Gina Obert
By Gina Obert on March 16, 2014

Power Surges and Outages

Protecting your business from power surges and outages is important to the stability of your operations and the happiness of your customers.

Scenario 1: Working late one night, the storm that’s been on the news all day has finally rolled in. While rushing to get the now antsy customers out the door, the power goes out, your light goes out, and all your point of sale systems go down. The next day after the power comes back the POS server won’t turn back on, and your business is down until it is fixed.

Scenario 2: Working late one night, the storm that’s been on the news all day has finally rolled in. While rushing to get the now antsy customers out the door, the power goes out, your lights go out but all your POS systems stay on. Thus allowing you to finish up your last bit of work and get your customers taken care of properly. The next day after the power comes back on, everything comes back on, and your business continues on without a hitch.

Now wouldn’t you rather be in the second scenario than the first? The reason Scenario 2 worked out so well was that they had surge protectors, not power strips, and uninterruptable power supplies (UPS). A UPS is basically a large battery that keeps your system up and running for a short amount of time after your power goes out. A UPS doesn’t have enough power to keep a POS system up for very long, but it can keep it up long enough to process a few transactions and shut the POS systems down properly.

Most people do not realize that there is a difference between a surge protector and a power strip. I mean, they look the same, right? They both allow you to plug more devices into one outlet than would otherwise be possible. A surge protector goes a step beyond this. If you have a sudden power surge or outage, it protects your system from power spikes. Power spikes are a sudden surge of electricity in the power lines. They can damage any electrical equipment plugged into them unless that equipment is plugged into a surge protector. If you don’t know what you have, either look for a reset button or a power rating on your device rated in Joules. If you have either of these on the device, then it is a surge protector and not a power strip. On a side note, most UPS are also surge protectors.

It is always a good idea to have surge protectors on your expensive equipment and UPS systems to keep your systems safe and up and running during bad weather. If you have need of any supplies or additional information your Product Specialists at POS Nation would be more than happy to help.

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Published by Gina Obert March 16, 2014
Gina Obert
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