5 Tips to Keeping Medical Equipment Powered
Losing power to your home is never an enjoyable experience. If you or someone in your family depend on life-saving medical equipment, an outage can be devastating.
As we all know, it can happen anytime. Just last month, storms knocked out power to over 26,000 homes in Virginia.
At SESCOS, we’re part of your community. We stand ready to help if your power fails or you need help ensuring that you have backup power to keep your life-saving equipment running.
Types of Machines
Millions of people rely on home medical equipment. These machines include:
- Oxygen machines.
- CPAP machines.
- Home ventilators.
- Dialysis machines.
- Ventricular assist devices.
- Nutrition pumps.
- Heart pumps.
Heart pumps and ventilators have battery backups, but their batteries have a short life. If a power outage lasts for several hours or days, you could be in serious trouble.
A Common Occurrence
Most states keep a list of customers who are medical priorities. You know how difficult it is to get in touch with your power company during a power emergency. Your house might be a priority, but you can’t get power if the whole neighborhood is out.
How to Secure Your Power
If you have medical equipment in your home that depends on a reliable electrical source, take steps to secure your family’s power now.
1. Know Your Machine
Read the manual to understand how to troubleshoot small problems before they shut the machine down. Read the maintenance section and keep up with maintenance to keep the machine running properly.
Find out if batteries will work. If you have equipment that can operate on batteries, it’s a great idea to stock up on the correct size of batteries. Power outages can sometimes last for days. Using batteries is an inconvenience, but it could be a lifesaver.
2. Get the Machine’s Wattage
Knowing how much electricity the equipment or machine uses is important. It will help you determine whether you can run it on an emergency backup supply. It will also help you decide what type of generator you need.
3. Alert First Responders
Even if you’re on the power company’s list of priority customers, call them as a reminder. Let the police and emergency services know that you have a person who’s dependent on medical equipment in your house.
4. Consider Refrigeration
Do any medications or parts require refrigeration? During a power outage, an ice cooler is a good idea. Use it to store insulin, medications and other medical equipment that needs to stay cool.
5. Get a Generator
If you want to ensure that you keep your medical equipment running despite power problems, you can’t go wrong with a generator. The size and type of generator you buy will depend on what you need the generator to power. You should consult with a qualified electrician to choose the right size and type of generator.
Small and portable: If you have a small life-saving machine that doesn’t require too much electricity, a small generator can keep it on. It can also help you run some lights and small appliances.
Medium: Keep a larger machine powered and keep on your lights, kitchen appliances, and television or laptop.
Whole house: Get full power to everything in your house with a whole-house generator. You must have a large generator installed and serviced by a licensed electrician.
Make sure you know exactly how to hook up the medical equipment to your new generator. It won’t do you any good if you’re fumbling around during an emergency. Talk to your local electrician to get help with this.
Call SESCOS and Stay Powered Up
SESCOS is your local source for everything electrical. We can help you make sure you have backup power for your important medical devices and anything else that you depend on.