Avoid the Extra Charge: Protecting Your Home From Lightning Storms and Power Surges

Avoid the Extra Charge: Protecting Your Home From Lightning Storms and Power Surges
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    Just because we live in the age of technology and interconnectivity does not mean that tech is always protected from the forces of nature.

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This is certainly evident when it comes to power surges caused by lightning strikes. Even a Google data center’s data was destroyed by a lightning strike. Replacing damaged appliances and electronics can be expensive. Thankfully, you can take steps to protect your own devices and electronics from a lightning induced power surge.

Below are a few tips.

Install a Grounding Based Lightning Protection System

Lightning may not come up in your mind as one of the biggest threats to your home, but it’s a threat you must plan for.

One way to do so is to have a lightning protection system professionally installed on your property.

It should include a grounding system that will help to safely redirect the electricity from a lightning strike to a safe, grounded location.

Use Individual Surge Protectors for All Important Electronics

You also need to take other specific steps to protect individual electronic devices that need to be plugged into wall outlets. Purchase surge protectors that act as a gateway between your electronics and wall outlets.

Never plug anything important like a computer or TV directly into a wall outlet. The surge protectors will help to prevent your devices from being damaged if a power surge were to occur.

Install an Adequate Circuit Breaker

One of the main lines of defense you have between a power surge and your electronics is a circuit breaker. Circuit breakers are electrical switches that are designed to prevent an excess amount of electricity from flowing through your home’s electrical system.

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The circuit breaker will cut off a home’s electricity completely to stop this excess energy from causing any damage. Unlike a fuse, a circuit breaker can simply be reset afterwards instead of having to be replaced.

While newer homes come with circuit breaker systems, you should check yours regularly to ensure it is in proper working order. If your home is older and doesn’t have a circuit breaker system, you should have one installed as soon as possible to protect your home and belongings.

Unplug When Needed

While a surge protector and other safeguards do provide some protection, they may still not be able to stop a power surge from harming electronics under certain circumstances.

If you know a thunderstorm is on the way, it’s always a good idea to unplug any expensive electronics and appliances. That includes unplugging televisions, game systems, computers, and even kitchen appliances. Your fridge and freezer will keep food cold for a few hours while unplugged as long as you don’t open the doors too often.

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While inconvenient, unplugging electronics during a storm can be cheaper and safer in the long run. With no connection to the power grid at all, they will be protected under nearly any circumstance.

As far as mankind has come in regards to technology, that tech is still vulnerable to the damage that can be done by the most primal forces of Mother Nature. Thankfully, there are many ways to protect your expensive electronics from lighting and power surges.

If you live in an area prone to thunderstorms and lightning, consider using these tips to protect yourself, your family, and your home from lightning damage and power surges.

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Image credit: protecting your home from lightning storms by twenty20.com

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