Summers in the Triangle brings several weather conditions. Heat and humidity can often result in thunderstorms. The lightning from these storms can cause significant damage to electrical items in your home. In some instances, this can start a fire. At AGK Electric, we wanted to take a few moments to let you know how this can happen, and more importantly, what steps you can take to minimize your risk.
Damages That Occur from Summer Storms:
- Lightning Strikes: Lightning generally damages electronics in one of two ways. The first way is a direct strike to the house. This is not a frequent occurrence. Unfortunately, if it does happen, any electronics plugged in that receives a direct lightning strike will not be protected by a surge protector.
- Electrical Surges: The more likely scenario is for a local lightning strike to enter the home through wires or pipes that extend outside the house. Electrical surges from a nearby strike can enter the house through wiring such as phone, internet or cable wires or through metal such as plumbing lines. The other way it can enter is from a utility pole into the house’s electrical panel.
- Electrical Panel: The good news is these types of strikes are less dangerous and severe. If the electrical panel is equipped with a whole-house surge protection device, the danger will end right there. So, make sure your home’s panel is properly equipped.
- Electrical System: If the surge makes it past the panel, it can travel throughout the wiring to the house. Potential damage includes burning the wiring insulation and fusing the wires together. Repairs to your electrical system can be costly and difficult to complete.
- Electronic Damage: Any electronics that use integrated circuits (PCs, TVs, game systems, etc.) plugged directly into outlets and not into a surge protector are also subject to potential damage. Large appliances that use electronic controls (washing machines, microwaves, ovens) are also susceptible.
The best way to protect your home and your electronics is to ensure the panel and appliances are all using surge protectors. Be sure to get a regular inspection of your home’s panel and wiring system. To schedule an inspection, contact us at AGK Electric.