How correctional facilities can benefit from UPS systems
Prisons are expected to be exceptionally secure facilities, meaning that they must also be prepared for potential disasters and power outages. An uninterruptible power supply system can help correctional facilities effectively protect guards, inmates and surrounding communities with round-the-clock security and uptime.
In the event of an emergency, prison operators and guards must have open lines of communication to monitor the situation, call for backup or request essential guidance. As Lux Review noted, control panels should be lit up to help staff oversee alarm systems and stay in contact with cell calls. If the power goes out, lack of internet connectivity and poor cell reception within the facility could hamper mobile outreach.
A UPS solution ensures seamless power transfer to critical assets like communications systems in the event of an outage or power fluctuation. Prison facilitators can have peace of mind that they can still easily reach help and receive insight on what actions to take during times of crisis.
The problem with technology is that it requires full power availability. Within prisons, many doors have been converted to buzz in individuals upon entrance. Similarly, keycards are used to open cells and other critical rooms. If an outage occurs, and there’s no generator or UPS solutions to pick up the slack, all of this electronic equipment will fail, automatically opening doors and creating a recipe for danger and chaos.
Prisons are required to have emergency lights and illumination within circulation and association areas. Regular maintenance must be performed on these lights to ensure they work properly. In 2014, a storm knocked out the power at Vandalia Correctional Center in Illinois, causing a 92-minute blackout, Fox2Now reported. However, some of backup lights failed, causing inmates to become unruly in their cells. One prisoner even attacked a guard during the incident. Vandalia was the only prison facility within the state without a backup generator and was impacted by the outage as a result.
“It’s important for prison operators to understand the threat that a blackout can pose.”
Navigate power fluctuations
Power surges can result in a major outage as well. An out-of-order elevator at Orleans Parish Prison in New Orleans was shorting out and sending too much voltage through the electric grid, resulting in a six-hour outage, The Times-Picayune reported. While a generator kicked on within three minutes of the issue, dangerously high mercury levels made the issue more urgent to ensure air circulation and prevent violence.
An outage also plagued the Yazoo City Correctional Complex in Mississippi due to an unexplained power surge. The union chief originally suggested that it could take eight to 10 weeks to restore power, leaving the prison without air conditioning, The Wall Street Journal reported. Big fans were set up to keep inmates cool, movements were limited and visitation was suspended while the problem was being resolved.
Outages can strike any organization, and it’s important for prison operators to understand the threat that a blackout can pose. With a UPS solution, prisons can preserve security, handle power fluctuations and maintain necessary communications systems during emergency situations. Contact Energy Control Systems today for more on how UPS can power your business.