Some people love a great thunderstorm; others are petrified by the first flash of lightning or rumble of thunder. Whether you love ’em or hate ’em, thunderstorms produce lightning and that’s a powerful force. While there is nothing you can do against a direct or even indirect hit, there are ways to prepare your home when the inevitable storms come through your area, by installing a lightning Suppression Systems, they come in multiple forms:
- Tier 1 – With permission from the utility company a socket suppression system can be installed. This system requires more coordination, power shut down and the utility’s permission to use. Not all utility companies will do so.
- Tier 2 – Panel protectors at the home’s electrical panel. There are several brands that can be found online or at your local electrical supply house. Be aware that many of these have varying ratings. The highest rating will typically provide the most protection.
- Tier 3 – At your receptacles. These are the most commonly found and are often targeted as a surge protector. But for the ratings that match the Tier 2 suppressors, you could purchase a Tier 2 that would protect the entire house. Still these are an additional layer of protection.
When a lightning storm comes through your area, the best approach will always be to unplug any appliances or electronics that could be damaged. This can provide the maximum safety should lightning hit the utility lines. However, I have been to customers homes who experienced electrical equipment failure after a lightning storm. Items like motion sensors or GFCI’s could go bad or not work properly requiring replacement.
After a storm where you have taken sufficient preventative measures outlined above, it’s always a good idea to walk around the inside and outside of your home to look for anything out of place while testing switches and receptacles. It also allows you as a homeowner to identify any damage to public utility equipment to be called in, such as fallen tree limbs on lines or a smoking pole transformer.
Spring and summer are both wonderful times of year. Your proactive partnership and monitoring of your home allows you to prepare for the season and enjoy it!