Hospitals must carefully site and protect emergency power supply systems

By Healthcare Facilities Today
May 24, 2013

Hardening emergency power supply systems against all the likely threats they might face is imperative in safeguarding power to critical facilities such as hospitals, says an article in the NFPA Journal.

Locating the emergency power source requires careful consideration of the hazards likely at the facility. For example, placing the system in a sub-grade level will protect it from being struck by lighting but will leave it vulnerable to flooding, as was experienced by many hospitals during Hurricane Sandy.

Also, all components of the system must be safeguarded from the likely hazards in order for it to function in an emergency. Raising the generators above likely flood levels is great, but will prove useless if the fuel supply and pumps are under water.

NFPA 110, Emergency and Standby Power Systems, is the main focus of the article. The standard provides guidance for how to protect emergency power systems against fire, seismic shocks, lightning and flooding. For example, emergency power systems located within a facility need to have a room all to themselves with a 2-hour fire-rated envelope. The standard also prescribes testing and maintenance protocols for generator sets, transfer switches and other emergency power supply systems.

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Topic Area: Energy and Power


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