What is the Power Outage Alert System?
The Power Outage Alert System is an add-on option that integrates with our entire line of battery powered backup generator systems.
During an emergency power outage, the alarm system automatically sends outbound calls to up to four phone numbers when:
The backup generator has stopped receiving input power (e.g. an outage has occurred.)
The backup generator stops providing output power (e.g. the batteries have been fully depleted.)
As well as being able to:
Monitor and report ambient room temperature when dialed inbound
Record custom alert messages for when changes in input/output power occur—the perfect solution for facilities with multiple units in separate locations.
How Does a Power Outage Alarm System Send and Receive Phone Calls?
To send and receive phone calls, the power outage alert system requires connection to a phone line or other network via its included phone jack port.
There are 3 available options for connecting your alert system to a telecommunications network, including:
- Standard Analog Phone Line—a.k.a. POTS line
- Voice over Internet Protocol Adapter—a.k.a. VoIP (wired or via Wi-Fi)
- Wireless Cellphone Network Adapter—a.k.a. a Mobile hotspot.
Because each option connects to communications networks in their own way, several factors may affect their performance and overall reliability.
- A Facility’s Existing Network Infrastructure and Options
- A Facilitiy's IT Capabilities
- Availability of Phone Service During an Emergency Outage Situation
Below we’ll discuss each of the 3 of options, how they connect to your battery backup generator, and how they function in an outage.
How Does a Power Outage Alert System Connect to a Standard Phone Line?
Also called a “copper line” or a “POTS line”, MediProducts highly recommends using a traditional landline telephone jack to connect your power outage alert system to a phone network.
In an emergency outage situation, traditional phone systems will continue to function because they utilize their own low-voltage power. These lines are separate from the main power grid. This will guarantee that the call(s) goes out, and key decision makers remain informed and stay up to date in an emergency.
This networking option is available by default and requires no additional adapters or cost to function. The only steps required to connect to a traditional phone line is to plug one end of a phone wire into the alert system and the other end into the wall jack.
How Does a Power Outage Alert System Connect to a VoIP Network?
For facilities who have updated their network infrastructure and/or no longer use traditional phone lines, internet-based VoIP phone services are commonly deployed. VoIP services connect to the Power Outage Alert System either through a wired connection or via Wi-Fi.
When utilizing VoIP services with a Power Outage Alert System an additional adapter is required. This adapter converts the digital signal output by your internet provider into an analog signal used by the Power Outage Alert system and vice versa.
When using a wired connection, the VoIP adapter plugs into a live ethernet port—ideally in the same room. After which, a traditional two-sided phone jack cable connects to both the Power Outage Alert System and the adapter.
When utilizing a VoIP Wi-Fi adapter, on one end a phone jack connects into the Power Outage alert system as normal. The other end, like before, converts the digital signals to analog and vice versa. But, instead of connecting to an ethernet port and wiring directly into the facility’s internet, the adapter connects wirelessly. An ideal solution for when there is no available ethernet port to connect to in the same room or nearby.
However, unlike traditional phone lines, internet connections typically use the same utility power as other appliances in a facility. This means, because VoIP services use the internet, during a power outage situation there is no guarantee a power outage alert will be able to make the necessary outbound calls to alert users. Additionally, anytime internet service is down or congested, phone service is likely to be affected.
How Does a Power Outage Alert System Connect to a Cell Phone Network?
A wireless cellular network adapter is another option for facilities who no longer have access to a traditional phone line. Instead of connecting to phone service over the internet, service is provided over a cell phone network via an adapter—commonly called a wireless hotspot.
The primary benefit of a wireless hotspot is that cellular networks rarely lose service during a normal power outage. Cell phone towers are often on their own power grids or outfitted with their own combinations of battery and fuel powered backup generators. As such cell phone towers often operate for days without utility power and service will be available.
In order to connect, similar to the Wi-Fi adapter, a phone line will run from the Power Outage Alert System to the wireless hotspot. However, wireless hotspots also commonly require a power source to function. Customers will commonly power their wireless hotspot with their battery backup system as they generally require very little power.
We highly recommend researching the network coverage in your area before deploying a wireless hotspot solution as rural locations may have reduced coverage networks. Additionally, depending on where the battery backup system is in your facility, interference may cause service to become weak or spotty. This may result in reduces performance during an outage.
To connect to a wireless network the user will need both a SIM card and a service agreement with a wireless phone carrier separate of Medi-Products. However, for organizations with existing enterprise wireless plans, this option tends to quite affordable and very convenient.