Business electricity interruption for even a short period of time can be problematic, bringing daily activities to a halt and putting active data at risk of corruption, with even more severe implications for healthcare facilities, power stations or anywhere with electrically powered safety systems.
However, with awareness of the potential threats of a loss of mains power and of the severity of those threats, it is possible for organisations of all sizes to invest in business resilience against mains power outages.
Guidance from the Cabinet Office lists a regional loss of electricity as a moderate threat – one which businesses of all sizes should prepare for – and a national loss of power as an extreme threat, which carries the most severe implications for the whole UK.
Immediate impacts of mains power outage
In either a regional or national mains power outage, the immediate effects could include a loss of overhead lighting, central heating, telecommunications and internet access, internal lifts, CCTV and security systems, and so on.
This could arise from a weather event such as flooding or heavy snow, or simply a technical failure in the National Grid.
Cabinet Office guidance says: “Consider the potential impacts of power loss and potential mitigations with a cost-benefits analysis for your business. It may be worth investing in a backup power supply.
“If you rent your business premises, check what backup power supply capability your landlord has and when this was last tested.”
Ensuring business resilience against loss of electricity
An adequate and well maintained UPS power supply can give your business resilience against a loss of mains power, and even in an extended national power cut, this gives you the chance to switch seamlessly to standalone generators or to power down non-essential equipment correctly.
It can keep telecommunications up and running so that you can coordinate staff, and prevent corruption to data due to instantly switching off active computer equipment.
Pain points for business resilience
Remember that a poorly maintained UPS power supply is often no better than having no UPS system in place at all, so make sure you install adequate capacity for your business needs, and check its condition regularly.
At the very least you should check that your UPS batteries hold sufficient charge, and replace any worn out cells or depleted UPS battery towers.
By doing this, you make sure your UPS system is at full charge if the power goes off at any point, and that any damaged or leaking power cells are disposed of promptly, to avoid any potential pain points for your business resilience if a situation should arise.