For the most part, residents and business owners in San Diego enjoy excellent service from the local electric utility. Aside from the blackout in 2011, major outages are not as common in San Diego as they are in other California regions. Still, there is always the possibility of an earthquake or another natural disaster creating extended outage situations.
Installing permanent backup generators is one of the best preventive measures home and business owners can adopt in San Diego. For instance, a restaurant or grocery store that has a backup electricity generator is protecting against business interruption. Here are 7 interesting things you should learn about emergency generators, brought to you by the Chula Vista homeowners insurance experts at American Tri-Star.
1. Permanent Generators Are Better Than Portable
The small portable generators activated with a pull cord mechanism similar to outboard marine engines are not the most adequate solution for a home or business. In fact, portable generators can often turn dangerous if they are operated inside a home or too close to a business. Permanently and professionally installed generators are the way to go.
2. Generators Should Be Professionally Installed
The installation of a permanent backup generator should never be a do-it-yourself affair. Electricians will know if the installation needs to be evaluated by San Diego Gas & Electric, and they can also prevent back feeding situations due to improper distribution schemes.
3.Backup Generators Are Subject to Electric Rule 21
Self-generation installations that require interconnection with the local utility system are subject to Electric Rule 21, which means owners of residences and businesses must complete the requirements set forth in a document package that may call for an independent study conducted by technicians prior to installation. Fees may also be assessed by the utility.
4. Electrical Cords and Cables Need to Be Organized
The last thing you want is to have a mess of cables and wires running out of your backup generator system. You want to make sure any access paths to the generator are free from cords that may act as tripping hazards.
5. Generators Need Proper Ventilation
Most backup generators are primarily powered by flammable fuel sources, which means they need to have proper ventilation to prevent the accumulation of noxious gases such as carbon monoxide. Aside from vents to facilitate the exhaust process, the generator should be installed in a place that is isolated from flammable items.
6. Installing a Fire Extinguisher or Sprinkler System Adds Extra Protection
The ideal backup generator system will be protected with more than just smoke detectors and alarms. If possible, a sprinkler system should also be installed in case of emergencies. In the case of generators that protect business premises, a sprinkler system could reduce your monthly insurance premiums.
7. Remote Monitoring Is Becoming More Common
Modern standby generators connected to the Internet of Things offer mobile apps that allow for remote monitoring and control of systems. This option can be very useful for home and business owners who are away from the premises during an outage and can decide at what capacity the generator should run.
Find out how owning a backup generator could affect your homeowners insurance by contacting American Tri-Star. In addition to affordable home insurance, we also offer commercial, health, RV, and auto insurance in Chula Vista. Call 619-827-0522 to speak with a friendly agent and receive a free quote.