NOAA Photo Library
The skies in Northwest Arkansas have been charged with lightning many times in recent weeks as storms have rumbled through the area. While lightning makes striking photographs, it can also cause a great deal of damage. Just recently, we at Amp Electric helped a family whose home experienced a surge caused by lightning. They suffered more than $12,000 worth of loss because the home did not have proper grounding and surge suppression.
Did you know that approximately 20 million lightning flashes happen in the 48 contiguous states each year? That’s a lot of lightning! We have some great tips for protecting your home and business from lightning damage.
First, we should clarify that lightning doesn’t necessarily have to strike your home or business directly for damage to occur. Surges may go through the electrical system or networking cables. Anything that is plugged in may get damaged, whether it is turned on or not.
Here are three preventative steps you can take now to protect your Northwest Arkansas home and business from lighting damage:
Have proper grounding installed in your home
The ground—literally the earth—provides the necessary conduction for electricity. Without proper grounding, any kind of wiring could be potentially damaged through a surge. We recommend hiring a certified electrician such as our experts at AMP Electric to verify that the grounding system going into your home or business is intact.
Install a whole-house surge suppressor on each electric panel and condensing unit
A surge suppressor helps protect your home or business from the surges from the power company or lightning strikes.
Use plug-in surge suppressors on all outlets or connections that have electronics connected to them
Power surges can come through any outlet. This can include cable, ethernet, phone, satellite and electrical outlets.
Here is an interesting fact that many do not realize: there is a difference between a surge protector and a surge suppressor. The power strips that are often sold as “protectors” provide minimal, if any, protection in the event of a surge. They are designed to manage minor surges caused by day-to-day usage and are ineffective against any type of major surge, such as a lightning strike.
We recommend that you find devices that are true surge suppressors. Electrical protection is rated in joules so look for the highest joule rating you can afford. This will cost more than the power strips, but will save you greatly through the protection it provides. Some even come with insurance that will replace any device that is connected to the suppressor.
Without following these preventative steps, you are rolling the dice every time there is a storm.
Amp Electric is ready to help you with electrical service and repair at your convenience 24/7. Give us a call and let us help protect your home and property from lightning damage.