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Power Protection: Snake Slithers into Electrical Equipment Leaving Thousands in the Dark


Power Protection: Snake Slithers into Electrical Equipment Leaving Thousands in the Dark

May 07, 2012

  By Carrie Majewski (née Schmelkin), Director of Content Marketing, Content Boost

The next time your power goes out and you are tempted to curse the weather Gods to the high heavens, you might want to take a step back and pause for a moment and make sure that your anger is correctly guided because chances are you haven’t considered that slippery slimy little culprit that lives outside.

That’s right – we are talking about snakes.

Late last week, a snake found its way into the electrical equipment in Oklahoma City, Okla., causing a power outage in the northwest. The critter caused 14,000 to be without power for over an hour.

"He got on a switch and the contact made the switch go bad," Karen Kurtz, Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co. spokeswoman, said in a Chicago Tribune article. The snake, whose type has not been identified, was subsequently electrocuted.

According to Kurtz, is it not all that surprising that a snake found its way into the electrical equipment, as snakes are often active around substations after a rainy period because they are seeking higher gourd. This is not the first time a snake and other wildlife has been the cause of many customers being in the dark for several hours.

However, “this is the first one I have heard of in awhile," Kurtz said.

When it comes to power outages, a multitude of factors can cause periods of darkness from lightning bolts to severe heat to natural disasters. But according to power protection experts at Minuteman UPS/Para Systems (News - Alert), there are some other unconventional happenings that can cause outages as well.

“Administrators often think of the obvious causes of power outages, which include natural disasters such as lightning, high winds, and earthquakes, when constructing a disaster plan,” Duston Nixon, marketing communications specialist for Minuteman, told TMCnet last year. “While these events usually take the forefront both in people’s minds and in the media, other less expected factors can lead to outages.”

The chief unexpected events include construction accidents, such as when a crew unintentionally cuts cables located underground or in walls; animals such as squirrels, beavers and, in this case, snakes find their way onto and into utility and power equipment; employee sabotage, when former employees damage the power system for revenge; utility provider errors that can drop power to wide areas; and traffic accidents, which can leave many businesses and homes vulnerable.

With so many possibilities for power outages and downtime being catastrophic for businesses, power protection has received a lot of attention as of late because of its ability to keep organizations running during these critical down periods.

Headquartered in Carrollton, Texas, Minuteman power technology products are sold in more than 100 countries throughout the world. Its power protection offerings range from the highly touted Endeavor On-Line UPS series designed for equipment protection requirements of up to 24kVA in parallel configuration) and below and its EnterprisePlus Series with extended runtime designed for equipment protection requirements of 3.2kVA and below in a desktop or a rackmount configuration.

For more on Mintueman’s offerings, click here.

Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli
Power Protection Homepage ››

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