When storms roll in, they can sometimes threaten our home’s electricity. Whether it’s power outages caused by heavy winds or electrical damage caused by lightning strikes, many storms cause disruptions. Damage to your own home’s electrical system can also cause significant issues and losses.
Make sure you’re prepared to weather any storms that may come your way, and that your electronics are protected. Here are some things you can do.
Employing surge protection at the panel level can help keep your phone, cable, and electrical lines safe. This is one of the best ways to prepare your home for an indirect lightning strike. By that, we mean a strike that occurs down the line, causing a surge to anyone connected to the line.
Ensure things like computers and TVs are protected by using surge protectors around your home. Keep in mind, not all power strips have surge protectors – make sure you look for a UL rated model.
Not only can storms damage your expensive electronics, so can things you do around the house. Appliances like vacuums and hair dryers can also send small surges throughout your home. These can damage your electronics over time, so it never hurts to have plenty of surge protection.
The most surefire way to protect your electronics from being damaged is to not have them plugged in. In the event of a severe thunderstorm, the best way to keep electronic devices safe is to simply unplug them. While you may temporarily deprive yourself of certain forms of entertainment, isn’t it better safe than sorry?
Try to avoid the over-use of extension cables, and don’t daisy-chain cables and power strips. Many of us are guilty of this practice, especially around TVs and computers. In the event that your house is subjected to a surge, a mess of wires can be disastrous.
Additionally, unused outlets should have outlet covers for added safety, especially if children are present in the home.
From time to time, you should check out the outlets around your house. If you see black or burn marks, you could have a loose connection. You should also check for GFCIs. All outlets in kitchens and bathrooms should have them. These are outlets that include little “test” and “reset” buttons. You should test them every so often.
Concerned about your home’s electrical system and whether or not it’s safe? Have a certified, professional inspector evaluate your electrical panel. An inspector should look for signs of damage like corrosion and should also ensure your panel is up to code.
An inspector can also go through and test your GFCI outlets to ensure they’re functioning properly.