How You Can Protect Your Home’s Electrical System From Lightning Strikes
Though lighting is not such a common occurrence, it does wreak a lot of havoc if it strikes. If you live in an area that experiences many of such strikes, you would need to do as much as you can to reduce the risk of this happening. The good thing about doing this is that most of the measures you put in place will have multiple advantages. These include protecting the lives of everyone in the building, as well as ensuring that all your appliances are also protected.
Some of the things you can do to protect yourself and your home from the effects of lightning include:
Install an electrical system with this in mind
The electrical system is usually the most susceptible one when it comes to lighting strikes. If you are not careful, you may end up losing all your electronics in one go if they are not protected from the surge that the electricity from the lightning can produce. The most important way to prevent this is by using the services of a high quality electrical contractor to design and install the electrical system for you. In such cases, you would need to specifically ask them to come up with a design that will resist such lightning strikes. Some of the measures they can put in place include installing an arrestor that will direct the electrical current to the ground. They can also install various devices to protect the circuits from the power surge generated by the lightning, including a circuit breaker or fuses that are designed to protect the appliances from such surges.
The quality of the electrical system designed in this manner will always be an approximation of the quality of the contractor. This means that if you need to put in place measures you can rely on, you would need to work with a contractor who not only has a lot of experience providing their services, but who also has experience in dealing with lighting-related issues.
Unplug some of the electronics
In areas where there are many lighting strikes, most of such strikes occur during summer and spring. Making a point of switching off all the electronics you are not using at one time will go a long way in reducing the risk you expose yourself to if the lightning strikes. Of course, there are some appliances that you might not afford to switch off, such as refrigerators. However, others such as the TV and computers can often be switched off, particularly if you notice that the number of lightning strikes is increasing. Even if you have installed measures such as a lightning arrestor, making the extra effort to switch off and unplug the devices will help.
Don’t use your washing machine and dryer when there is an active storm
If you are experiencing an active storm with lots of thunder and lightning, it would be wise for you to hold off on doing any laundry until it has subsided. In fact, you would be better off unplugging the washer and dryer if this is possible. The electrical energy from the lighting can travel through the plumbing, and this would lead to damage to a functioning washer. In the most severe cases, this can result in an explosion that might in turn result in a fire or injury to people standing by it.
After a particularly severe storm, consider hiring an electrical contractor to check the house
Suppose you have just lived through a very severe storm, it’s usually wise to get an electrical contractor to check the house’s electrical system, particularly if you know that your home was hit by the lightning multiple times. The reason for this is that there is a risk that the electrical system might have been affected, and will need some repair even if there are no signs that it has. In addition to that, the contractor can also suggest other ways of protecting yourself and the home from future lightning strikes.
This is important because sometimes, the effects of the lightning can make the electrical system more vulnerable. For instance, if some of the protective components of the system are damaged, they might not work any more. This will then increase the risk of your home being more exposed to surges, spikes and even electrical fires.
In summary, there is a lot you can do to avoid being a sitting duck if you live in a region that suffers from multiple lightning strikes. The above are just a few of the things you can do to protect your home from electrical fires and other problems that arise from such strikes. The ultimate authority you should consult when you need to protect the electrical system is an electrical contractor with a good reputation. They are often very detailed and will usually come up with very solid plans on how to protect the home.