Last night several thousand homes were affected by a power failure… including our own building in Kerrisdale. After many months of power and emergency back-up testing, this was actually the first time that the power has gone out (other than during a test where we physically turn the power off) while we have been actively monitoring alarms. We’re proud to report that the tens of thousands of dollars we spent on back-up batteries, and even more on a diesel generator, all worked perfectly. When the power went out, all of our non-critical systems (such as PC’s not related to monitoring) automatically backed-up and shut down while all essential systems like our phones, lighting, servers, alarm receivers, internet modems, access control systems, security and radio systems automatically switched to battery power while the generator powered up and carried the load until the neighbourhood was re-connected by Hydro.
During this period, we received hundreds of signals from alarm systems relating to the power loss as well as many calls from clients checking to see if we were still operational. Our automated monitoring software was able to distinguish between signals related to the power and ensure that real alarms were given priority treatment and responded to first… again, something we spent a lot of extra money on up front that we were pleased to see worked exactly as it was supposed to.
As we relayed to many of you last night, we are fully set-up to monitor throughout a long term power failure as we keep enough fuel on site to last for more than two days. In addition, our fuel tank can be filled while the generator is running in the event we needed to stretch that time out. In a worst case scenario, we maintain a full-time connection to remotely located servers that allow us to instantly re-direct all client signals to another location within seconds.