Your business is your lifeblood – and protection of your business premises is critical.

Often we take precautions in our homes to protect appliances against power surges – however we may overlook our place of business.

Firstly, surge protection will offer a level of protection for your equipment, machinery and office technology.

Circuit breakers don’t offer surge protection –  so implement other measures to protect your workplace.

Installing a Surge Protection Device (SPD) may be at the top of your list.

An SPD is connected in parallel to the power supply circuit. It is designed to limit transient overvoltages that may occur with power spikes.

Power surges are most commonly caused through wiring by a utility, equipment breakdowns, downed power lines, grid shifting (reallocating stored energy to match demand), and capacitor switching (a routine, daily event).

Other users of the same power line at other facilities can also create power surges.

Surges may also occur as a result of two power lines coming into contact with each other – such as car accidents damaging power poles or tree branches falling on to the lines. About two per cent of power surges are as a result of lightning strikes.

What Types of Businesses and Equipment Are at Risk?

Almost every business is reliant on using electrical assets – whether is be in an office, or machinery or equipment – therefore almost every business is at risk of a power surge.

If your business is in an area with poor local power supply or where weather conditions (such as high winds or cyclones) that make lightning strikes more likely also face increased risk of damage from power surges.

Protecting Against Power Surges

Businesses of all sizes across all sectors recognise the value of protection against power surges, however each business has particular needs – dependent on their equipment and risks.

The top priorities are to:

  • Install surge protection against external sources at the point where external power is supplied to the business.
  • Ensure that your systems have a common “ground” and enter the building within a few metres of each other.
  • Keep communications and low voltage lines away from power cables within the facility and, when possible, have them cross at right angles.
  • Add surge protection at distribution panels within the facility if it includes large motors, welders, etc.
  • Add surge protection for individual pieces of sensitive equipment to the power connection and to any communications lines (for example computers and computer servers).

Regularly check your workplace – in particular as you upgrade machinery and technology to ensure you are continuing to protect your business future.