Surge protectors serve one of the most important defensive functions for the many electrical and electronic systems that you use to help run your business. In the event of a damaging spike in power, whether from a lightning strike or a more common power surge, your surge protector will ensure that the surge does not reach your devices and damage or destroy them. As a vital part of their useful life, one of the responsibilities of surge protectors is to absorb a sudden rush of electrical power – even if it causes them to be severely damaged or go end of life. This is how they shield your more important business and security systems, and enable them to continue running without costly interruptions. In the event that a surge protector goes end of life, it will need to be replaced.
No matter the industry, electrical and electronic equipment plays a major role in the everyday ins and outs of maintaining business operations. Without power, security systems, refrigeration equipment, access control, point of sale, lighting systems, and other systems, simply can’t function. Expensive and essential equipment across every vertical market, from healthcare, to warehousing and sports and entertainment venues, is continually at risk due to unpredictable power surges. They can damage, degrade or destroy your systems, resulting in costly downtime and other financial losses, as well as compliance issues. Therefore, it’s key to implement these protective devices, and choose the right surge protection solutions that are best suited for your specific system requirements.
Surge protection starts with protecting your outdoor devices from damaging surges. When most people think about which devices need surge protection, they imagine a lightning strike hitting their security camera or light fixture and destroying it, perhaps even sending a massive surge along the network and damaging or destroying other essential devices. Though lightning strikes are a less common source of surges, considering the weather is a necessary part of choosing a surge protective device (SPD) to ensure the safety of your outdoor devices.
When evaluating surge protection for your networked devices, its essential to choose the right product to do each individual job. There is more to surge protection than simply hooking up a device – in fact there are several different types of surge protection, each engineered with differing core components performing the “dirty work” of dissipating surges away from your critical devices. The three most commonly found core components are MOVs, SADs, and GDTs; most surge protectors are built around one of these three and are defined by the capabilities of that component. There are also hybrid, multi-stage models available that contain multiple components for better coverage.
From heartrate monitors to medication pumps, much of what keeps patients alive and healthy in hospitals is dependent on a steady flow of power. However, there are other critical systems in healthcare facilities that require the highest level of protection from power disruptions as well – the video surveillance and access control systems. Should these stop functioning, the results could be catastrophic or even fatal. For that reason, it is essential in healthcare facilities to protect these systems from damaging power spikes and surges.
Stadiums and other event venues are complex facilities, featuring multiple systems that all must work in tandem during concerts, sporting events, conventions, and any other large scale public gathering. A stadium needs lighting systems, security, point-of-sale, ticket collection, video displays, and many other systems in order to create the right environment for fans, players, performers and personnel. A power surge that damages electronic systems can be catastrophic for the stadium, causing interruptions, downtime and destruction of equipment.
Should one of these systems go down, it creates issues beyond the loss of the system functionality. A point-of-sale system not functioning during an event means that sales cannot go through, resulting in massive losses in revenue from concessions and merchandise. Should ticket collection mechanisms not properly function, tickets could be counted inaccurately, resulting in unauthorized persons sneaking into an event or authorized persons not being granted access.
As an IP camera dealer, you work with clients who come to you for help in protecting their organizations. While you might recommend a networked video surveillance system integrated with other systems to provide a complete solution for your client, you would be remiss if you do not also advise them about surge protection. Every device that runs on power is susceptible to power surges and spikes, but networked devices like IP cameras are at an even greater risk as they are connected to other vulnerable devices as well. Surge events can damage or destroy expensive cameras, cause costly or hazardous downtime and increase risk by disabling your clients’ security measures.
Many businesses that need to keep a large array of merchandise on hand maintain and operate immense warehouses with significant infrastructure requirements. For many of these warehouses, refrigeration is an essential function to keep produce and other fragile products fresh. With advanced refrigeration technology these devices now have a great deal of complex operability—some can maintain temperature to a tenth of a degree, allowing storage of much more delicate products, and many are now networked to enable remote management and monitoring.
Picking the right surge protectors for the valuable electronic equipment you depend on throughout your organization can be a challenging process. The first step is having a thorough understanding of what type of surge protection is necessary for each of your systems, and what devices can provide the protection you require.
Learning the terminology can help you to make an informed decision about which surge protectors will provide optimal protection for your devices and give you peace of mind that they will continue to operate and not be damaged in the event of a surge or spike in power.
When protecting your critical devices from power surges, choosing the correct surge protector is the first step. It’s important to consider surge protection as a preventative measure, preserving the functionality of both your devices and the systems they run on. Downtime is costly for all systems, and a surge event can cause long-lasting downtime by damaging or destroying devices-- and networked devices can carry that surge through an entire system.