Periodic power outages happen. You know that rolling blackouts can be a big problem, particularly during summer and wildfire season. When PG&E is shutting down your jobsite, you’ve got issues you need to solve. Your workday doesn’t stop just because the lights aren’t on, so you must be prepared. These tips help you evaluate your energy needs for your business, with a few solutions you can consider.
Consider Your Power Needs
In order to find the best approaches to take during a power outage, you have to know what you need. Make a list of equipment you use for common projects. Don’t forget to include the tools that you use on a daily basis but may not rely on for regular work, like your smartphone or computer. Take note of the power source for each piece of equipment. For tools and devices that run solely on electricity, figure out how many amps they need. This will help you determine how fast you’ll burn through power running them.
Choose Batteries vs. Fuel-Powered
If the plugs aren’t working and you don’t know when they’ll turn back on, you need some kind of backup. Many construction tools run on fuel, but others can run on batteries. In some cases, you may be able to choose between them. It’s a trick to keep batteries charged, particularly if you can run through them in less than an hour or two. If you pick battery-powered options, you’ll need to find a way to recharge them. If you choose fuel-powered, you’ll need to ensure that you can provide a regular supply of the right kind of fuel. Keep in mind that fuel-powered tools may not need electricity, but they need ventilation if you’re using them indoors.
Find Ways to Recharge
Some aspects of your system simply cannot work without electric power. For that, you may need to invest in a generator. Lots of people buy a generator as an emergency backup but then never learn how to use it. Typically, a generator uses fuel to run an alternator that creates an electrical current that can be converted to energy to run devices that are connected to the right circuits. If you don’t have enough fuel or the right fuel, it’s useless. If you buy a generator that is too small for your needs, you’ll run out of energy and be back where you started. Make sure that you know how to use it and periodically test it to confirm it still meets your needs.
Watch for Planned Outages
They say luck favors the prepared, and this is because having a plan makes all the difference. Planned outages can be extremely frustrating for everyone in the region affected by them. But if you don’t know that they are coming, you may be caught unprepared. When the weather is hot and everyone’s running an air conditioner, get ready for brownouts or rolling blackouts. Keep an eye on the weather forecast, particularly during seasons when big storms are common. If you know about it in advance and can do some work from a safer place, you may save yourself some time and hassle.
Build-in Extra Time
Power outages can cause delays in your project delivery, but they also create other problems. Failing to plan for them and not giving yourself adequate time to complete the project can cause you to take risks that you wouldn’t do otherwise. Being in a hurry is a major cause of workplace injury. For example, if you’re relying on a building’s ventilation system to keep the jobsite safe for you and your employees, you might not think about that system going down during a power outage. You’re more likely to make that mistake when you’re already behind schedule. Instead, build in some padding for problems like this, and you’ll have more room to plan.
Power outages are a part of life in California, but they don’t have to bring your business screeching to a halt. For more tips about getting your contracting business started, visit CSLS today!