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One of the biggest threats to the reliability of your standby power system is poor maintenance. Most standby power systems rely on batteries. Without proper, regular maintenance and replacing batteries that have reached their end of life, they will ultimately be unable to hold charge and prove useless during a mains failure.
The same is true for generators, if they’re not serviced on a regular basis there is a chance that they won’t start when you need them to. Therefore annual preventative generator maintenance is a must.
But having a reliable generator isn’t just down to good maintenance. According to GSMA, an association representing the interests of mobile operators’ worldwide, diesel theft is becoming an increasing problem that can occur at multiple points within the supply chain. Operators estimate that on average, 10% of the cost of fuel is as a result of theft. If your generator is there to provide standby power but has no fuel, it obviously won’t start.
You can take measures to reduce the risk of diesel theft – such as erecting walls and fences, or putting in place 24-hour security – and many generators now have secure in-built tanks. However, the problem is virtually impossible to eliminate. And with rising fuel prices, it’s likely to get worse. Installing a proprietary remote fuel level monitoring system is also an option that will keep an eye on any unusual drops in fuel level and alert you should this occur.
Another security issue is theft of the generator itself. In some industries – such as telecommunications – it is less of an issue because the units are housed in secure locations and would require heavy lifting equipment to remove them. But for smaller more portable generators it can be a problem that needs to be considered.
Finally, there is also the danger that someone could deliberately or accidentally push the emergency stop button on the generator. If this happens, the generator will not start again until the unit has been reset. Unfortunately you will never know if the button has been pushed until the generator is needed – and at this point it could be too late. Regular weekly start-up tests or the use of remote monitoring equipment can automatically alert you to any faults and help to overcome this issue.
To find out more about how to make your standby power systems more secure, or to talk to someone about your requirements, please call 01488 680 500.