Be Prepared for Emergency Situations


When Hurricane Michael made landfall on October 10th across the Florida coast and along the Gulf of Mexico it registered as a Category 4 and was the largest to ever hit the Florida Panhandle. By the time the storm subsided it had passed through Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Virginia and the Carolinas’. As of October 12th, over “1.4 million utility customers from Florida to Virginia were without power” according to This was likely due to the combination of high winds and heavy flooding taking out power lines and electrical stations. Estimates tracked wind speeds from 45 to 155 mph. predicts damage from the storm could cost up to $4.5 billion in Florida alone.

The frequency and ferocity of high category hurricanes has become increasingly troublesome in recent years and show no signs of slowing down. There are many reasons to be prepared for the worst case scenarios but the unpredictability of these weather patterns is reason enough to take their threat seriously.

Depending on what region of the country you live in, disaster preparedness needs can vary from one area to the next. For example, some areas are more prone to flooding than they are to earthquakes, so it is important to be knowledgeable about the potential disasters that may affect where you live. Tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires and other disasters are often unpredictable. No matter where you live, there are a few steps that should be taken to help you be prepared for emergency situations at home and at work.

At Home:
Prepare a supply kit that has the essential items for the first 72 hours after an emergency. This includes water, non-perishable food, batteries, blankets, and first aid supplies. It’s also a good idea to write down the phone numbers and addresses of family and store it inside of your emergency kit. Finally, be sure to store the kit in a location where everyone can find it.

Once you’ve assembled your kit, you should discuss the plan of action for after an emergency. If needed, know how to shut off gas, electricity and water.  How will you communicate with those closest to you? Texting is easier than calling in the moments following a disaster, and are a great way to let others know that you’re safe.  You also need to discuss places to meet. Remember, different disasters may require you to go to different places; it’s a good idea to have a few meeting spots planned out ahead of time.

At Work:
As a business owner, being prepared means having an effective emergency backup system.  An important step in implementing this system is selecting a manual transfer switch that can quickly and safely be connected to a generator should utility power be out for a prolonged period of time. In ESL’s blog, 6-Ways to Select a Manual Transfer Switch we cover the factors that should be considered when determining which type of transfer switch is most suitable for your business.

In addition to a reliable back up system, your company should have a plan. Determine how you’ll get your business back up and running. Make a Check list! Assign responsibilities and determine if additional training is necessary to perform the tasks assigned. Include a backup person responsible for a task if your primary is off site. For comprehensive steps for contingency planning check out our blog, Do You Have A Contingency Plan? The Cost of NOT Being Prepared.

Some disasters are unavoidable but taking these steps can help soften the blow when one does strike. By being proactive, you can minimize loss in both your personal and professional life. For more information, check out our article on Automatic vs. Manual transfer switches, which illustrates potential threats to a business in the event of a power outage.
If you have questions about Emergency Power preparedness needs for your business, we can help! Click here to request more info.

Company Switch vs. Disconnect Switches

When making purchasing or specifying decisions regarding electrical equipment for entertainment venues there are many factors to consider. The top of the list should always be safety. When it comes to making a decision between company switches and standard disconnect switches, the factor that often takes priority is price. While disconnect switches may often be the more affordable option, the value added into a company switch becomes apparent when features are compared side by side.

Company Switch Chart

The additional safety and features of ESL’s ShowSwitch make it a logical choice for entertainment power needs. The standard safety-interlocked feature of the ShowSwitch prevents live parts from being accessible, thus minimizing electrical hazards. In addition to being safety-interlocked, the ShowSwitch is equipped with an indicator light that clearly shows if the power is on. The ShowSwitch is also designed to be used without a certified electrician once installed. This cuts down significantly on operating costs. Disconnect switches are a generic solution that does not offer the combination of safety features desirable in an entertainment project.

For more information on why choosing a ShowSwitch over a disconnect switch is the right move for you, please contact us at

Prevent Backup Power Failure – Use UL 1008

Use UL 1008

To ensure the safest and most reliable transfer switch equipment is purchased, the UL 1008 requirement should be included into project specifications. Whoever is responsible for the transfer switch selection process should be aware of criteria that helps classify each UL Listing.

Why UL Listing Matters?

In order to minimize the chances of backup power failure, it is important to make sure that transfer switches and other electrical equipment are properly certified. The UL 1008 Listing is not just a transfer switch performance standard; it is an industry standard for design and construction certification. In order to receive a UL 1008 Listing, a transfer switch must undergo rigorous testing by the independent certification agency.

UL 1008 standard was established by Underwriters Laboratories to help protect against transfer switch dangers and failures. Since its inception, the UL Certification process and standard have been modified and updated on a regular basis. The 7th Edition of UL 1008, which became effective in 2014, resulted in significant changes to the short-circuit ratings shown on all transfer switch products within the industry.

The additional requirements now include:

  • Withstand and close on ratings (WCR) covering severe fault currents
  • Bolted faults and short circuits to ensure the device can carry rated currents
  • Endurance tests which record performance of the transfer switch at each ampere level

The File number is located on top of (or next to) the UL mark; which is identified with the letters “UL” inside a circle and the word “Listed.”

When a transfer switch has successfully passed all of UL’s tests, the manufacturer is then permitted to label qualifying products with the UL mark. The UL 1008 transfer switches are given one of three labels:

  • Non-automatic transfer switch
  • Automatic transfer switch
  • Transfer and bypass isolation switch

Know How to Identify the UL Mark

After passing the tests, UL Listed products are required to carry a marking to identify the Listed company. A (label on a) transfer switch can consist of the company name, a trade name or trademark, or the Listee’s UL file number.  The File number is located on top of (or next to) the UL mark; which is identified with the letters “UL” inside a circle and the word “Listed.”

Misconceptions with UL Certification

Knowing there is a lack of education in the market, many companies will state their device “meets UL standards.” This does not mean it was tested and is “UL Listed”.  When you are evaluating products, look for the logo and category code.  This code can be used to verify the listing and the standard to which it was evaluated.

Below is a list of common UL Listings associated with transfer switches and emergency power connection equipment.

UL 1008   Transfer Switch Equipment
UL 1008 is specifically designed for transfer switch equipment.  Products with a UL 1008 certification means the whole assembly is certified and has undergone rigorous testing to ensure performance, safety, and reliability.  Non-Automatic transfer switches that are Listed under the UL 1008 standard are evaluated in accordance with Articles 517-Health Care Facilities, 702-Optional Standby Systems of the National Electrical Code (ANSI/NFPA 70) and the National Fire Protection Association Standard for Health Care Facilities (ANSI/NFPA 99). The inspection process is also easier when emergency power transfer switch equipment is UL 1008 Listed.

UL 1773 Termination Boxes
This standard is intended for applications that are wired via terminals (usually permanent) and does not contain switching equipment.

UL 98 Enclosed Dead-Front Switches
The UL 98 standard applies to double throw or knife edge switches (air switches), and does not allow the incorporation of circuit breakers.

UL 67 Panelboards
This standard does not apply to transfer switch equipment. UL 67 covers panelboards for the control and protection of electric lighting and appliance branch circuits, and power circuits, including feeder distribution panelboards.

UL 50 Enclosures for Electrical Equipment, Non-Environmental Considerations
A UL 50 Listing only certifies that the actual box is UL Listed for a specific environmental condition (Type 1, Type 3R, etc.).  This does not mean that the whole assembly (enclosure plus components) has undergone testing for the intended application.

Let ESL make your job easy! Download our UL 1008 Listed Manual Transfer Switch specifications for engineers.

ESL Volunteers with Habitat for Humanity

On Saturday March 11th, ESL Power Systems, Inc. partnered with Habitat for Humanity, Riverside to contribute to their A Brush With Kindness program. A Brush With Kindness aims to help renovate the homes of local families in need. It focuses on exterior home preservation services such as painting, landscaping, and exterior minor repair services for homeowners who qualify for assistance. We were humbled by our employee turnout and the enthusiasm they displayed while volunteering their time.

On Saturday morning, twenty ESL employees and their family members received safety instructions and direction on how to paint our designated house. We then began unloading the supply truck and, without hesitation, set up our work areas and started tackling different sections of the house. Some of us cleaned walls, some organized supplies, some painted high, some painted low, and some held ladders but everyone was active and working as a team. We were scheduled to paint from 8am until noon but had the entire house painted by 11am. In the hour we had to spare we cleaned and pack up our supplies, helped another group with their house and talked to the home owners while we showed them their refurbished home for the first time. Seeing the looks of joy on the homeowner’s faces was well worth the time and effort.

ESL’s first experience volunteering with Habitat for Humanity ended up being the perfect way to give back to our community while building company morale in the process. Our volunteer team was so excited to help that it made the morning fly by.  It just goes to show how much can get done when people focus on a common goal.

To learn more about Habitat for Humanity visit:
To read about additional ESL volunteer activities visit:

ESL On The Move – 2016 Trade Show Recap

ESL Trade Show Recap

In 2016 ESL Power Systems attended over a dozen trade shows across the United States and internationally. Our journey included exhibiting at shows in many different regions geared towards multiple industries served including Intermodal Power, Molded Products, Custom Solutions, Entertainment Power and Emergency Power. ESL‘s expansive participation in industry leading conferences is illustrated on the map above.

(Carson, CA)
ASCE Ports
(New Orleans, LA)
 TOC Americas
(Cancun, MX)
(Salt Lake City, UT)
West Coast Energy Management Congress
(Seattle, WA)
Integrated Port Equipment Seminar
(Miami, FL)
PDC Summit
(San Diego, CA)
(Indianapolis, IN)
(Las Vegas, NV)
Port & Terminal Technology (Charleston, NC)  EGSA – Fall Conference
(Sacramento, CA)
Governor’s Hurricane Conference (Orlando, FL) POWER-GEN International
(Orlando, FL)

Notable highlights from these shows include:

  • ESL assisted with hosting the inaugural Integrated Port Equipment Seminars in Miami, FL. ESL collaborated with TMEIC, Phoenix Terminal Solutions, BROMMA, RTE, Remprex and Conductix to create a seminar focused on educating attendees on container operations of the future
  • Promoting ESL’s new Molded Product Line at the SAIA Show in Indianapolis, IN
  • First public display of ESL’s UL/cUL 1008 Listed 3200A TempTap -Generator Docking Station at POWERGEN International

To see where ESL will land next, visit our trade show page. For more information on any of our products please contact