Thursday, August 7, 2008

One more thing to worry about

My day job is selling phone equipment. People are used to getting AC surge protectors and back-up batteries for phone systems, but that's only partial protection.

I always strongly point out to our customers how important it is to put surge protectors on the AC power line and on the phone lines that feed their phone systems, and that more damage occurs because of power surges on the phone lines than from the power lines.

I just learned that network cabling needs to be protected, too. More about that below.

We tell our customers that if they don't buy the protectors when they buy their phone systems, they'll buy them for the next phone system after the first phone system get fried. On just one day last week I wrote two letters to insurance companies for customers whose phone systems got fried.

Over the weekend, our own office was attacked by high voltage. We had protection -- but not enough protection. We could have had more protection, but maybe enough protection simply does not exist

During a really severe storm on Saturday, the electric company's meter on the side of the building actually EXPLODED and was launched about six feet off the wall.

We lost our phone system, voice mail, several computers, printers, a copier, test equipment, alarm system, security camera and monitor, air conditioner circuit boards, thermostats, two network switches, cable modems, half of our lights, and probably more that we haven't realized yet. A lot of what was damaged, was protected by "good" protectors.

For most of Monday, we had just one phone line and no Internet or email.

One network switch that got wiped out also sent surges that killed the network cards in six computers, and may have been responsible for killing several of the PCs that held the network cards.

Now I'm going to put protectors on each segment of the network. We'll have a link for the protectors here soon. Please protect your valuable gear. You can't protect 100%, but try.

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