Alerts and Equipment Failure – Steps to Prevent Casualties

As we go about our everyday lives, we have become calloused to the protection our modern technology provides us. An automatically generated text arrives each time we swipe our credit card forewarning us of potential unknown activity. A sudden change in personal or business credit status can generate an alert. Low air pressure in a tire and our on-board automotive alert system gives us a warning to keep us safe. The list can go on and on. All these alerts are available to help protect us, our loved ones and our assets.

Alerts are essential life-saving necessities to protect our livestock. They can send an ear-piercing alarm, text, email or phone call to alert of a high temp or other life-threatening condition. Almost every facility contains an alarm system, generator, back-up operating system and most commonly all three exist on-site. Yet each year, I deal with half a dozen or so situations with a catastrophic loss of livestock. How, with all these protective alert systems, is this possible?

No matter what brand, color or size product you operate, all equipment will fail at some time. It doesn’t take a “chance of lightning strike” mathematician to understand that all means all. It does, however, take a manager to be prepared for the equipment to fail today in his absence.

Follow these steps to greatly increase your preparedness for back-up and rapid notification in the unfortunate case of future equipment failure.

Alarm SettingsHorizon Alerts

  • Daily – adjust high and low temp active alarm settings in coordination with daily target temp set point.
  • Weekly – test alarm.
  • Never temporarily turn alarm off…fix the problem causing the alarm.

Back-up system

  • Daily – adjust temp set point to coordinate with current daily target temp set point.
  • Weekly – test the back-up system.
  • Never temporarily turn back-up system off…fix the problem causing the back-up to activate.


  • Weekly – test for proper function.
  • Scheduled maintenance.

Preventive Maintenance

  • Daily – walk barn and scan for issues needing attention.

Leave tunnel vision at the door. Many growers walk the barn in a task oriented walk…pick up dead! Rather, walk the barn scanning for issues needing attention. Preventing the chance of equipment failure is always the best.

Let’s allow technology to safeguard our assets by properly managing the alarms and back-up systems in our facilities. Providing these safety measures allows us to all work together to provide the world with food.


Jamin Carvell

Technical Support Manager