IS YOUR HOME SAFE FROM BLACKOUTS?
The typical home relies on electrical power many of the systems and appliances inside.
Indeed, the large number of smart appliances in a modern home means that the environment can quickly become uncomfortable should the power go out.
This makes it more important than ever that they are adequately protected against power interruptions.
While every house is different, below are three categories of devices that you might want to start protecting using an uninterruptible power supply (UPS).
INTERNET ACCESS DEVICES
The importance of Internet access cannot be overstated in our hyperconnected world.
Though all of us will have a smartphone to easily access various online services or information in a pinch, many smart IoT systems (more on that later) are typically wired through the home's broadband connection.
Moreover, mobile wireless connectivity is typically less extensive or slower in many regions, which makes devices that provide Internet access a priority in a blackout.
Regardless of whether your home is connected via copper, cable or fibre optic, ensuring that the Internet connectivity stays up begins with the broadband modem.
This is typically connected to an Internet router, which could be a standalone equipment or an integrated device with Wi-Fi capabilities.
In homes where a mesh Wi-Fi system is used to provide better wireless coverage, each mesh Wi-Fi node will need to be protected accordingly.
SMART IOT SYSTEMS
Elsewhere, the smart home market continues to expand at a breakneck pace, with a plethora of always-on and interconnected IoT devices designed to deliver capabilities ranging from voice assistants to controllers for the lights.
While the smart speaker is probably not a priority in a blackout, the Internet bridge for your smart lock might be if you want to retain the ability to remotely unlock the main door.
For added peace of mind, your security cameras deployment is a good candidate to keep powered during a power outage.
Be sure to keep Internet access running too, if your cameras stream the footage to an online repository. Ditto to security sensors and the smart home gateways that they might rely on.
Though the television is probably not vital in a blackout, don't forget major appliances such as the refrigerator, especially if you keep a lot of fresh produce that must be kept chilled.
Beyond that, consider wiring up some of your lights to a backup power supply as emergency lighting. Fortunately, it should be trivial to keep them going for a long time with energy-efficient LED bulbs.
Do take some time to mentally walk through every part of your home to identify mains-powered system that might need to stay powered.
Some apartments might also have powered window blinds to keep out the rain or insects, for instance, and landed property might be equipped with a motorised front gate.
It is probably a priority to ensure that the latter is wired to a backup power source.
Convinced yet about the need for backup power at home? You will need a UPS for that. You can learn more about buying the right UPS to protect against untimely power outages here.
Article by Michael Kurniawan, Vice President, Secure Power Division, Singapore-Malaysia-Brunei, Schneider Electric.