How to Deal with a Power Cut in a Commercial Environment

21st August 2019 Joshua Gardner - Founder

Whatever the size and type of business you run, whether it’s office-based or retail, a power failure will likely have the same impact on your bottom line, your customers and your staff. With electrical systems now running the majority of organisations UK wide, it’s important to be aware of the potential impact an electrical outage could have on your business. Preparation and planning will help reduce its impact and ensure your business can recover quickly without incurring long-term problems as a result.

Prevention

While some power failures may be out of your control, it is also common for electrical faults to occur due to faulty equipment, lack of regular servicing of your electrical equipment, or faulty electrical installations by unregistered or unskilled contractors. The best way to prevent this happening is to choose electrical contractors that are skilled, reliable, and NICEIC approved to install and maintain your electrical systems, and to carry out regular inspections (EICR tests), ideally every 5 years.

Electrical Testing

Be prepared

As much as you can aim to prevent power failures from occurring due to problems with your own electrical systems, power cuts can occur due to extreme weather, power station faults and other issues outside of your control. Preparation is key to ensure that when a power cut does occur, the impact on your business is reduced as much as possible. Follow the checklist below to ensure you’re prepared:

  • Emergency lighting – Ensure that you have emergency lights installed and that they are regularly tested. Also, having flashlights readily available and accessible will ensure customers and staff can safely find their way.
  • Set up a power outage plan – it’s important to have this in place but also to make sure that all staff are aware of it to ensure it is followed accurately in the event of a power failure. This should cover:
  • Safety procedures – the safety of your staff and customers will be your immediate priority, so the plan should highlight roles and responsibilities to ensure customers and staff are able to safely navigate and exit the premises.
  • Informing your utility company – this should be a specifically allocated role to ensure one person is responsible for reporting the problem and liaising with your electricity provider to report on the likely timescale of the outage.
  • Equipment operations procedures – you should have procedures in place for the safe shutting down of equipment and how to access and operate emergency equipment (lighting, generator etc.).
  • Have a generator / UPS system in place – If a sudden failure of your electrical systems is likely to cause a loss of data or failure of key operating systems necessary for your business, you should consider having a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) systems in place so that in the event of a power cut, your systems can continue to run in the short term until they are shut down safely. For larger businesses, or businesses that need to ensure there is no interruption to electrical systems and services during a power cut, a generator will provide a longer-term backup system across multiple devices.

Choose Point Electrical for peace of mind

At Point Electrical, our qualified and Which? Trusted Trader recommended electrical contractors provide professional commercial and industrial electrical services for a wide range of businesses across all sectors and sizes. Contact us for advice and a no-obligation quote for electrical inspections and backup systems to prevent an electrical failure affecting your business.

Joshua Gardner - Founder

Founder of Point Electrical