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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Protect Your Devices in a Thunderstorm

7/14/2020 (Permalink)

An electrical outlet on a green wall Some low-tech, old-school steps can protect your most high-tech home devices from a thunderstorm's fury.

A big thunderstorm, packed with lightning, wind and rain, can do a lot of damage to your home, including starting a fire or knocking a tree onto your roof. While these are some of the obvious risks of a storm, there’s another kind of damage that deserves your attention: a powerful lightning strike that could destroy the high-tech gear inside your home, including TVs, computers, routers, modems, smart devices, and more.

If a bolt of lightning strikes a nearby electrical pole, the resulting power surge can ruin all of your electrical devices. A little preparation before the storm, however, can vastly reduce the chance for that kind of storm damage—and will cost much less than replacing all of your electronics after a storm!

Unplug Your Devices

It’s almost too obvious, but the easiest and most effective way to prevent lightning-induced damage to your tech devices is to unplug everything you can before the storm hits. Go from room to room and pull cords out of outlets. It’s a small hassle—after the storm passes, you’ll have to plug everything back in and reset some of your devices—but if your electronics aren’t receiving any power, they cannot be damaged by a surge.

(One exception to this may be your WiFi router—if that’s your only way to connect to the internet. You may need to get up-to-date forecasts and information to stay safe during a severe storm, so weigh that necessity against the cost of a new router.)

Tip: If you’re going on an extended trip, you’ll want to unplug all your devices before leaving.

Use Low Tech to Protect High Tech

Used for centuries, lightning rods are metal poles that you attach to your roof to keep lightning from striking more vulnerable parts of your home. This old-but-good technology remains an effective way to protect a home—and lightning rods don’t just keep lightning from making a direct hit on your house. They also draw the lightning away from nearby power lines and light poles, reducing the chances for a power surge. Putting a lightning rod on top of your home might seem old-fashioned, but it could save your high tech equipment.

Sorry, But Your Surge Protector May Not Save You

Surge protectors are great at protecting your electrical devices from minor power spikes. Unfortunately, most surge protectors can only handle surges up to around 4,000 joules—and the average lightning strike rings in at around 1,000,000,000 joules! No surge protector can handle an electrical strike that is more than 250,000 times more powerful than what is rated for.

Don’t get rid of your surge protectors just yet, though. Surge protectors still offer protection from distant lightning strikes and everyday power surges, so they are a worthwhile investment.

Source: Family Handyman

If your home or business suffers damage from a windstorm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of Manchester/Mansfield today at 860.649.0836

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If your home or business suffers damage from a windstorm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of Manchester/Mansfield today at 860.649.0836

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