MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (September 1, 2016) —It’s estimated that Mother Nature’s storms are the main culprit of the 3,571 reported power outages that impacted more than 13.2 million people nationwide last year1. Already in 2016, more than 34 percent of power outages have been due to weather, while equipment failure is the second leading cause for outages2. For Briggs & Stratton Corporation, the data reinforces an important role home preparedness can play in ensuring families endure a future power outage — or home emergency situation — safely and comfortably.
“A power outage can leave families without electricity for hours or even days,” said Amanda Funk, marketing manager, Briggs & Stratton Standby Power. “This is a long time for families to be without heat, AC or the ability to cool a refrigerator. Not to mention not having the access to 'luxuries' we've all become accustomed to like WiFi and entertainment streaming devices."
Power outages can strike in a moment’s notice. Last year, for example, a worn component failed in a utility grid that serves the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. The nation’s most recognizable home, the White House, went dark for hours. In a power outage meeting with the American Red Cross, former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge said, “We can be afraid, or we can be ready3.”
“National Preparedness Month is a great opportunity for families to assemble a household emergency kit before any disaster happens in their community,” said Dan Roche, director of marketing, Briggs & Stratton Portable Power. “Assembling a preparedness kit and a communication plan is just the start; families need to think about how they will manage any disaster without power. We recommend doing your homework on home backup power solutions.”
What is backup power?
The most popular backup power solutions are portable generators and permanently-installed standby generator systems. Both types of backup power can keep a home’s lights and appliances working in the event of a weather-related power outage or other emergency, but understanding their differences and capabilities makes selecting the best generator for a family’s needs much easier.
Standby generator systems: The long-term backup power supply
Standby generators can power more of a home’s high-wattage appliances, like air conditioning units, stoves and clothes dryers. Unlike portable generators, home standby generators need to be professionally installed, so homeowners should allow time for the installation process and associated costs.
Home standby generator systems are an ideal solution for families who want a backup power source that offers automatic, uninterrupted power. These home generators are connected to the existing propane or natural gas line of a house. When utility power to a house is interrupted, the home generator automatically turns on within seconds. Homeowners can have peace of mind that a sump pump will keep running, air conditioning/heat will continue to operate and food won’t spoil.
Portable generators: The immediate backup power supply
Portable generators, typically powered by gasoline, work well as an immediate solution during a power outage. They are generally low maintenance, compact and easily maneuverable on the property. Additionally, they are designed to provide reliable power to a few essential items and appliances such as a refrigerator, TV and basic light circuits at the same time.
While portable generators can provide users with flexibility and comfort, they need to be used appropriately at all times in order to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. As a member of the Portable Generator Manufacturers’ Association, Briggs & Stratton invites homeowners to visit www.TakeYourGeneratorOutside.com to learn more about portable generator safety.
The Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) launched the Ready Campaign and promote September as National Preparedness Month. The agencies encourages all families to make an emergency preparedness kit and have a family communication plan.
Homeowners interested in learning more about Briggs & Stratton standby and portable generators can visit www.briggsandstratton.com.
1Eaton Blackout Tracker 2015 Annual Report
2 Briggs & Stratton Power Monitor Weekly Dashboard, July 30, 2016 Report
3“Lights Out” by Ted Koppel. Page 106