Lightning, electrical storms and other forms of electrical surges can be devastating to all types of electronics. Below are three simple ways to protect your telecom gear from lightning and other hazardous damage.
This seems like an obvious solution. However, it’s surprising how many small businesses don’t have adequate surge protection on their equipment. The system cabinet is the heart of your premise-based communications. It houses all of your call routing settings, recordings, prompts and voicemail messages. It’s critical to keep it protected from power surges and lightning strikes. A quality surge protection system will protect the gear in your telecom closet from electrical surges that try to enter via power cables. Most reputable brands will also provide insurance against damage or loss of equipment if you have properly installed and registered their gear.
UPS / Backup Power Supply
An uninterruptible power supply (“UPS”), also known as a backup power supply will help protect your system should the power flicker or go out for a period of time. Today’s telephone systems are built just like computers with microprocessors and hard drives that do not like unplanned power cycles. When the power drops and then comes back on, it can wreak havoc on a communications system that wasn’t properly shutdown. At the very least, it’s rough on the system’s power supply. Plugging your system into a UPS will ensure that it has a constant stream of power to it, even if the main power is cycling on and off. This is useful even if the weather is clear. You never know when something else out of your control may cause a power outage.
Lightning damage does not always enter via the power lines. Fiber, copper, ethernet and coax are all types of cable used to bring voice and data services into your building. They are also in the ground and on the poles outside and susceptible to lightning damage. Should any of these take a direct or indirect hit from lightning the result could be damaged hardware in your data closet. For that reason, it is wise to use surge protection on your incoming communication lines as well. Surge protection is available for most every type of incoming connection and will help protect your valuable premise-based communications hardware.
These three simple steps are cost effective ways to protect your communications investment. While the cost of a quality protection and backup equipment may seem high, you have to weigh it against not only the cost of repair for your existing telecom hardware, but the cost of being without communications following a damaging outage.