How to Keep a Portable Generator from Being Stolen? Top 20 Ways

By Alex McGill

In a world where convenience often comes on wheels, the portable generator stands as a reliable source of power in unpredictable situations. Yet, with this modern-day lifeline comes the concern of safeguarding it from theft. Picture this: the tranquility of a campsite, the hum of your portable generator powering essential devices – a scenario that can turn into a nightmare if security is compromised.

As we delve into the art of safeguarding your power source, we uncover practical strategies and clever tips that go beyond the obvious. Discover the peace of mind that comes from knowing how to keep a portable generator from being stolen, ensuring that your power stays where it belongs – in your hands.

Main Points

  • Invest in security devices such as hidden keys, locks, chains, security systems with motion sensors or cameras, lighting, and anti-theft alarm systems.
  • Position the generator in a secure, hard-to-reach area and install protective alarms or motion sensors.
  • Bolt down the generator and attach a GPS tracking device with battery backup for continuous tracking.
  • Choose locks designed for outdoor use, such as combination locks or padlocks with hardened steel shackles.

What is a Portable Generator and How it Works?

A portable generator is a compact and movable power solution that converts fuel, such as gasoline or propane, into electricity. Unlike stationary generators, which are typically installed permanently, portable generators are mobile and can be easily transported to different locations. This flexibility makes them ideal for camping trips, outdoor events, or as a backup power source during emergencies.

Portable generators typically come equipped with essential features such as multiple power outlets, circuit breakers, and fuel gauges. Some advanced models may include inverter technology for stable and clean power output, ensuring the safe operation of sensitive electronics like laptops and smartphones.

At the core of a portable generator is an internal combustion engine that drives an alternator to generate electricity. The process begins with the combustion of fuel within the engine, creating mechanical energy. This energy is then converted into electrical energy through the alternator, which produces an electric current. The generated electricity is channeled through outlets on the generator, allowing users to connect their devices or appliances.

Why Should You Protect a Portable Generator?

Portable generators represent a substantial financial investment. Safeguarding them from theft ensures the longevity of your purchase and avoids the costly repercussions of having to replace stolen equipment. Taking preventative measures shields your investment, guaranteeing long-term cost-effectiveness.

The primary purpose of a generator is to provide an uninterrupted power supply during outages or in areas without electricity access. Theft jeopardizes this vital function, leaving you without a reliable backup power source when you need it most. Protecting your portable generator ensures that it remains readily available, ready to power your essential appliances and devices.

In emergency situations, time is of the essence. Having a stolen generator can significantly hinder your ability to respond swiftly to power outages, natural disasters, or other unforeseen events. By securing your portable generator, you enhance your overall emergency preparedness, enabling a quick and efficient response when the need arises.

Theft not only results in financial loss but can also cause considerable stress and inconvenience. Knowing that your generator is secure provides peace of mind, allowing you to focus on more pressing matters without the constant worry of potential theft. This mental assurance is invaluable, especially in situations where reliance on a generator is critical.

Implementing security measures sends a clear message to potential thieves that your generator is not an easy target. Visible locks, chains, or surveillance systems act as effective deterrents, discouraging theft attempts. Prevention is often the most robust strategy, and making your generator a challenging target can significantly reduce the risk of theft.

Securing Your Generator | How to Keep a Portable Generator From Being Stolen

How to Keep a Portable Generator From Being Stolen?

Securing a portable generator from theft involves several strategic measures. Here’s a list of top 20 methods on how to keep a portable generator from being stolen:

  1. Secure Location: Place your portable generator in a well-lit and secure area, making it less appealing to thieves.
  2. Use Heavy Chains and Locks: Secure the generator with heavy-duty chains and locks to prevent easy removal.
  3. Install Security Cameras: Set up security cameras to deter theft and provide evidence in case of an incident.
  4. Fence Off the Generator Area: Create a barrier around the generator with a sturdy fence to add an extra layer of protection.
  5. Install Motion Sensor Lights: Illuminate the surroundings with motion-activated lights to startle potential thieves.
  6. Invest in a GPS Tracker: Use a GPS tracker to monitor the generator’s location and track it if stolen.
  7. Apply Concealing Covers: Use covers that blend with the environment to hide the generator from view.
  8. Utilize Anti-Theft Cables: Secure the generator with anti-theft cables that are difficult to cut.
  9. Neighborhood Watch: Engage with your community and establish a neighborhood watch program.
  10. Use Wheel Clamps: Apply wheel clamps to hinder the movement of the generator.
  11. Keep It Indoors: Store the generator indoors when not in use to keep it out of sight.
  12. Engrave Identification Marks: Mark the generator with unique identifiers for easy identification.
  13. Employ Alarm Systems: Install audible alarms that trigger when the generator is tampered with.
  14. Lock It Inside a Shed: Store the generator inside a locked shed for added security.
  15. Park Vehicles Strategically: Position vehicles in a way that obstructs access to the generator.
  16. Use Remote Start and Stop: Invest in a generator with remote start and stop features for control from a distance.
  17. Create a Secure Anchor Point: Install anchor points to attach the generator to a fixed structure.
  18. Regularly Inspect and Maintain: Conduct regular checks to ensure the security features are intact and functioning.
  19. Educate Your Household: Inform family members about the importance of generator security and how to maintain it.
  20. Advertise Security Measures: Display signs indicating security measures to discourage theft attempts.
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By implementing these security measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of your portable generator being stolen.

Securing Your Generator | How to Keep a Portable Generator From Being Stolen

Now let’s discuss some key strategies of securing your portable generator in detail.

Utilize Your Home Security System

The installation of security cameras to monitor access to the generator may be an effective deterrent against theft. Audible alarms, ground anchoring, and physical barriers are all useful for preventing theft, but with a camera system in place, there is the added benefit of being able to identify perpetrators as well.

Placement of cameras can be used strategically to ensure that all angles are covered and any suspicious activity is caught on tape. Cameras should also be positioned so that they cannot be tampered with or disabled easily by thieves. Video footage from a camera system can also provide law enforcement with valuable evidence if a crime occurs.

Use GPS Tracking

GPS tracking technology may be utilized to help prevent portable generator theft. By bolting down the generator and attaching a GPS tracking device, it can provide data logging of the generator’s location at all times.

Additionally, a battery backup will guarantee that the GPS tracker remains active at all times, even if an intruder attempts to disable it. This provides peace of mind for those who own the generator as they can always track its location should it be stolen or misplaced.

The data logged by the GPS tracker can also be accessed remotely via mobile phone or computer, allowing owners to monitor their generator’s movements in real-time and alert authorities if any suspicious activity is detected.

Furthermore, some GPS trackers have security features such as motion sensors which will sound an alarm if there is any unauthorized movement of the generator. This added layer of security makes it difficult for anyone attempting to steal a portable generator to go unnoticed.

Keep Your Generator in a Secure Location

To maximize the effectiveness of GPS tracking technology, it is important to secure the generator in a location that is difficult for potential thieves to access. Regularly inspect the area around the generator to ensure it remains secure and well-maintained. Additionally, consider minimizing visibility by placing the generator in a covered or enclosed space such as an outbuilding or shed. However, this should be done with caution as a fully enclosed space may make it easier for a thief to break into undetected.

Having multiple locks on the structure housing your generator can also help deter theft. Consider using different types of locks such as padlocks, combination locks, and keyed deadbolts which can be further secured by additional hasps and chains. Installing security cameras or motion sensors near where you store your generator may also help discourage theft attempts. Finally, having an alarm system connected with your generator will provide another layer of protection if someone does attempt to steal it.

Consider Adding a Lock

Adding a lock to the structure housing a generator may help deter potential theft. Investing wisely in an appropriate lock can provide peace of mind and ensure that the generator is securely stored. 

Depending on the type of lock chosen, it can be used to secure both the door leading to the generator and/or attaching directly to it – making it difficult for a thief to move without being noticed. It is important that when selecting a lock, you take into account your budget and security preferences as not all locks are created equal.

Fence Off the Generator Area

Creating a physical barrier around your generator is a fundamental step in enhancing its security. Erect a sturdy fence to establish a clear boundary and deter unauthorized access. A robust barrier not only adds a layer of protection but also communicates to potential thieves that accessing the generator requires overcoming an obstacle.

This method is effective in both residential and commercial settings. Consider using materials for the fence that are difficult to climb or cut through, further reinforcing the security of the generator. Regularly inspect the fence to ensure its integrity and make any necessary repairs promptly.

Install Motion Sensor Lights

Illuminating the surroundings of your portable generator with motion-activated lights is a proactive approach to discouraging theft. These lights automatically turn on when motion is detected, startling and drawing attention to anyone attempting unauthorized access.

Strategically place the lights to cover the entire area where the generator is stored. This not only enhances security but also contributes to overall safety, making the surroundings well-lit and reducing the likelihood of accidents. Opt for lights with adjustable sensitivity and duration settings to customize their functionality based on your specific needs.

Investing in motion sensor lights is a cost-effective and energy-efficient way to enhance the security of your generator, creating a well-lit environment that acts as a deterrent to potential thieves. Regularly check the lights to ensure they are in working order and replace any faulty bulbs promptly.

Use Wheel Clamps

When aiming to safeguard your portable generator from theft, applying wheel clamps is a practical and reliable method. Wheel clamps serve as an effective deterrent by hindering the movement of the generator. These specialized clamps are designed to encase the generator’s wheels, preventing unauthorized individuals from easily rolling it away.

Opt for heavy-duty wheel clamps that are resistant to tampering, ensuring a robust defense against potential theft attempts. This extra layer of physical security significantly reduces the risk of your valuable equipment being unlawfully moved.

Engrave Identification Marks

Enhancing the security of your portable generator involves taking proactive measures, such as marking it with unique identifiers. Engraving your name, contact information, or a distinctive code onto the surface of the generator provides a crucial layer of security. In the unfortunate event of theft, these identification marks become invaluable for law enforcement.

They increase the likelihood of recovery by making the stolen generator easily traceable. Thieves are less likely to target items that can be readily identified and linked back to the rightful owner.

Create a Secure Anchor Point

Bolster the security of your portable generator by installing anchor points to firmly attach it to a fixed structure. This method prevents thieves from simply lifting or carrying away the generator. Use heavy-duty chains or cables to connect the generator securely to the anchor point, ensuring a robust defense against theft.

By making it challenging and time-consuming for potential culprits to detach the generator, this security measure significantly reduces the risk of unauthorized removal. It adds an extra layer of protection, particularly in outdoor settings where generators are more vulnerable.

Apply Concealing Covers

Elevate the security of your portable generator by utilizing covers that seamlessly blend with the surrounding environment. Opt for covers that mimic the colors, textures, and patterns of the surroundings, effectively camouflaging the generator. This not only deters potential thieves by making the equipment less conspicuous but also provides additional protection against weather elements.

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Concealing the generator not only enhances its security but also contributes to its longevity by shielding it from rain, snow, and other environmental factors. Choose covers designed for durability and weather resistance to ensure optimal effectiveness.

How to Protect Generators During Emergencies?

Protecting generators during emergencies requires a strategic approach to mitigate potential risks and extend their lifespan. Firstly, regular maintenance is key. Scheduled check-ups on fuel levels, oil quality, and overall equipment condition are crucial to preemptively address issues. Investing in high-quality fuel stabilizers can significantly prolong the shelf life of the fuel, preventing clogs and carburetor issues during critical moments.

Moreover, proper ventilation is a critical factor often overlooked. Adequate airflow prevents overheating, safeguarding the generator from potential damage. Ensure the generator is placed in a well-ventilated space, and clear any debris that may obstruct the cooling system. Strategic placement and protection from the elements are equally important. Shielding the generator with a weather-resistant cover prevents exposure to harsh weather conditions, safeguarding its electrical components.

Can You Track a Stolen Generator?

In the unfortunate event that your generator gets stolen, you may find yourself wondering if there’s a way to track it down. The ability to track a stolen generator depends on various factors, and while there isn’t a foolproof method, there are some measures you can take to enhance the chances of recovery.

One of the first steps is to ensure that your generator is equipped with a tracking device. Many modern generators come with built-in GPS trackers or have provisions for aftermarket tracking systems. These devices can provide real-time location information, making it significantly easier to locate the stolen generator.

In the absence of a built-in tracking device, you can explore external solutions. There are specialized GPS tracking devices designed for generators and other valuable equipment. These devices are compact, discreet, and can be attached to the generator, allowing you to monitor its location remotely.

Additionally, some generators are equipped with anti-theft features that can indirectly assist in locating a stolen unit. For example, certain generators have unique serial numbers or identification codes. Registering this information with local law enforcement agencies increases the chances of recovery if the stolen generator is later found.

It’s important to report the theft to the police promptly. Provide them with all relevant details, including the generator’s make, model, serial number, and any additional identifying features. The more information law enforcement has, the better equipped they are to assist in the recovery process.

In some cases, stolen generators have been successfully recovered through the power of community awareness. Utilize social media platforms and local community groups to share information about the theft. Keep an eye on online marketplaces for the sale of generators matching your unit’s description.

While tracking a stolen generator is not always guaranteed, taking proactive measures such as using GPS tracking devices, registering identification information, and engaging with the community can significantly improve the chances of recovering your valuable equipment.

How to Store a Generator Safely When Not in Use?

Ensuring the safe storage of your generator when not in use is essential to maintain its longevity and reliability.

  • Clean the Generator: Before storing, clean the generator thoroughly to remove any dirt, debris, or corrosive materials that may have accumulated during use.
  • Inspect for Damage: Carefully inspect the generator for any signs of damage or wear. Address any issues before storage to prevent them from worsening over time.
  • Change the Oil: If your generator has been in use, change the oil before storing it. Used oil may contain contaminants that can harm the engine during prolonged storage.
  • Fuel Management: For long-term storage, consider adding a fuel stabilizer to the tank. This helps prevent fuel degradation and keeps the carburetor clean. Alternatively, run the generator until the fuel system is empty.
  • Battery Care: If your generator has a battery, either disconnect it or keep it on a trickle charger to maintain its charge. A dead battery can be a hassle when you need the generator again.
  • Coolant Check: Ensure that the coolant level is sufficient. Low coolant levels can lead to corrosion and engine damage. Top up if necessary, using the manufacturer-recommended coolant.
  • Protect from the Elements: Store the generator in a dry and well-ventilated area, preferably indoors. If outdoor storage is unavoidable, use a weatherproof cover to shield it from rain, snow, and UV rays.
  • Ventilation: If storing indoors, make sure there is proper ventilation to prevent the buildup of fumes. Generators emit carbon monoxide, and adequate airflow is crucial for safety.
  • Security Measures: Consider securing your generator to prevent theft. Use chains or cables and lock it to a fixed structure. Theft is a common issue, especially with portable generators.
  • Regular Checks: Even in storage, periodically start and run the generator for a short period. This helps keep the internal components lubricated and ensures it’s ready for use when needed.

Troubleshooting Common Generator Issues

Generators are indispensable during power outages, ensuring a continuous power supply. However, users may encounter issues that hinder their optimal performance. Below is a comprehensive guide to troubleshoot common generator issues and restore seamless operation.

IssueSymptomsTroubleshooting Steps
1. Engine Fails to Start– Silent operation– Check fuel levels and ensure there’s an adequate supply.
– Starter motor cranks but fails to ignite– Inspect the spark plug for signs of damage or wear. Replace if necessary.
– Strong smell of gasoline– Examine the carburetor for blockages and clean or replace if needed.
2. Low Power Output– Dimming lights and fluctuating power output– Verify the load capacity and ensure it doesn’t exceed the generator’s limit.
– Appliances not running at full capacity– Inspect the voltage regulator for malfunctions and replace if necessary.
3. Generator Overheating– Unusual heat emanating from the generator– Check the cooling system, including the radiator and coolant levels. Clean or replace components as required.
– Frequent shutdowns due to overheating– Ensure proper ventilation around the generator and clean any debris obstructing airflow.
4. Excessive Noise Levels– Unusual or loud sounds during operation– Inspect the muffler for damage and replace if needed. Adjust engine RPM to recommended levels.
– Vibrations and rattling noises– Tighten any loose bolts and secure all components properly.
5. Electric Shock from Generator– Users experiencing electric shocks– Immediately disconnect the generator from the power source. Inspect and repair any damaged wiring or outlets.
– Tingling sensation when touching the generator– Check for grounding issues and ensure the generator is properly grounded.
6. Smoke Emission– Visible smoke during operation– Examine the oil level and quality. Change oil if it appears dirty or insufficient.
– Unpleasant burning smell– Inspect the air filter for clogs and replace if necessary.
7. Fuel Leaks– Noticeable fuel odors or wet spots around the generator– Check the fuel lines and connections for leaks. Replace any damaged components.
– Decreased fuel efficiency– Tighten loose fuel fittings and ensure the fuel tank is securely sealed.
8. Battery Issues– Difficulty starting the generator– Inspect the battery for corrosion or loose connections. Replace if necessary.
– Weak or dead battery– Charge or replace the battery as needed.
9. Generator Running Rough
– Uneven or shaky operation
– Check the air-fuel mixture; adjust the carburetor to ensure the correct ratio. Inspect for clogged fuel injectors.
– Fluctuating RPMs
– Inspect the ignition system for issues. Replace faulty spark plugs or ignition coils as necessary.

Addressing these common generator issues promptly will help maintain the reliability of your power source. If problems persist, consider seeking professional assistance for more complex diagnostics and repairs.

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Generator Maintenance Tips

Power outages can strike unexpectedly, making a well-maintained generator crucial for ensuring a continuous power supply. Regular maintenance not only enhances longevity but also guarantees optimal performance. Here are some key tips to keep your generator in top shape:

  • Scheduled Inspections: Conduct routine checks on your generator to identify any signs of wear, loose connections, or potential issues before they escalate.
  • Fluid Levels: Regularly check and replenish the oil and fuel levels to guarantee efficient operation. Proper lubrication is essential for preventing friction-related damage.
  • Battery Health: Ensure the generator’s battery is charged and in good condition. A healthy battery is vital for a swift start when power is needed.
  • Air Filter Checks: Keep the generator’s air filter clean and replace it as recommended by the manufacturer. A clogged filter can compromise performance and fuel efficiency.
  • Coolant System Inspection: Verify the coolant levels and inspect the system for leaks. Overheating can lead to severe damage, so maintaining the right coolant levels is crucial.
  • Capacitor Maintenance: Check and test the generator’s capacitors regularly. Faulty capacitors can lead to electrical issues, affecting the generator’s ability to produce a consistent power output.
  • Run the Generator Regularly: Regularly starting the generator, even if it’s not in use, helps keep the engine components lubricated and prevents fuel system issues.
  • Storage Considerations: If the generator is stored for an extended period, use a fuel stabilizer to prevent fuel deterioration. Empty the fuel tank or run the generator dry before storage to avoid gumming.

By adhering to these maintenance tips, you’ll ensure that your generator is ready to provide reliable power when you need it the most.

Generator Safety Tips

Generators are indispensable for providing power during outages, but ensuring their safe operation is paramount. Here are essential Generator Safety Tips to keep in mind:

  1. Proper Ventilation: Always operate generators in well-ventilated areas to prevent the buildup of harmful gases like carbon monoxide.
  2. Read the Manual: Familiarize yourself with the manufacturer’s guidelines for your specific generator model to understand its unique safety requirements.
  3. Regular Maintenance: Conduct routine checks on the generator, including fuel lines, filters, and oil levels, to guarantee optimal performance and identify potential issues early.
  4. Keep Flammable Materials Away: Position the generator away from flammable materials to reduce the risk of fire hazards.
  5. Carbon Monoxide Alarms: Install and regularly test carbon monoxide detectors near the generator area to provide an early warning of any dangerous gas levels.
  6. Grounding: Ensure proper grounding of the generator to prevent electrical shocks and protect both the equipment and users.
  7. Fuel Safety: Store fuel in approved containers, away from heat sources, and follow guidelines for proper storage to avoid spills and contamination.
  8. Emergency Shutdown: Understand and practice the emergency shutdown procedures to swiftly respond to potential dangers.
  9. Children and Pets: Keep children and pets away from the generator during operation to prevent accidents and injuries.
  10. Avoid Overloading: Respect the generator’s rated capacity and avoid overloading it to maintain efficient and safe operation.
  11. Cooling Time: Allow the generator to cool down before refueling to prevent accidental fires or burns. Follow the recommended cooldown period specified in the manual.
  12. Secure Placement: Place the generator on a stable, flat surface to prevent tipping and ensure safe operation. Avoid placing it on uneven or sloped terrain.
  13. Regular Testing: Periodically run the generator to ensure it starts easily and operates smoothly. This practice helps identify potential issues before they become major problems during an emergency.
  14. Extension Cord Safety: If using extension cords, ensure they are of sufficient gauge for the load and in good condition. Overloading cords can lead to overheating and pose a fire risk.
  15. Weather Considerations: Shelter the generator from the elements to protect it from rain and snow. Use appropriate covers or enclosures designed for your specific generator model.
  16. Professional Inspection: Schedule regular professional inspections to check for hidden issues and ensure all components are in good working order. This is especially important for standby generators.
  17. Emergency Services Awareness: Familiarize yourself with the location of emergency shut-off switches and how to quickly contact relevant services in case of a malfunction or emergency.
  18. Storage Precautions: If the generator is not in use for an extended period, follow proper storage procedures. This includes draining the fuel, disconnecting the battery, and storing it in a dry, cool place.
  19. Educate Users: Ensure that anyone who may need to operate the generator is familiar with its safety features and operation. Provide clear instructions to prevent accidents caused by misuse.
  20. Legal Compliance: Be aware of and adhere to local regulations regarding generator usage, emissions, and noise levels. Non-compliance may result in fines or other penalties.

Remember, adhering to these Generator Safety Tips is crucial to ensure the reliable and secure use of your generator.


In conclusion, safeguarding your portable generator is a proactive measure that ensures its availability when you need it most. By following the guidelines outlined in “How to Keep a Portable Generator From Being Stolen,” you fortify your investment against potential theft. From anchoring systems to security enclosures, these measures form a robust defense against unauthorized access. 

Remember, a well-protected generator not only preserves your equipment but also guarantees a continuous power supply during critical moments. Let this guide be your go-to resource for generator security, providing you with the confidence that your power source remains safe and reliable.


  1. Performance and power management of droplets-based electricity generators
  2. Towards modelling and design of magnetostrictive electric generators
  3. Generating efficiency: economic and environmental regulation of public and private electricity generators in Spain
  4. Carbon monoxide poisoning from hurricane-associated use of portable generators–Florida, 2004

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Should a Portable Generator’s Fuel Last?

The fuel efficiency of a portable generator depends on the type and size of the engine. Generally, a full tank of fuel can last from 4 to 12 hours, depending on usage and storage conditions. Fuel should be stored in its original container in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

What Type of Security Devices Are Most Effective for Protecting a Portable Generator?

Security alarms and safe storage solutions are effective methods for protecting portable generators. Alarms monitor movement and activity around the generator, while storage solutions keep it hidden from potential thieves.

Are There Any Regulations Regarding the Use of GPS Tracking Technology on Portable Generators?

GPS coverage and fuel efficiency are important considerations when applying GPS tracking technology to portable generators. Regulations vary by region, however, so it is important to research local laws regarding use of such technology.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Lock on a Portable Generator?

With the cost of installing a lock on a portable generator varying greatly depending on the type and size, one must ask: how much should be allocated for fuel storage security? Locks range from simple padlocks to more advanced electronic locks and they can provide peace of mind when it comes to safeguarding valuable equipment. Installing locks is an easy way to ensure that generators remain secure while in storage.

What Type of Maintenance Is Necessary for Proper Portable Generator Safety?

Proper maintenance of a portable generator requires secure storage, regular checks of fuel levels and fuel type, as well as ensuring all connections are in good working condition. Regular servicing and cleaning also ensure the generator runs safely and optimally.

How can we prevent portable generator theft?

To mitigate the risk of theft, it’s recommended to store the generator in a shed or use a dedicated cover. Consider additional security measures such as door alarms, cable alarms, and power outlet alarms. Enhance visibility by making the generator easily identifiable. For added security, explore the use of GPS trackers.

Is generator theft common?

The risk of generator theft is prevalent, but effective preventive measures can be implemented. Utilizing remote monitoring systems, like Enviromon, equipped with sensors to detect theft or fuel leaks, proves beneficial. The primary objective is to create obstacles that make it challenging for potential thieves to target and steal the generator.

Can you cover a portable generator?

A generator cover or canopy, specifically tailored to fit the unit, ensures the generator remains covered, facilitating uninterrupted power supply when needed the most.

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