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The needs for site-supplied emergency or standby backup electric power have been demonstrated many times. For some types of equipment and applications, insurors and regulatory agencies stipulate that adequate backup must be provided. In many cases, sorely needed redundant supply is not provided due to complacency because of unawareness of possible costly problems or to ignorance of requirements. The legal entanglements and costly problems arising from an unexpected power failure shutting down the following facilities and those previously discussed should be thoroughly analyzed. This paper discusses situations and systems requiring analysis in the categories of fire protection, signal circuits, communication systems, data processing, space conditioning, and critical life systems. An attempt will be made to highlight how dependent our total existence is on electrical energy from sources outside of our control. Attention being directed to problem areas will help in determining how much backup, or firm power, electrical equipment is sufficient insurance against ``the day the lights went out'' and how much is pure luxury.