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Prevent Power Disturbances from Damaging Electronics during Late Summer Storm Season

Prevent Power Disturbances from Damaging Electronics during Late Summer Storm Season

(ARA)- Early, middle, and late summer is storm season and with it comes power disturbances. While many know to stay away from downed lines, flooding and debris, small businesses and home-offices are often in the dark about knowing what to do to protect electronic office equipment, such as computers and printers, from power disturbances.
Typically caused by hurricanes, lightning and other natural occurrences, power disturbances involve a temporary loss of electricity (brownouts and blackouts) or a dramatic increase in voltage (surges and spikes).
These types of power disturbances can cause irreparable damage to computers, printers, televisions and other electronic equipment. Moreover, some power disturbances result in a loss of data, which, according to the Small Business Association (SBA), is more valuable than equipment and infrastructure to the long-term success of a business.
"In the past few years, electronics have become increasingly sophisticated, as well as more sensitive," says Greg Smith, director of surge equipment for Office Depot. "Even slight power surges can shorten the equipment life of today's electronic office equipment. The good news is that relatively inexpensive solutions such as power surge devices and battery back-ups can help prevent equipment damage and data loss."
Here are a few things to keep in mind prior to a storm to prevent equipment damage and loss of important business or personal data:
* Surge protectors provide more than extra plugs. Make sure you have the proper power surge protectors connected to your electronic equipment, such as printers, copiers, fax machines and computers, prior to a storm. Products like the Belkin SurgeMaster are essential to protect equipment and the data that resides on them from blackouts, brownouts, lightning, surges and spikes. Additional features can include protection for your telephone, cable/satellite and Ethernet connections.
* Battery backup and surge protection can prevent loss of data. If you're a small business owner or you work from home and are unable to simply switch off your computer, you may want to opt for an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). A device such as the APC Back--UPS not only provides surge protection, but it allows you to switch your computer and monitor to battery back-up during a power loss, giving you time to save important files and data. This advanced back-up system can also be set to save any open files and shut down your computer automatically in the event of a power outage.
* Don't "surf" your way through the storm. Unless email communication is essential to your business, try staying off the Internet and instead spend this crucial time organizing files while you wait out the storm. Seventy-five percent or more of the damage sustained from power surges enters your computer through the phone line so unplug your Internet connection.
* Save, backup and store. Make sure you put important business information and documents on CD-ROMs, diskettes and store in water/fire-proof safes.
* Hurricane Insurance. If applicable, make sure your insurance policy covers damage caused by hurricanes. Some policies might overlook costly details making small business owners liable for unexpected damages.
* Be a smart shopper. Carefully select office electronic equipment with built in battery back-up protection in order to reduce the chance of ending up with damaged equipment later on.
By following these tips, it's easy to keep your small business and home office safe during storm season. For additional information on products to help your business during power season, visit www.officedepot.com.

Courtesy of ARA Content

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