Staying secure

March 2010 Integrated Solutions

Managing electricity supply is a crucial aspect of security installations.

Gary Jameson, country manager: South Africa, Eaton, Power Quality, says uninterruptible power supply (UPS) devices have long been considered an integral part of any electronics equipment installation, but have often been ignored where power supply is a matter of life or death: security systems. The main function of a UPS is to ensure the quality and continuity of electricity, regulating the power to one’s critical load, while providing protection against supply irregularities, surges, and lightning. Back-up during blackouts (power failures) is yet another important function.

Gary Jameson
Gary Jameson

In a country like South Africa, security systems are essential to protecting the assets of any individual or business and are as susceptible to damage as all other electrical equipment.

“Every business, no matter how small or large is at risk,” Jameson says. “You may only notice power disturbances when the lights flicker or go out, but your security systems and other electronics can be damaged by many other power anomalies that are invisible to the human eye, and that degrade equipment over time.”

He adds that it remains good practice to evaluate the power quality status of your business; to know what is at risk and to take the necessary steps to keep your business going during a power cut. While it is advisable to have a detailed assessment conducted by a trained professional, answering the following pertinent questions will give you a good indication of how at risk your business is of experiencing power quality problems:

* Do you have electronic equipment that is especially sensitive to power quality disturbances?

* Is your office building more than 10 years old?

* Do you have equipment that operates 24 hours a day?

* Do you have a modem line or coaxial cable entering your facility?

* Does your business have more than five users on a computer network system?

* Does your business lack adequate protection against power quality disturbances, like point-of-use surge suppressers and UPSes for critical equipment?

“If you answered yes to three or more of these questions, your business has a higher risk of experiencing power quality problems,” Jameson says. “High availability power is the key to keeping things running, and security systems need to stay up.”

For more information contact Eaton, Power Quality Products & Services, +27 (0)11 564 9308,,

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