DENVER, CO — The lights go out, the TV powers off, an eerie darkness sweeps over your home or office. How long will it last? After a few minutes, the search for candles and flashlights begins. Life without power is disruptive, unproductive and can be perilous.

When weather hits, Mother Nature wields extensive power, and can shut down whole cities at a time. Think Katrina and the devastation of New Orleans a year ago. Residents in that city are still relying on generators in some situations.

Construction too can affect your power if the construction is on the same power grid. If a construction worker hits a power line, the grid can be compromised throughout.

Also, most burglar alarm systems are powered by electricity and a power outage can leave your home or office unsecured during the time of the outage.

A standby generator can be the answer, according to Gary Stone, owner of Allstar Electrical Services Co, a full-service electrical contractor serving Denver and the Front Range.

This electrical powerhouse is small but mighty. Fueled by natural gas, diesel or propane, a standby generator is able to meet a essential electrical needs in a time of crisis.

A generator is capable of powering an entire house or like-sized office, even when you’re not there. Among other services, Stone’s company installs standby generators that don’t have to be plugged in or manually started, giving you 24/7 protection and electrical service. In the event of a power outage in your absence, a generator kicks in, preventing pipes from freezing, basements from flooding, food from spoiling and mold infestations. When the power fails, an automatic transfer switch shuts off the main supply of electricity, starts the generator and directs it to the designated emergency circuits in the generator. When the power recovers, the switch automatically turns the generator off and restores the house’s association with the power grid.

Standby generators are relatively inexpensive compared to the financial headache they will save you in the event of an outage that last for any length of time, says Stone. As little as $1,700 will get you a 7-kilowatt air-cooled system. Depending on your needs, $10,000 will buy a 35-kilowatt water-cooled generator large enough to run a 15,000 square-foot mansion or office space big enough to house dozens of people.

Installation if a switch can run $1,000, far less than the damage that can occur from no power service. In an average family home, an 11-kilowatt generator is more than enough to power an entire home including: heat and lights, security system, well or sump pumps, refrigerator or freezer, water heater, air conditioner, medical support, computer or television for days or even weeks depending on the judiciousness of use, says Stone.

Portable generators, a less expensive option, are more labor-intensive than standby generators. They need to be started manually, constantly monitored and require refueling with gasoline every few hours during use. Portable generators are unable to be used in basements or garages as exhaust fumes, risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning can occur.

Never, warns Stone, use a portable generator in an enclosed area.

Whether it is a few hours of no power or a few weeks. A generator provides the safety and assurance you need to rest assured that you and your family is taken care of in a time of need.

Contact Allstar Electrical Services for a free bid for a back-up generator. assessment of a generator to be used in your home or office. Allstar Electrical can be reached at 303-399-7420.

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