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How a mid-sized software firm discovered the importance of having data back up.

How a mid-sized software firm discovered the importance of having data back up.

Tech Now software (name changed for this blog purposes) was doing great business. A few decent sized orders to automate the software systems of a group of education institutes in multiple cities gave them the boost needed to become a name to reckon with in the cities IT landscape.

It soon became evident that the current office space was not sufficient and they decided to move to a new address. A bigger place with state of the art furniture and glass door cabins and swanky conference rooms – just like a typical IT company would dream of.

There was however just one small glitch, their server room had not been planned properly as a few new server boxes and firewall switches were delivered before they could plan out the space properly. Since the dates for the move to the new office were already declared, they had to comply.

With the haste of moving and the quick adoption of the new space, the proper electrical setup, conduits and safety measures were temporary and the company started functioning. It did great for a couple of months and everyone forgot about the server room set up and wiring being a makeshift arrangement.

On that Friday night, when everyone had left, the system admin closed down the machines and kept the key servers that took the backup and exchanged the mails. He had smelt a little bit of smoke but thought it was just someone outside burning some extra dried leaves in their garden. He too left and thankfully there was no one in the office premises when the short circuit happened. The cables laid out on the floor touched a pool of water that was leaking from a faulty water dispenser. The current jumped and the first spark took the mail server. The next was the backup server. The power to both these machines was interrupted and a fire broke out. The security guards realized, hit the panic button and entered with fire extinguishers and were able to control the fire in 10 minutes. The buzzers and the fire alarms also did not trigger off as the power to them was lost when the cables burnt in the short circuit.

After incident analysis

A detailed report and analysis of the damage showed a complete loss of two days of mails data and a week of backup data. Critical deadlines were affected as entire projects were set back by several weeks. Thankfully,there was no injury or damage to life. But the mishap slapped the management’s eyes open. They did a full fact finding and analysis and came to two conclusions. The server room power supply was not the best quality and the wiring used was of a cheap quality. Had the electrical safety measures being followed, the power supply would not have shorted and data loss could have been easily prevented. Even the alarms would have done their jobs if they had power to ring.

As the data loss was significant, the setback to schedules cost Tech Now a large amount of money. Not to mention the loss of reputation as future clients were now warned of the impact of such incidents and they demanded a full disaster recovery plan and strategy to prevent such incidents.

Could it have been prevented?

Yes, it could have been avoided completely. If you have read so far and are a business owner or an architect or a designer, you should think about the quality of the material used to build your office, home or business. If this got you thinking, please do check out the material used and make sure it is as per the recommended standards and of the sufficient load carrying capacity. Keep looking out for this space to know more about how to find out if you need a change of the wiring. After all, being safe is the first step to being ready to recover from a disaster; should it strike you by any chance.

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Top 5 visible signs that you need to change the wiring of your house/office.

XLPE v/s PVC Insulated Cables

XLPE v/s PVC Insulated Cables

This article will be useful for you as it will give complete information regarding the main differences between the XLPE and PVC cables. Both of these types are being used currently for insulating the cables and wires.

XLPE Insulated Cables

  • XLPE cables have higher current carrying capacity as it can withstand higher temperature as compared to PVC cable.
  • They usually have high overload capacity.
  • They are lighter in weight, have smaller bend radius, therefore they have lesser
    installation cost.
  • XLPE has higher short circuit rating which makes it helpful in case of failures.
  • They have lower di -electric and constant power factor .This helps in saving of power losses.

PVC Insulated Cables

  • PVC has essentially a superior fire retarding properties due to its chlorine content which makes it less risky to fire incidents.
  • PVC can be extruded, melted and re-extruded (or formed as Thermoplastic compound) whereas XLPE is a thermoset, which means it is not capable of regaining its thermal melting point to be reconfigured or re-extruded.
  • Due to these properties Thermoset (XLPE) is prone to give better results in higher temperature environments.

The main difference between PVC & XLPE is that PVC can be extruded, melted and re-extruded (or formed as Thermoplastic compound) whereas XLPE is a thermoset. This means that it is not capable of regaining its thermal melting point to be reconfigured or re-extruded. Due to these properties XLPE is prone to give better results in higher temperature environments.
Cross linking improves the elevated-temperature properties of the base polymer.Low temperature properties are improved. The impact and tensile strength, scratch resistance, and resistance to brittle fracture are enhanced in case of XLPE insulated cables.

Electric Shock – Causes and Symptoms

Electric Shock – Causes and Symptoms

As we all are aware that an electric shock occurs when we touch an electrical appliance with wet hands and the current flows in our body. Apart from this, there are various other causes which can lead to an electric shock and about which you should have knowledge in advance.
According to a study, many people have died due to electrocution (death caused by electric shock), which is even more than deaths caused by lightning.
Let us see what can cause an electric shock.

Causes:

  • An electric shock can be caused by Direct or Indirect contact. By direct contact we mean that the person touches the faulty part of an electrical appliance directly. Indirect contact means that when the person touches the appliance’s faulty part through the insulation but still catches a shock because that part’s insulation was not proper or it has got worn-out.
  • We are likely to get an electric shock while exploring various electrical appliances. People usually have a habit of correcting minor faults in various appliances by themselves. Due to this they may explore the appliance in such a way that it could cause a shock as they don’t have proper knowledge about it.

Symptoms:

The symptoms of electric shock usually differ according to the intensity of current. This means that sometimes if we suffer a very minor shock, then it is possible that no signs are seen on our body. But if the shock is very severe then we can see different symptoms on our body.

  • Burns- The part of our body exposed to the electrical appliance can get burns if we suffer
    from electric shock. It occurs when the current is very severe.
  • Muscular Pains- The person can even get a muscular pain if he/she suffers from an
    electric shock. This is because sometimes due to high electric shock;
    the person is thrown away at a different place which can cause his/her
    body to get hurt.
  • Injuries- The person can suffer very severe injuries also due to the shock. These may
    include spinal injuries, injuries in brain, abdominal injuries, injuries in hand or
    arms and bone injuries.
  • Cardiac Arrest- Some people can even get a heart attack or cardiac arrest due to the
    electric shock. This depends on the body of individuals as different people have
    different abilities to bear a shock.
  • Nervous Issues- The person can even get a nervous attack due to an electric shock. This
    may even have an effect on the heart or lungs of the person.
  • Paralysis- A part of the person’s body can get paralyzed due to the effect of an electric
    shock which has a high intensity.
  • Mouth Burns- These burns can be found in children as they bite an electric cord. The burns may appear on the lip of the child when they bite the cord. The area can have a red or dark appearance.

Best wire for home wiring – There is a fine line between wire and cable. Both the products are essential for the household.

Smart meter or analog meter, which one is better?

Smart meter or analog meter, which one is better?

Many people around the country are installing ‘smart’ meters in their home and offices. There has been noticeable rise in bills and various cases of health issues and safety violations are also reported. Privacy has also been not the same. So the only question that remains is do we need the wireless meters in our home and offices.

Why you have to consider a change for smart meter

    1. Accurate and reasonable priced utility bill: Most people who have installed ‘smart’ wireless meters have noticed a surge in their bills which in some cases range in hundreds of dollars more than the usual billed amount. The people claim that meter readings are accurate but they cannot explain the over charged amount and this has resulted in many negative publicity of these meters.

 

    1. Health issues:We all know that cell phone radiations cause brain tumors and these smart meters use the same technology. Hence we are exposing our homes to such problems. Many people  have reported   of headaches, tinnitus, sleeplessness, heart arrhythmia, nausea, and other symptoms after installation of smart meters. 

 

    1. Civil libertiesas well as right to privacy: When you install a ‘smart’ wireless meter, the utility has access to a lot of information regarding your usage which comprises of your private data too. This data can be sold to various corporations depending on regulatory protection rules.

 

    1. Wildlife and cutting carbon emissions: As per Reuters, wireless meters do not save energy, in fact they may result in increased energy consumption. The radiation emerging from such devices are known to harm wildlife and damage environment.

 

    1. Job losses in this anemic economy:PG&E said that they retained 80% of its employees who read meters but hid the fact that several years earlier that had moved their meter readers to temporary employees so that they could hide the loss of jobs. These companies see these meter readers as a way to boost their profit by cutting employment. Loss of jobs in the current economic status is affordable.

 

    1. Fire regulations that put the safety of residents first: These smart meters have also resulted in multiple explosions, electrical fires and other hazards. Most smart meters are non UL certified which is required by electrical code for all electronic appliances within home. Lack of safety measures during manufacturing makes these meters a potential source for household fires. Unsafe installation is another reason for the risk they pose on your house.

 

  1. Decline of Democracy and informed decision-making:Moving  towards the  smart meters from analog meters was one of the largest technology moves in the recent past, yet no public consultation with government or taxpayers was carried out. CA Public Utilities Commission which is an elected body which looks after regulations of utility companies ignored local opposition over the years and finally produced an opt-out in 2012 that costed many customers hundreds of dollars. These utility companies continue installing the smart meters without consent and public awareness.

Why one should avoid aluminium house wiring

Why one should avoid aluminium house wiring

 

Amid of 1965 and 1973, most of the people were shifting towards aluminium wiring rather instead of copper wiring. It is suspected that almost 450,000 home in Canada were embedded with aluminum wiring. On contrary, these days several options are emerges as better options which fit perfect for safety purpose and at the sometime cost effective as well.

Prior to opting any house wiring you should know every cons and pros of it. These days, there would be better options than aluminum wiring for residential wiring purpose and you really should go for advanced quality that will meet the standard quality of modern days.

  • Problem associated with aluminium wire

Well the aluminum wire itself is okay.  It is where the aluminum wiring makes a connection that is the focus of the problem. After many years of use and while still remaining functional in the branch circuits some connections may deteriorate and fail faster than others.

  • Reason of shifting towards aluminium wiring

There would be so many reasons such as unawareness of bad effect of aluminiumwire but the most important is that it is cost effective.

As copper wiring was escalating in price, builders sought relief from this cost, and the industry offered aluminum as an alternative. Despite being approved for installation, after a decade of use, some of the inherent properties of aluminum lead to its disuse as branch wiring material. Although properly maintained aluminum branch wiring is still considered acceptable, like all wiring, it will wear out.

So it becomes a need that everyone should find out whether it is an aluminum wiring or not. And if it exists then one should replace it with copper wiring or good house wiring.

  • How to find an aluminum wiring

During a home inspection, good home inspectors will remove the electrical panel cover and inspect the wiring for the presence of aluminum wiring. Should he determine its presence, he should investigate further and look for poor connections and other warning signs like:

  • Warm to the touch faceplates
  • Flickering light
  • Intermittent power
  • Circuits that simply don’t work
  • Strange noises or smells coming from outlets or switches

 

  • How to correct this issue

Rewiring the house is the largest commitment. It is the best option and is not as bad as most people think. Ask any homeowner that has upgraded their electrical system and they will tell you that it is well worth the money and it has protected the value of their home. Another major benefit of a re-wire is that the old system is most unlikely adequate for the job that it is called upon in today’s uses.

There are various options for dealing with aluminum wiring in your home:

  • Replace all the switches and receptacles with new ones that are rated for aluminum.
  • Rejuvenate all aluminum connections with crimp connectors
  • Rewire the house with new copper wire.

 

Update Your Home with USB Electrical Outlets

Importance of USB Electrical Outlets

Everyone today owns a smart phone, or an iPod, or a tablet or a device that uses a USB cable to charge it’s battery. USB acronym for Universal Serial Bus is an industry standard developed in early 1990s to bring a standard in cable connectors and assist data transfer. Even the very first version of USB i.e. 1.0 provides a current source of 5-volt which could power keyboard and mouse.

It is plug and play kind of interface and let peripheral and other devices to connect with computer. Moreover, it is widely used to transfer the energy to certain device such as mobile and tablets. And that’s why with the popularity of hand held devices, the USB port is now being used for charging more often than for transfer of data.

All major manufacturers of AC power outlets are providing a USB charging point in the outlet design. USB ports present in PCs and laptops are designed to sustain only a certain unit load. Some devices require a higher power rating for which a USB electrical outlet might be the perfect answer which has a higher capacity ranging to 5 amperes at 5 volts.

Why to use a USB Outlet?

Firstly installing your wall outlet with USB can remove the dependency of computer and laptop for charging your devices. Everyone needs to charge their devices on a daily basis hence it would be ideal to install a USB outlet at places you go most at your home i.e. bedroom and kitchen.

Secondly, most people leave the charger connected to the socket after charging and they remain plugged in all the time. Just like other electrical appliance, the charger draws power even when they are not charging. Whereas a wall outlet with USB will only draw power when they are charging which reduces power consumption and energy costs. Moreover it’s a space saver as compared to conventional charger some of which are so big that they cover the second plug and makes it useless.

 How to Install USB Outlet

There are many manufacturers of USB electrical outlets which manufacture single or double charging ports. Installing a new outlet is tricky because some outlets are wider and won’t fit on ordinary port. Before buying a new USB outlet, you should remove the old AC outlet and measure the inside of the junction box to make sure you purchase the correct one. The other way is you can remove the dry wall along with junction box and replace it with a larger port. You must be very careful while installing and must follow all the safety instructions. You must also make sure that you install the components properly otherwise you may risk ruining your device.

 Since devices have different USB connectors that are come in different shapes and sizes (Such as Standard, Micro and Mini) and need different length of USB cables as well. That’s why USB outlet should be installed with keeping these points in mind.

Rallison – We are India’s leading home electrical wire supplier & manufacturer company.