Frequent power shutdown is experienced in several cities in Australia during the month of January alone. In Perth, sudden and unseasonable rain results in widespread power shutdowns. The rain-affects the insulators of the electricity network due to the dust that is formed. Other cities like Sydney and Melbourne experience power outages and left almost 45,000 properties without power supply due to the continuous usage of air conditioners due to record-breaking heat waves. Weather associated power breakdowns are hard to avoid. Power plants are struggling to meet the demand.
For businesses like hotels, power outages can result in critical safety and operational issues. Generally, the management aims to offer the best in class hospitality services to customers. The guests can feel disturbed if they face this issue during their stay and it is the responsibility of the hotel staff and management to offer power backup so as to keep them satisfied, safe and comfortable. Providing good customer service is vital for the hospitality and tourism industry. Customer satisfaction is paramount to promote the business, market their brand, increase their reputation. The customer should feel special and have a memorable experience. From the amenities, decorum and customer service, the experience should be beyond the expectations of the customers to increase the profit.
How does power outage particularly affect the hotel business?
A study was conducted after a large blackout that took place in 2003. The study clearly showed that the majority of the hotels that got affected due to power outage did not have proper emergency backup power. Moreover, the hotels that have the emergency power system depend on either generators or batteries. It is said that only 15% backup systems that function on battery lasted and around 85% of the generator models remained up and functioning.
As the hotel business is completely dependent on offering excellent guest experience and services, it is necessary to maintain the amenities and facilities in exceptional condition. It helps in maintaining customer retention and brand reputation of your business. It is the reason most hospitality business owners find 2003 power outage a devastating and an unmemorable one.
Hotels offer a large range of amenities and facilities that has chances to get affected at the time of power shutdown. These are the list of amenities that can get highly affected in the following section:
- Guest room locks 24%
- Two-way radios 39%
- Portable water 45%
- Emergency lights 56%
- Automatic doors 65%
- Bathrooms 69%
- Hot water 74%
- Telephones 79%
- Refrigeration 87%
- Elevators 88%
- Cooking systems 89%
- Computers 89%
- Air conditioning 98%
Guests Carrying Own Equipment
If you do not have a power backup in your hotel, motel or bed and breakfast, it is safe to inform the guests at the time of booking, so that they are aware of the same. This will help them prepare themselves in case they have plans that might require the use of generators or compressors. Customers who visit hotels during their camping adventures carry their own set of emergency equipment which includes portable generators. Brett Patterson from Able Sales recommends a petrol generator for smaller power needs, such as a camping trip. Especially for bed and breakfasts near camping spots and forest vacation models, it becomes all the more necessary to keep guests informed regarding the facilities on offer.
Forest areas that have high proximity to forest fires in summer have high chances of power outages at any time and it is necessary to have a system and plan in place. When there is a power shutdown at a hotel, power back up should be the solution to provide an uninterrupted power supply and continue the operation until the power resumes.
Dealing with a Blackout
Certain hoteliers took steps to keep their facilities and amenities running and their efforts were very well seen from the reviews given by the guests. If you are a hotelier, you should make sure to deal with the blackout. For instance, if your hotel has all the essential power backup and generators, it is sure the guests would prefer your hotel more because of this backup advantage. Here is a perfect backup plan by the experts to set up in your hotel for the unexpected power outage.
How to be prepared for a power outage?
- Ensure that the safety and building codes are latest and up to date.
- Determine the rules in your jurisdiction regarding what to do during a power loss situation. If you are running a restaurant in your hotel, certain rules will force you to close the restaurant immediately.
- Research the specifications and type of the power backup generator which can function for the entire building. If you want to get a better idea regarding the type and budget requirement of the generator for your property contacting experienced power equipment dealers is a good idea.
- Ensure to have a printed copy of emergency phone numbers. Some of the quick access numbers to print on paper are upcoming reservations, utility companies, staff members and the local health department. Preserve the paper in an easily accessible place so that it will be simple to access during a power failure. If you do not have any emergency backup or UPS systems in your hotel, it is not possible to function your computer as well as your digital equipment. If you are functioning them through UPS, then there are chances of battery draining in a few minutes.
- Always have a fully charged and spare external mobile phone bank and phone battery for mobile phones in your hotel. Though these phone banks are expensive, they are highly useful during times of emergencies.
- Update your ERP (emergency response plan) and discuss with your staff.
- Purchase a case of candle lights or light sticks for immediate and affordable backup lighting.
- Buy heavy-duty batteries and flashlights for staff usage.
- Always maintain a set of keys for the emergency rooms in a safe and easy to access place.
- Develop an action plan if in case the guests get trapped in elevators.
- Prevent food spoilage by researching and developing a plan that is possible to execute in times of power outage.
- Train the right staff to completely shut down the entire power of the hotel at the time of the outage and to prevent surges. Providing continuous training for your staff, even if you do not have a power outage. Practice the drills on a monthly or weekly basis so that the entire team will be able to assist you and there will not be much stress. If possible, perform different emergency practice to reduce the chaos and risks during the power outage.
- It is always good to have at least one traditional landline connection in your hotel. Ensure that it is plugged directly into the phone jack or into the wall.
During Power Outage
- Make sure that your guests and employees are in a safe place. It should be your first priority.
- Get in touch with your utility company and determine the power restoration time.
- Note down the time the power outage began. You can use this information to plan the stocks you have in your freezer or cooler.
- Keep all the freezer and refrigerator doors closed. Do not permit your chefs in the restaurant to cook any new food at the time of shutdown.
- Contact your guests and inform them about the situation.
After Power Outage
- Resume circuit breakers
- Check whether all the equipment is functioning properly.
- Check your entire plan and see whether you need to do any improvements in your hotel building so as to face future power outage in a simpler manner.
- Find out what plan resulted in confusion. If you faced any difficulties at the time of the outage, describe and think about ways to solve the issue.
- Approach your sales dealer and schedule a portable generator maintenance session.
Most hoteliers have all the necessary power backup systems but fail to tune up and maintain them on a regular basis. It is necessary to check its functions and equipment if you are not using them frequently. When you keep equipment without running for a long time, there are high chances of damage or malfunctioning. It is best to purchase an annual maintenance contractor from a leading power backup or generator dealer. Ensure to see whether they have experienced and well-trained staff members to provide the best maintenance services.
If you have a lot of amenities and facilities in your hotel that are mostly dependent on power, it is important to check all the facilities that are connected to power backup on a regular basis. Do not miss out thinking that the room is not occupied and there is no requirement to check the amenities in the room. Always prepare a list of items to check and follow the maintenance tasks with the help of your staff. It is best to hire or have an in-house electrician in your hotel.
They will provide excellent support and assistance especially in situations like a blackout. As they have complete experience and knowledge, you can do any changes or take new plans at the time of blackout easily. Without an experienced electrician or skilled person, it is hard to make any move in a large establishment like a hotel.
Experienced backup dealers can take complete care of the restoration and maintenance of your power systems. It is best to discuss with them to find out the best generator that is right for your hotel business. They will completely analyze your building structure and see how to keep your guests comfortable, safe and satisfied even during the times of power outage. What’s more? Get in touch with a commercial generator dealer now for more details. The leading dealers offer round the clock assistance and support during emergency situations.