of us at Critical Power Products & Services have been kept very busy! By far, our biggest demand has been for post-hurricane generator rentals.

That makes now the perfect time to share information about renting a generator, whether it’s for a planned or an unplanned power outage.

Planning For Rentals Is A Must

No one likes to think about disasters happening to them, let alone take active steps to plan for making it through one and its aftermath, but as we’ve said over and over again, disaster planning is a must for home and business owners if they want to return to business as usual quickly after a disaster or emergency situation – or if they simply want A/C and lights after an event. A week and a half after the hurricane hit, some FL residents were still without power. That is a long time to suffer through the heat and humidity.

Fortunately, you can make arrangements for general rental well ahead of the situation. Many generator rental providers offer this type of service. Simply work with a provider when you’re not in an emergency situation (such as when developing a disaster response plan) to determine what size and type of generator you’d like and sign a contract that guarantees you a generator when you most need it. This saves you from the frustration of trying to find an available generator when it will be nearly impossible to do so and provides you a guaranteed price – likely much lower than what you’d pay for an emergency generator rental on the ground.

Even if you don’t have generator rental as part of your disaster plan and did not sign a service contract well ahead of an emergency, you can still take steps to get a generator to your location if a situation arises. Once you know a hurricane is going to hit, for example, call up generator rental companies and reserve a generator to be delivered after the event. You might pay morefor this service than you would with a long-term contract, but it’s still better than trying to find a generator in the aftermath of a disaster.

Learn more about renting a generator by calling Critical Power Products & Services at 1-877-364-6655 or email us at info@criticalpower.com.

Tips on Choosing a Colocation Data Center

By | Data Centers, Emergency Preparedness

If you are new to colocation, you might be wondering just how you’re supposed to choose a colocation data center. On the face of it, colos may seem to be all the same, but in reality, every data center is different, which is why you’ve got to do some research to find the best fit for your needs.

Questions To Ask Yourself When Choosing A Colocation Data Center

  1. Does it meet our business needs? First things first, does the colocation site fit your business needs? Have you even identified what those needs are yet? Make sure the site has the technology to support your business, but also take into account the site’s physical location (this is important if you plan to use the colo site for disaster recovery needs) and if it can accommodate your future plans (transitioning to the cloud, managed services, high-density environment, etc.)
  2. What’s the uptime guarantee? Service agreements can be written in ways that protect the colo if outages occur. What does your agreement say about outages? Does the site allow themselves a certain number of planned outages each year? If the answer is yes, that means you don’t have 100% guaranteed uptime. For some businesses and applications, this is acceptable; for others, it is not. What does it mean for your business?
  3. Does it support our disaster recovery and business continuity plans? If you’re looking at colo sites, you’ve got a primary data center already up and running somewhere. Your colocation data center should match or provide better power, cooling, and networking than your primary site if you want to ensure business continuity during outages and emergencies. Ask about on-site workspace that your team can use for disaster recovery testing.
  4. What is the center’s level of compliance? Even if the center says it has a certain level of Tier compliance or is Uptime-certified, double check this. Ask to see proof of SSAE 16 audits, PCI, or Cybertrust certification and make sure they provide third-party audits for added transparency. Check the site’s physical security too. What areas are covered by cameras? What are security procedures? Who has access to the servers?
  5. What kinds of managed services are available? Managed services free up your own IT staff to focus on supporting business objectives, not infrastructure maintenance. Managed services means your team doesn’t have to trek to the data center for minor issues and ensure the colo staff will keep the infrastructure operating smoothly.

Changing data centers, even colocation sites, is a major undertaking. You don’t want to be doing it every time your contract ends. Take some time on the front end to make sure the colocation site is right for your business needs – current and future – to find a location that will serve you well for years to come.

Why Does Cell Service Work Even When The Power Is Out? Thank A Generator

By | Backup power, Emergency Preparedness, Generators

Why Does Cell Service Work Even When The Power Is Out? Thank A Generator

After any major incident or natural disaster it’s common to hear reports of thousands of people without power, but if that’s the case, why do their cell phones still work? Assuming the cell phone is charged, many cellular phone users will be able to make calls, text, and even surf the web when their local power is out. That’s because cell towers are protected from local power outages with backup generators and batteries.

Planned Protection

 

In response, the federal government, via the FCC released the “Katrina Panel Order” in 2007, which recommended, among other things, that nearly all U.S. cell phone towers be outfitted with at least eight hours of backup power. Unfortunately, the order never became law.

Still, this didn’t prevent cellular carriers for taking matters into their own hands and installing backup generators or batteries that can keep towers operational even when the local grid goes down. The aftermath of disasters like Katrina, Sandy, and Matthew has led to the creation of ever more robust backup power plans and systems for cell towers and an increase in redundancy. Even if a tower has power, it could still be damaged or knocked over. Still, the redundancy that is built into cellular networks simply shifts those calls to an operational tower. The resulting service may be slow and spotty, but it least it works!

Even Small Scale Backup Generators Provide Critical Protections

You don’t have to be a major cellular service provider to benefit from the protection that backup generators provide. Even the smallest of businesses can use backup generators to keep the doors open and the lights on in the event of a localized power failure. If your business is one that would benefit from remaining open during the aftermath of an emergency or natural disaster, a generator is an investment well worth making.

Power Outage

Protecting cell towers from power loss is no accident. After 2005’s Hurricane Katrina took out 70% of the cell towers in New Orleans, cellular service providers realized they had a problem. If you remember, the aftermath of Katrina was complete chaos. This was for many reasons, but one of the biggest problems was the lack of communication between people, government agencies, and first responders. Without cellular phone access, it was very difficult to coordinate rescue efforts and organize evacuations.

 

Yikes! Wind Turbine Fire Under Investigation, Reinforces Necessity Of Routine Inspections

By | Critical Power Products & Services, Emergency Preparedness, Green

In early June a wind turbine caught fire in Iowa. The fire caused the blades to disconnect and fall to the ground. While the cause of the fire was still unknown at the time of this post, it looks like mechanical failure is to blame. The fire started in the nacelle of the turbine, which is where the generator and equipment is housed.

While we don’t know for sure what caused the fire, if the turbine had undergone recent repairs, or what its inspection schedule looked like, the incident is a stark reminder that routine machinery inspections are a necessary part of doing business.

Head Off Problems Before They Start

Routine inspections and regular maintenance can help prevent large-scale disasters, but just as importantly, they help prevent small problems from becoming big problems. Not only are smaller problems faster and easier to resolve, they’re often cheaper too.

A routine maintenance program will keep you informed of the overall health and performance of your machinery. You will be able to track which pieces are racking up more and more downtime or requiring repairs more frequently. Use this information to help plan out a replacement timeframe and develop your capital equipment budgets.

As you begin to invest more and more time and money into maintaining old equipment, eventually the costs will outweigh the benefits and you will have a solid case for selling old equipment and purchasing new.

Is It Time To Revisit Your Maintenance Plan?

When was the last time your maintenance program was revised? Do you even have a plan in place? Developing an equipment maintenance plan (EMP) takes work at the outset, but once the plan has been developed, it simplifies processes and procedures and reduces your business’ risk exposure.

EMPs don’t have to be complex. At their most basic, EMPs are simple tables that list the piece of equipment and its’ routine maintenance tasks. You’ll also want to include the frequency of each task and if any special tools or considerations are required to perform the task. Special considerations might be whether the unit must be shut down or if it remains running during the task. More complex EMPs include the amount of time spent on each task so you can track how much time you are devoting to maintenance.

Hopefully, you’ll never find yourself in a situation where a piece of equipment catches fire and is destroyed like the wind turbine in Iowa, but if you do, a look back at your maintenance plan can help prove to insurance adjusters that you were doing everything possible to avoid such a catastrophe.