The Electrical Blog

Data Matters: How to Protect Computers against Power Fluctuations

Posted by James Rockhill on Mon, Jan 04, 2016

Data-Matters-How-to-Protect-Computers-against-Power-Fluctuations.jpgMost people do not think of power and data at the same time. We have become so used to having computers around, and so used to them storing our information, entertaining us and helping us to connect that we hardly think of them as appliances at all. However, since computers rely on power to operate, electrical supply and electrical problems can have a big effect on them. In this article, we look at the relationship between your commercial power supply and your data, and offer tips to reduce risks.

How Power Affects Computers

It is not only when there is an unexpected power outage and you lose the work that you were busy with that power affects computers. Computers are complex electronic machines, with delicate circuit boards and components. Many of those components can only cope with a particular voltage, which means that power spikes can overload them, resulting in component failure. When components in your computers fail, eventually the whole computer will fail.

Aside from physical damage that can and does occur when power supply is not stable, software can also be corrupted, work lost and even networks disrupted. Worse yet, if your data server is not properly protected, you could lose the hub of your computer network because of power issues.

Protecting Computers Against Power Fluctuations

There are several steps you can take to protect the computers in your commercial building from power related problems, including:

  • Invest in surge protectors. These look like regular power bars, but they have built in fuses. This means that when there is a power surge, the surge protector is fried instead of your computers.
  • Invest in UPSs – Uninterruptible Power Supplies. These are essentially large batteries that are installed between the outlet and your electronics. They charge while the power 

 3 Signs Your Data Comm System Needs An Upgrade

Topics: electrical contractors, commercial electric, power quality

15 Christmas Light Safety Tips

Posted by James Rockhill on Fri, Dec 18, 2015

15-Christmas-Light-Safety-Tips.jpgMost of the year, we focus on being a commercial electrical company. However, when the holidays roll around, we all go home, and decorate our own homes with lights, lights and more lights, and because we know that all those twinkly lights can come with some hidden risks, we decided to share our top Christmas light safety tips. Here is what you need to know:

  1. Do not overload circuits. If you need to plug many strands of lights into an outlet, use a power bar.
  2. NEVER run power cables, including those for lights, under carpets or anything else. People may unknowingly damage the cables with chairs or otherwise, and that can cause fires or shocks.
  3. Space your lights evenly. Bunching them together not only ruins the look, it can also make the lights overheat, with potentially dangerous consequences.
  4. If you are putting lights on your Christmas tree, try to keep them a little separate from ornaments, again to prevent overheating.
  5. Only ever use lights and cords designed for exterior use outside. Interior lights and cords cannot be used outdoors!
  6. Make sure that you check all light strands and cords for fraying, cracks, cuts or signs of damage, and if you are in any doubt, do not use them.
  7. Never leave a Christmas tree lit while you are out or asleep. It only takes a few minutes for faulty lights to start a fire that can burn your house down or worse. Do not just turn them off either. Unplug your tree lights when you are not in the room.
  8. If cords start feeling warm after a period of use, stop using them. Do not coil cords up while lights or other items are turned on either – this can cause the cord to overheat dangerously.
  9. NEVER modify electrical plugs to remove the ground pin. Buy an adapter if your plug does not fit the outlet.
  10. Consider buying mini LED lights. They burn cooler and use much less power.
  11. Never use angel hair and spray on snow together, as this can be a flammable combination.
  12. Avoid metallic ornaments with lights. If there is a wiring fault, those ornaments could become live conductors.
  13. Only use hangers designed for lights when installing. Nails, tacks and staples can all damage insulation, and that can be potentially hazardous.
  14. Only use stable ladders to install lights on roofs, maintain three points of contact, and have someone help you by holding the ladder for you.
  15. If you have a real tree, dispose of it soon after Christmas, in a safe manner. Christmas trees tend to contain a lot of tree sap, and sap, dried needles and flaky bark are all ideal fire starters!

That is it for our Christmas light safety tips, but we would like to take this opportunity to wish you, your family and your staff a happy holiday season, and we hope to keep servicing your Commercial, DataComm, and Residential electrical needs in 2016!

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Topics: electrical contractors, commercial lighting, home safety

6 Electrical Upgrades to Consider During a Commercial Renovation in ColoradoSprings

Posted by James Rockhill on Fri, Oct 30, 2015

Renovations are a necessary evil most businesses have to go through eventually. If your business is growing, your building and its capabilities have to grow with it. Ideally, you'll include enough innovation in your upgrade to keep from having to repeat the process for a number of years. The best upgrades include innovations aimed toward the future as well as needed improvements for today.

Before you finalize your plans, be sure to discuss these (and any other) changes that you want made in your commercial electric power and lighting.  

Large Kitchen Appliances 

When changing a building's use from commercial sales to food service, wiring for large kitchen appliances is almost certainly necessary. If you're adding a kitchen to any kind of commercial space, you'll probably need three phase power, as well as additional outlets kitchen appliances such as ovens, deep fryers, and even walk-in freezers will use much more power than a typical retail space includes. Wire your kitchen area with more power outlets than you think you'll need. If your business takes off, you don't want to have to spend all that new profit on another upgrade in a couple of years. 

Dedicated Circuits

If your business includes any kind of computer usage or computerized cash registers, your data and power usage is only going to increase as the years go on. Dedicated data circuits ensure that generalized power surges are less likely to damage electronic equipment than if they were all on one circuit with the rest of your equipment. Separate the areas of your business, including areas of high data usage, into a line of dedicated circuits that will help to ensure stable power quality all the time. Your information is your businesses lifeblood, and you can't afford to lose it to something as simple as someone plugging in a coffee maker at the same time as the printer is working.


Heating and air-conditioning are likely a big part of your power usage, and are likely to remain so in the future. The newer thermostats with timers and smart technology can pay for themselves in a surprisingly short amount of time. By changing the time and temperature the furnace and air conditioner work and coordinating it with your workday, you can save a substantial amount of money on your power bill. Have your electrical contractors update the wiring to the systems, as well as leaving space for future smart technology. 

Code Compliance

Building regulations can change as quickly as local governments do, and it's difficult to make sure your business is up to code at all times. A new business renovation is the ideal time to make sure your entire business is up to electrical code. Repair or replace any older wiring you have, older circuit boxes, and any other fixtures that may not be compliant. It may seem like an extra expense to do this upfront, but it can end up being much less expensive than the fines the city can levy on you.

Capacity upgrades

If your business has been growing, or if you're changing the usage of your building, you may need a greater load capacity in the building. Wiring is set up into circuits, and each one is designed to carry a certain amount of power. Once you try to increase that power, you run the risk of overloading the system, creating power surges, are even starting electrical fires. Have your electrical contractor reconfigure your wiring into new circuits designed to hinder larger electrical loads. It's a good idea to have him look at the circuit breaker box at the same time, to determine whether it needs to be replaced, as well.

 3 Signs Your Data Comm System Needs An Upgrade

Topics: electrical contractors, commercial electric, power quality