Ditek Blog

Five Basics for Protecting Electronic Networks from Power Surges

2020 06 Networking 320Fire, security, communication, and data information networks are all essential to the operation of modern organizations, whether they are businesses, schools, governmental agencies, or non-profits. If these networks are damaged or inoperable for any reason, normal operation instantly becomes more difficult, and at least in the case of an inoperable fire alarm system, operation may even become impossible.

Because of this importance, managers often take action to provide some protection from typical network vulnerabilities. For example, IT departments often protect the information network with sophisticated software to detect ransomware, data breaches and other hack attacks. However, for all network types, perhaps the most dangerous threat is electrical surges and spikes and the damage they can cause.

Here are five basic concepts for protecting electronic networks from the damaging effects of electrical surges and spikes:

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The Importance of Clean AC Power for Sensitive Electronics

High-Fidelity Theater RoomHome theaters, office equipment and high-fidelity audio systems deserve extra attention to help protect them from unwanted electrical surges and spikes, and to provide them with the cleanest and purest possible electrical power.

The Clean Power Challenge

Both premium residences and all manner of commercial facilities are subjected to the same daily onslaught of power disturbances. These disturbances can come from a wide variety of external sources, including lightning strikes, utility grid switching, and nearby activities such as welding. Internal sources of disturbances can also be just as damaging. Sensitive electronic systems are subject to the cumulative effects of these disturbances that normally pass by unnoticed by building occupants. 

Another supplied power concern arises from the presence of higher frequency noise carried by power wiring and transmitted into the power input area of sensitive electronics. These higher frequencies are referred to as EMI, or Electro-Magnetic Interference, or alternatively as RFI, or Radio Frequency Interference. EMI/RFI can also come from many sources, including switched mode power supplies common in lower-cost electronic devices, and can be transmitted through the power lines to reach other, more sensitive devices.

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Differences Between Residential and Industrial Surge Protection

Industrial FacilityElectrical surge protection in an industrial setting has significant differences from residential, retail, and typical office settings – it is quite literally “no place like home.”

To begin with, the electrical service is different than it would be at home. Residential and non-industrial settings most often make use of single-phase power service at 120 or 240 volts. Electric service in commercial buildings is usually 120/208 volt three-phase power; in larger facilities service may go up to 277/480 volts. In contrast, industrial sectors like critical infrastructure, gas and oil facilities, factories, chemical plants, food processing plants and mining operations have much larger power requirements. In these settings, three-phase power with nominal service voltages of 240, 480 and 600.

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Cracking the Codes - for Everyone's Protection

Crack the CodeBuilding Codes, Fire Alarm Codes, Electrical Codes – these aren’t meant to be secret codes, but there’s no question that it is difficult for lay people to keep up with all of them as well as their applicability, their changes, and their specific requirements. We need to know how to crack the codes!

Well, DITEK is here and ready to help with at least one aspect of this challenge – we can highlight a range of current codes that involve electrical surge protection, and we can go further if you need help evaluating your facility for adequate and effective Surge Protective Devices (SPDs). In the sections below, we refer to specific code requirements so that you can go directly to the applicable information regarding SPDs. Here is our version of a decoder ring to help get you started:

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The Importance of Protecting Access Control Systems

Access Control SystemsMany facilities have areas secured and protected by Access Control systems, including all types of businesses, government and educational institutions, manufacturing and storage facilities, and even residential buildings. The reasons for this control are as varied as the facilities themselves. In one case, the purpose might be safety – to keep people away from hazardous machinery or chemicals. In other cases, it might be to prevent theft, provide a secure work space, keep non-residents out, or to make sure members have paid their fees. In every case, these systems are implemented to ensure that only authorized people can enter these protected areas.

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Ten Ways Power Surges Mean Disaster for Convenience Stores

Convenience StoreConvenience store operators have long sought to create a frictionless customer experience. Fine-tuning the shopping experience to make it faster, easier, and more enjoyable makes for satisfied customers and keeps them coming back. To that end, today’s c-store operators are adding more and more food options, bigger refrigerators, more pumps and other options for customers.

Technology has played a key role in creating positive encounters with customers. For this reason, more and more c-store operators are making big investments to create a great retail environment that drives business and delivers a top-notch experience. This can be quite expensive. A c-store operator could spend tens of thousands of dollars adding new functionality and upgrading existing systems, chasing the ultimate goal of customer satisfaction and repeat business. Surprisingly though, many operators miss a vital, yet inexpensive step when installing new equipment – surge protection.

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The Importance of Whole-House Protection

Whole House Surge ProtectionBusiness is booming for installers of residential electronic systems like burglar alarms, video security systems, audio/video systems, HVAC and data networks. The market for these technologies is growing in both dollar volume and sophistication.

Still, for installation contractors, your competent and efficient work may not be enough to be successful anymore. Building a lasting and respected business depends on consistently delighting customers – and few things ruin customer satisfaction faster or more completely than callbacks for malfunctioning or nonfunctioning systems.

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3 Reasons You Should Only Sell Channel-Brand UPS Systems

Channel-Brand UPS SolutionsA retail store suddenly cannot accept payments. A restaurant can’t cook. All the lights go out during a football game in a stadium. Surveillance cameras stop working in a courtroom. These are just a few of the many examples of negative outcomes that could stem from a power outage.

Most organizations have electrical and electronic systems that are critical to their daily operations. If the power goes out and these systems stop working, the consequences can be extremely serious, disrupting business, exposing you to liability or compromising security and safety.

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1743 Hits

Working Through BDA/DAS Regulation Confusion

DAS/BDA ComplianceSeveral of the new NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) codes and standards regarding emergency communications have caused some confusion in the building management marketplace. Building owners and managers may wonder whether the new guidelines apply to some or all of their facilities, and if they do, what actions need to be taken? This blog is intended to provide a brief overview of the new NFPA guidance and suggestions for your next steps.

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Ensuring Up-time for Critical Electronic Systems

Protection from Power OutagesAs a professional in the security, life safety or AV installation channel, you know that your reputation depends on satisfied customers. When systems are unreliable, or experience downtime, it doesn’t matter what the cause – your customers look to you for answers, and for relief.

Savvy system designers and installers know that power surges have a damaging effect on sensitive electronic systems.  Not only are security systems at risk, POS and lottery terminals, fuel pumps, access control and smart home systems, among many others, can also be compromised. To prevent these systems from surge-related damage and shortened service lives, they routinely include surge protection and make sure their customers understand the critical value of these devices.

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2475 Hits