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Personal Perspective

Protect Your Electronics From Lightning Damage This Summer

By August 6, 2014No Comments

With summer storms in full force, your valuable electronics are at risk for lightning damage. That’s because lightning can strike anywhere during a storm. It especially likes conductors, such as your TV antenna, satellite dish and telephone and electrical wires. These conductors allow lightning to splash through your home and destroy everything, including your valuable electronics, in its wake. Learn how to protect your electronics this season.

Perform Manual Lightning Protection

To protect your electronics, you could unplug all your electronics as storm approaches. This method is thorough and cheap, but it’s also impractical is you are not home or if a predicted storm doesn’t materialize.

Install Surge Suppressor Protection

Available in three forms, surge suppressors absorb current before it destroys your electronics. Each of the three forms requires no ongoing maintenance after they’re installed. They include:

  • A power block placed over the electrical outlet,
  • A power bar electronics plug into and
  • A stand-alone suppressor in the wall outlet or directly on the breaker panel.

When choosing surge suppressor protection, look for ones with a lifetime warranty because you will have to replace this type of protection immediately if it’s struck by lightning. Likewise, a connected equipment warranty pays for repairs to any electronics that are damaged despite being plugged into the surge suppressor.

Make sure the surge suppressor fully protects all your electronics, too. For example, plug your computer’s power cord into a surge suppressor and make sure the DSL modem is attached to a surge suppressor, as well. The same goes for TVs and gaming systems that require power and an Internet or phone line connection.

Even with your best efforts, lightning strikes may still damage your electronics. Be sure they’re insured under your homeowners or renters insurance policy. Record current photos and the serial numbers, model numbers and original cost, too. Then, use your coverage to pay for repairs or buy a new device.