Power Outage Preparation
Can Power Outages Damage Electronics?
If you’ve lived in the British Virgin Islands for any reasonable period of time, it’s safe to say that you’ve experienced a power outage. These power outages can damage electrical devices. Let’s talk about it. Can a sudden drop in power cause problems for your PC and other wired electronics? As it turns out, yes, both for your data and your hardware. The electricity flowing through your home is not constant. Electrical currents can ebb and flow, dipping above and below what’s ideal. Both too much and too little power can cause problems. When power completely shuts off, it’s known as a blackout. On the other side of the spectrum, there are power surges. These tend to occur due to issues beyond your control (e.g., power station disruptions, damaged electrical lines, etc.)
A blackout is often followed by a surge once the electricity comes back online. This is when an appliance receives more electricity than intended. While a surge can last for less than a thousandth of a second, it can still damage your electronics and appliances. Surges happen due to several factors, including short circuits and electrical line malfunctions. A power surge can overload and fry the electronics within your PC. While an outage doesn’t do a great deal of damage to a power supply or motherboard, the subsequent surge definitely can. There’s nothing worse than skillfully negating a blackout, only for everything to fry due to the surge afterward!
Protecting Against Power Outages & Surges
For protection against power outages & surges, you need either an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) or a surge protector. A UPS contains a battery that will continue to provide power to your computer even when the power goes out. In the B.V.I. we experience frequent power outages so a UPS is a strong investment. It’s important to note that a UPS unit can only power your electronics for a limited time. Infinite Solutions has a variety of APC and Forza UPS units that will power your devices for different lengths of time. Our Road Town store and warehouse have units of various designs and power.
Surge protectors are the perfect defense for power surges. While they don’t keep your device on during a blackout, they shield them from power surges that happen post-blackout or at other times. As such, grabbing a surge protector helps protect your equipment from most power surges. Uninterruptible Power Supply (U.P.S.) devices include surge-protection. Most UPS’s have some outlets that include both battery backup and surge protection and others that provide surge protection only, making them a useful two-for-one purchase. Belkin, APC, and Forza are dependable brands for surge protectors. All three brands can be found at the Road Town location of Infinite Solutions. At a minimum a surge protector will help protect your computer and related electronics. If you want to have the ability to keep working when the power goes out, then it makes sense to invest in a UPS. In 2020 electrical protection is an important aspect of a safe home. Our goal is to help you stay prepared during hurricane season and beyond. Let’s all share this information and help each other. Tell us what you think.