Prepare Your Home for Thunderstorms, Lightning
Hurricanes often make more headlines during the summer and fall, but the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety cautions homeowners to not underestimate the destructive and deadly force of thunderstorms.
Such storms occur far more often and directly affect more people and homes in the U.S. than hurricanes.
According to IBHS, a whole-house or -building surge protector is the best starting point for reducing the risk of lightning damage, along with localized surge protectors for power cords of electronic equipment and any telephone and cable or satellite television lines.
Be sure you know the difference between a surge protector and a power strip. A power strip plugs into a wall outlet and allows you to plug in multiple electronic devices. It won’t protect equipment from damage by a power surge. A surge protector affords the ability to plug in multiple devices and also protects them against surges during a storm.
IBHS cautions against using an inexpensive surge protector—$10 or less—especially to protect expensive equipment. It’s a good idea to ensure a surge protector has been tested to UL 1449 and has an indicator light so you know it’s working.
A licensed electrician or home inspector can review power, telephone, electrical and television connections in your home to make sure the power line connection and your power distribution panel are adequately grounded.
Source: Written by Dave Kogan for American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI)
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