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IT Blurb #13 - Battery Backups & Surge Protectors

April 2 2021

Good morning everyone! With all of the various power outages that have occurred in the last few days, I wanted to write something as a reminder to please use some form of battery backup or surge protector for your equipment, whether it's personal or work related.

Battery backups (also known as Uninterruptible Power Supplies, or UPSs) are extremely useful for not only protecting electronic equipment from power surges and brownouts, but also for allowing you to safely save any work before shut down: the precious minutes that these devices provide are invaluable when outages occur. Network equipment such as the Fortigates are always connected to one of these battery backups, but it is recommended to have one for staff work stations as well. Each of these come with two "sides" that other devices such as computers, monitors, and printers can be connected to: Surge Protection and Battery Backup + Surge Protection. The backup side is meant for computers and monitors, whereas the surge protection side is meant for anything else. Please do not connect printers to the battery backup side, as they drain battery power extremely quickly, and may prevent you from saving important work.

Surge protectors offer similar protection to UPSs, and are ideal for devices that don't necessarily need the capability to save, such as public computers or other devices like TVs. These also have the benefit of being more affordable than battery backups; they can be acquired for $20+ as opposed to $80+ for battery backups.

UPSs and surge protectors should be replaced every few years, or earlier in case of a serious power surge (if the battery is continuously beeping, even when the power is on, it is a sign that the battery is no longer useful). If you need to replace or add one of these units at your library, they can be purchased through NLLS.

If you have any questions, please submit a help desk ticket and we will be happy to assist you. Thanks for reading, and on behalf of the IT team, I would like to wish you all a wonderful Easter weekend!

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