Can Your Home Handle a Lightning Strike?

According to The National Weather Service, about 25 million cloud-to-ground lightning strikes occur in the United States each year, and can strike up to 25 miles away from their parent thunderstorms. While we know to run for safe cover during an electrical storm, it's also important to make sure your home is protected from the risks associated with lightning. Follow these tips from Mr. Electric, a Neighborly company, to ensure electrical home safety.

Use surge protectors. When a sudden increase in voltage occurs, like a lightning strike, surge protectors can safeguard your electrical devices by redirecting the excess voltage through the house's grounding path. Whole-house surge protectors can keep all your sensitive electronics and valuable appliances safe from electrical surge damage. However, surge protectors are only effective if your house has proper wiring and grounding. Check with a reputable electrician to find out.

Unplug. Stay tuned into the weather, especially during the summer storm season, to find out if severe weather is on the way. Having advance notice will give you time to unplug any electronics at home that you don't need for a few hours. Doing so will prevent the increase in voltage from frying your devices during a lightning strike. 

Know where your circuit breaker is. Electricity is dangerous, so don't attempt to resolve any issues on your own. Take the time to learn what each circuit breaker is designed to "trip," or shut off, at predetermined amperage loads. If this limit is reached, the act of the breaker tripping opens the circuit and prevents the flow of current to that particular electrical line or circuit. If you're experiencing constant trips, it could be an overloaded circuit, short circuit or a ground fault.

Plan for back-up power. In the event your home does lose power during a storm, a back-up generator is a great way to keep key appliances running. This will give you peace of mind, and prevent your food from spoiling, should you find yourself without power for several days after a storm.
If your home does suffer any electrical damage during a storm, be sure to call in a professional to assess the situation. What may seem like a minimal issue could lead to a much bigger problem, so play it safe and have the situation thoroughly evaluated.

Copyright© 2023 RISMedia, The Leader in Real Estate Information Systems and Real Estate News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be republished without permission.