Building owners can no longer consider power outages to be unexpected. At a time when more severe weather is occurring nationwide, the spate of blackouts from coast to coast last year was remarkable for the range of causes, from limiting wildfire risk to a flawed connection at a substation, John McBride writes in Construction Executive.

“The likelihood of more-frequent blackouts means backup power must evolve from ensuring the safe exit of office workers to enabling core business functions to continue uninterrupted,” McBride writes. “That’s a major shift in preparedness that construction executives should consider in future planning.”

McBride focuses in particular on office buildings, recommending property owners explore expanding the use of backup generators beyond what’s already mandated by code and even to provide enough power to maintain office functionality and IT rooms. But the message certainly applies to other types of buildings as well. Research from B2B International shows that power outage concerns vary by industry, with retail businesses focused on lost revenue, manufacturing businesses worried about lost productivity, and healthcare organizations prioritizing health and safety. A reliable propane standby generator can be part of a building’s resilience plan, enabling a business or organization to have control over what systems remain operational during a blackout.

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