What is Best Practice for Office Electrical?
In this electronically connected era, the majority of us have an office of some kind somewhere. But not all of us are taking optimal care of the technology we keep there.
Are you using more than one computer in a certain office space? Whether at home or at work, it’s a good idea to have a network created for your computers. That way you can cover some important electrical safety and technical efficiency bases all at once.
Maybe you’re creating a new office or expanding your old one. Or maybe you’ve just been a bit lazy about protecting your current computer equipment. Whichever the case, to make sure you’re going about it smartly, we’ve put together this checklist of key considerations for achieving best practice for your office electrical.
Plan your Computer Network Expansion
For your computer network to be efficient for as long as possible, you need to think ahead about what your electrical needs will look like in the future. If your family will likely be growing, or if you’re planning to expand your small business, keep these projections in mind. Make note of what is plugged in right now, and then sketch out what electrical elements you can anticipate adding.
Avoid Overloading Circuits
That review/planning exercise will help you to be aware of how much energy your computers and devices are currently using, and will someday be guzzling. Overcharging your circuits by attempting to draw too much energy can lead to power failure, which can cost you time and money.
Maybe your sketches have you realizing that you don’t know the capacities of your office’s circuits, or how to figure out the power requirements of all your current and future equipment! No problem, your local licensed electrician is a great resource who can advise you on the best way to set up your network. Adding a circuit might be a simple way to safely start your computer network expansion.
Most people are aware that a spike or surge in electricity can burn expensive computer equipment in a heartbeat and leave your entire network damaged. To protect your investment, you definitely need good surge protection for your computer network. But many people are unaware that not all surge protection is equal.
A first step would be considering whether you should have your electrician add more outlets. You might not think that necessary if you’ve got your computer and peripherals hooked into multi-outlet ‘power strips’. But those are probably nowhere near as robust as you think, as they essentially act simply as an expansion of a wall outlet. While power strips usually have a circuit breaker of some sort, most don’t offer much protection from real electrical issues.
Surge protectors (also called surge suppressors) are different. But they too can vary greatly in quality and levels of protection offered. For more information about the many factors to consider when buying a surge protector, here are a few tips.
Uninterruptible Power Supply
If you want to protect not just your equipment but your data too, you should consider an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). This combo surge protector/battery will defend your network against a sudden crash.
Whether there is a blackout or just a dip in power, your UPS will boot in the instant your regular power supplies drop, giving you plenty of time to save and shut down everything without losing important files. How smart is that?
Best doesn’t Have to Mean Complicated
So, there you have it, a few simple steps to get your office electrical on the right track. And, as ever, we’re just a phone call away if you have questions or need a hand with the electrical aspects of your network setup!
Further information: Keep Your Office Safe From Electrical Hazards
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2012 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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