Electrician Annapolis, MD
Written by Larry Cook

Standby Generator Basics for Small Businesses – Part 1

Natural and manmade disasters can cause long power outages that greatly affect small businesses. A brief loss of power due to a utility problem can also wreak havoc. Large corporations have several locations that can compensate if one of its facilities is closed by the loss of electricity. This can’t be usually said for a small business.

Every small business should prepare for the inevitable power outage. Failing to plan for the loss of electricity could lead to a small company losing business, communications with clients or customers, inventory, and money.

Businesses can prevent these potential problems by installing a standby generator on their premises. When electricity from the utility is cut, the generator will automatically activate and restore power, allowing a company and its employees to keep working.  

From a single entrepreneur to a fast-expanding small or medium enterprise (SME), having a standby generator ready for emergencies ensures that the negative effects of a power outage on a business will be mitigated.

Two Main Types

  1. A standby or automatic generator is installed with a permanent connection to a facility’s electrical system. When a power outage occurs, this generator automatically activates and restores power, fueling itself with natural gas.
  • A backup or portable generator runs on gasoline or diesel and requires manual installation, activation, and refueling after a power outage occurs. Portable generators are generally less expensive than standby generators.

Safety Issues

The exhaust fumes from a portable generator will contain carbon monoxide that is harmful at higher levels. As a result, they should never be used inside a building. They should never be refueled while functioning or hot to avoid a fire or explosion.

Most experts and manufacturers advise consumers that standby generators should be installed a minimum of 10 feet from a building. This distance will decrease the chance of toxic emissions entering a facility through doors, windows, or another opening.

Part 2 will discuss Capacity, Proper Operation, Noise, and Talk to Experts.

Electrical Peace of Mind Providing professional electricians since 1988 in Maryland, Cook Electric is the company you can rely on for all your electrical service needs. For knowledgeable, fair, honest, reliable, and conscientious service, call Cook Electric today at (410) 266-9040. We will be very glad to help you.