We’ve made it to that time of year again – the November winds.
An old friend of mine who lives in England now was reminiscing on Facebook the other day about November in Vancouver. It’s time there, she said, for one of those wind storms that blow all the beautiful coloured leaves off the trees and set the stage for Vancouver’s soggy winter. You’re right, I replied. We just had one of those last week, and its baby sister is due tomorrow!
The new update on my iPhone includes warnings in the weather app, and these storms prompted a recent wind warning that says loose items left outdoors may fly about and branches fall off trees! Time to make sure the barbecue is securely covered and the deck furniture stowed away.
What the warning doesn’t say is what happens almost every year: neighbourhoods lose power. Sometimes it’s for just a few minutes and sometimes it goes on for many hours, but the November winds reliably plunge many local homes into the dark.
In 2017, British Columbia experienced 83 reported power outages, though experts say that many outages actually go unreported.1 Climate change appears to be causing more extreme weather everywhere, so the number of power outages could increase. And though it hasn’t happened yet, our area is still considered due for a major earthquake sometime in the next few decades2.
We all hopefully have a few cozy memories of power outages in childhood: candles, flashlights, singsongs, the glow of the fireplace. But if an outage lasts more than a couple of hours, the novelty will wear off. You’ll find yourselves wanting light, heat, and cooking energy pretty quickly, not mention power for those smart devices. And while childhood you were having fun making scary faces with flashlights while the power was out, your mum and dad (and mine!) were worried about the meat in the deep freeze going bad!
Emergency preparedness experts say you should be prepared to survive a good 72 hours without any contact with the outside world.3 It seems wise then, to make your home ready for a significant period without power. This is the time to consider having a permanent, whole-home standby generator installed at your residence or business.
Yes, your business. Any business that works with food or other perishables must be especially careful to keep freezer and refrigeration units running. And how great would it be to be a refuge for all the loyal customers in your community in a time of power outage?
A permanent generator sounds expensive, but consider the potential costs of a significant power outage: spoiled food, possible hotel stays, restaurant meals, replacing your fridge or freezer… this certainly puts the cost of a generator in perspective. It could pay for itself with even one long power outage. It’s definitely worth it to know all your home’s or business’s contents and inhabitants will be safe and sound in an extended emergency situation.
But of course, the most valuable thing you get with a standby generator is peace of mind. The right standby generator can give you up to 20,000 watts – enough to power everything under your roof, and also any pumping equipment necessary in case of flooding in your basement.
Remember that this kind of electrical installation will require a permit from, and subsequent inspection by, your municipal government. This tells you that there are serious safety risks and many safety standards to be adhered to, and the job involves 220-volt wiring, so you should definitely hire a professional electrician to get this done.
Your generator will need to be installed the proper distance from your home, on its own concrete pad. This means you’ll have to have enough room for it and enough space around it to make sure it can’t light anything else on fire and that no one will be exposed to fumes emanating from it when it’s in use. Your electrician will consult with you to find the perfect location.
In fact, your electrical professional can help you through every step of the process. They can make sure you understand everything you need to know about generators and help you choose the right unit for your needs. You might even end up with a generator that will turn itself on within thirty seconds of your power going out, and that can be controlled via your smartphone!
With their long experience and high standards, you can rely on Stapleton to install your generator. Contact us today!