Hot Tips (Power Protection)

Backup Power Is Critical

Power protection is a sometimes forgotten aspect of keeping a campus safe during a power outage caused by either a man-made or natural disaster. When a student, faculty member or administrator enters a campus facility, there is a presumption that all systems designed for keeping everyone safe are working, even during a power outage.

Network servers and workstations are the first things that typically come to mind for most administrators when it comes to backup power, but other critical systems cannot be overlooked.

When a power outage occurs, a campus security system is perhaps the most important system to have protected by a battery backup, or uninterruptible power supply (UPS). Security cameras, video recorders, access control systems, fire alarm systems and emergency communications are absolutely critical for ensuring campus safety. If these systems do not have appropriate power backup, security vulnerabilities are huge and liabilities are magnified. The good news is that most of this security hardware can have appropriate battery backup at a cost-effective price.

One of the most important questions to consider in security system power protection is how long should all aspects of the security system stay up and running? Is one hour sufficient? Are four or more hours enough? The length of backup battery time required by a campus can be debated and may vary from campus to campus, but the importance of ensuring safety is undeniable.

Many different types of power protection solutions are available, including systems that allow the addition of external battery packs to extend power backup from minutes to hours. Campuses invest large amounts of money in security systems, but if a proper power backup system is not included, the investment will be of little value during a power outage. Hot tip: Ask whoever is in charge of security if your campus is appropriately covered with backup power.

This article originally appeared in the September 2016 issue of School Planning & Management.

About the Author

Bill Allen is the director of Marketing with Minuteman Power Technologies. He can be reached at 800-238-7272.

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