Tips for Power Companies to Tame Blackouts

tree with yellow leaves in sunlight next to building

Power outages become a severe inconvenience to power utility firms because they affect entire operations. Blackouts in various regions can last several hours or days. Changes in climate conditions and natural calamities are often attributed to most causes of catastrophic power outages. However, squirrels and rodents finding their way into substations across power lines largely disrupt power too. Critter Guard’s Line Guard and Pole Guard systems prevent critter access to these, so they are not a problem. Still, power utility companies need to find solutions to cushion themselves from the impact of unexpected or planned power failure. Here are a few tips:

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Fines and Protective Laws for Critters – Rodents Have Rights Too!

squirrel on metal hand rail with acorn in mouth

Did you know that a squirrel lurking in the rafters of your house may be protected by law? In some states, squirrels are illegal to house or keep as pets, so are you breaking the law allowing the squirrel to stay in your house? Maybe. In addition, states like Washington and Oregon have extra protection for wildlife that come with penalties if they are neglected and put in harm’s way, so it is important to keep these critters out and avoid any burdening responsibilities. Protective systems like our Line Guard and Pole Guard will do just that, so you can live more worry-free.

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Protect Fiber Optic Cables for Your Everyday Life

close-up of 3-wire cable on black background

If you have ever used the internet (clearly yes, if you’re reading this blog post!), watched cable television, or used a landline telephone, you have relied on fiber optic cables. Fiber optics provide high-speed data transmission and can be frustrating, even life-critical, when data transmission gets interrupted. The technology plays such an important role in our lives, and it is crucial to protect it from things like critter damage with our Line Guard and Pole Guard.

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Maintain Proper Home Insulation

home construction and off-white colored insullation

In an ideal world, humans could live harmoniously in perfect, climate-controlled homes without any cost; unfortunately, we are far from that, so home insulation and air sealing is a must. Also unfortunately, squirrels, rodents, and other critters find their way into your home and destroy your home insulation efforts, costing homeowners small fortunes and unnecessary stresses. It’s best and easiest to keep them out and away from your home. Fortunately, critters can be kept at bay with Critter Guard’s Line Guard and Pole Guard, so you can keep your home and insulation safe, secure, and running in top-notch shape.

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Power Outages in the United States

united states lights at night from space

As our nation continues to develop and expand, so does our demand for electricity. In the United States, demand for power has increased steadily since records were first kept. As demand increases, so do the occurrences of power outages. Each year, businesses in the US lose about $150 billion due to outages. Weather-related outages alone are responsible for $75 billion per year, sometimes higher for years with numerous severe storms. Nearly half of electricity outage costs are attributed to other factors, and surprisingly, squirrels and rodents can be to blame when they discover and interfere with power utility equipment and substations. Critter Guard’s Line Guard and Pole Guard can prevent this, as simple, but effective protective barriers for curious critters.

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Preventing Lyme Disease from Rodent Carriers in Your Home

dreary woman sitting in bed in dark room with window blind lights shining upon her

Did you know that Lyme disease may be hiding in your home on the backs of squirrels, mice, and rodents? Ticks that carry this debilitating and complex disease can live and feed on animals. Deer and larger animals are often blamed for carrying Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses, but squirrels and other critters live in and around tick-infested forests too and are also prime carriers. The rodents host ticks, fleas, and mites with many types of bacteria and germs that cause different diseases and infections in small and large mammals, including humans.

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Dangerous Diseases from Squirrels in the Home

close-up of yellow tablet pills from a bottle on a white table

Most people do not encourage squirrels to nest or live in their home, and for good reason. Squirrels are wild animals that thrive in the wilderness, not in the eaves of an attic. When confronted by humans in an unnatural environment, squirrels will panic and sometimes attack if they feel threatened. Some people aren’t too concerned about an animal smaller than a football attacking, but you may want to reconsider. Squirrels can be more dangerous than you think.

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Don't Bring Squirrels Indoors as Pets

squirrel perched atop a camera bag

It can be hard not to smile when watching squirrels chase each other around the yard or park. It can be fun to enjoy their frenetic energy, following their constantly twitching tails as they scurry about a tree trunk or frantically search for acorns in the spring. Many people have pondered whether to care for them and keep as a pet, bringing a few squirrels into their home. The resounding advice from those who have done so is to not make their same mistakes. Despite squirrels’ cute and cuddly appearance from afar, the realities of bringing a wild animal into your home are far from charming. Finding them unexpectedly inside your home without Critter Guard’s utility line and pole guards to deter them can also be an unpleasant surprise. Squirrels’ nature and demeanor can wreak havoc in your home, so keep them out!

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Prepare an Emergency Power Outage Plan for Commercial Buildings

office building at night with blue lights

A manager or owner of a commercial building may face difficult situations in a power outage. Do tenants know what to do if the electricity goes out? Who should they contact? Are you or the power company tending to tenants’ questions? What precautions can you take to make power outages easier to deal with? An emergency power outage plan addresses these and other concerns before the lights go out, so everybody knows what to do without being left in the dark. Develop a plan now for your commercial building before an outage strikes with these tips.

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How Does Your City's Power Grid Work?

overhead of skyscrapers in grid system at night

When you walk into a room and flip the switch on the wall or turn on your computer by pressing a power button, you probably don't give much extra thought to how the energy reaches your home, lights come on, or how power is dispersed to start spinning the hard drive. You probably do highly consider the electricity that doesn’t reach your home, however, when you wake up in the middle of the night sweating and don't hear the soft humming of the air conditioner. This can be a big problem when utility equipment isn’t protected from critters and squirrels, who wreak havoc and can cause major power outages.

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Reproductive Squirrels: A Nightmare for Your Home

squirrel hopping over wooden handrail on porch of a home

Spring is coming. Peak mating season for squirrels draws near as winter weather and mammal hibernation come to an end. With more squirrels soon running amok, the more chances they can cause damage to your roof and home from traversing electric power utility lines and poles. Protect yourself from these critters with Critter Guard’s Line Guard and Pole Guard. As squirrels continue to multiply, you’ll know your home and equipment have the proper safety measures to keep critters at bay.

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Your Home Insurance Policy May Lack Critter Damage Coverage

front of two-story house with white picket fence surrounded by falling leaves from trees in autumn

One of the biggest purchases most people will make in their lifetime is their house. Given the nature of such a major investment, making sure the home is properly covered by insurance is essential and mandatory. While there are base home insurance policies that satisfy most mortgage lenders, these policies often have holes that do not always provide enough coverage, particularly for rodent, squirrel, and other critter damage to the home and property utility poles and lines.

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Power Line Safety for Homeowners

electric utility lines and towers in sunrise

Power lines are everywhere; they span over roads, land, and homes. We are so used to seeing them that we often forget about them and can drop our guards around them. Power lines carry high voltage electricity and can be deadly. Always assume that utility lines are "live" – or energized – and keep far away from them. Be especially attentive after wind, ice, or heavy snow storms when wires may have fallen to the ground. Take proper precautions and remember these aspects of electric service lines to stay safe, even if lines are not directly overhead and obvious.

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Deterring Pests from Rooftop Nesting

squirrel on fence

Keeping squirrels, chipmunks, birds, and mice away from your roof will keep your home better protected from infestation and damage by the crawling critters. Especially if you have expensive equipment like solar panels installed on your rooftop, it is important to take proper precautions to deter them from making your home their home. Here are some tips to keep these critters from becoming major problems, requiring expensive damage control and repairs for your roof and home.

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Power Grid System Upgrades to Improve Efficiency

power utility pole and overhead lines

More and more pressure is put on utility companies as they continue to look for ways to upgrade their communities’ power grid system and improve efficiency. However, these methods usually require time, resources, and specific expertise. Utility companies seek the best options that quickly make a return on investment, while also being effective in the long term. Add these technologies to upgrade your utility systems to better serve your customers and be more efficient with your resource spending.

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Prepare Your Generator for Power Outages

portable power generator

Power outages are never fun. Owning a generator is a great way to avoid discomfort and stress in power outages. Having a backup power source will keep your home at a comfortable temperature and prevent food in your refrigerator from spoiling. You won't have to fumble around in the dark with flashlights. If you have a home alarm or security system, a generator can keep it operating, so that you stay safe even during a blackout. If you have medical equipment, a generator is definitely critical. Be sure to maintain and care for your generator, so it will be available and in working condition in case emergency strikes.

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Protecting Your Transformer and Electrical System

electrical substation at dawn

A local electrical system is extremely important, for it helps to ensure all members of a community have access to power throughout the day. While electricity helps to provide us with plenty of comfort in our daily lives, it is also extremely valuable and necessary for medical services and proper emergency response. One of the most important components of any public electrical system is the transformer. A transformer typically sits at the top of a power pole and is typically responsible for stepping the high voltages used for transmission down to the lower voltages used by homes and businesses.  Keeping the transformer safe and operational is critical. While most transformers are very reliable, one of the biggest hazards they all face is the risk of being damaged by squirrels and other animals. Fortunately, it is possible to protect an electrical system from critters with our various systems.

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Prepare Your Emergency Preparedness Kit for Power Outages and Other Disasters

woman with large purse on smartphone

Emergency situations like tornadoes, floods or snowstorms can cause power outages. Even squirrels and rodents tampering with utility lines can cause power failures. When these happen, you want to be prepared for yourself and your family. Here are some tips for getting through an outage.

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Power Substation Costs: Invest in Protection!

power substation

Power substations are the backbone of a community’s power source. Without them, there would be no facilitator for energy, no voltage, no transmission, just no energy. Something so vital to our daily lives deserves the best, high quality equipment to keep it running smoothly by protecting it from damage from critters. How much equipment are we protecting? These are some important parts for a substation to run properly to feed your home and business power.

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Important Inspection Observations for Utility Companies

two utility line workers in cherry pickers

We need our energy. Our day to day lives have made it so that without electricity, we'll hardly be able to get by. As a result, power companies must be meticulous and thorough regarding their inspections of utility poles, power lines, and substations to protect both the public and maintenance workers from harm. Consider these items inspectors should look out for when assessing the functionality of substations. 

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