The state of Georgia is no stranger to lightning strikes. Pretty much all year round, thunderstorms send bolts of lightning arcing to the ground, where they can cause incredible damage to anything they might hit. While the odds of your home being struck by lightning are not particularly high in any storm, lightning strikes do happen to structures around the area each and every year. And unless you properly prepare yourself, a strike can be disastrous.
However, how do you protect your home from a lightning strike? How do you possibly put up a defense against one of Mother Nature’s strongest forces of destruction and energy? While you may not be able to stop lightning from striking, you can be ready and have a source of protection in place to mitigate what it can do.
Remove Lightning-Attracting Features
Knowing what features tend to attract lightning strikes allows you to avoid having them in potentially compromised situations. Lightning is static electricity, and it functions exactly the same way—seeking out grounded metal to dispel accumulated charge. Therefore, removing lightning-attracted features from your property will significantly reduce the chances of a lightning strike (you can’t ever get rid of it completely).
Analog TV antennas are a major source for lightning strikes, as are other sources of rooftop metal like chimney covers, satellite dishes, or exhaust ducts. While removing all of this metal isn’t always possible (or even advisable), you can make efforts to remove anything that isn’t necessary. Likewise, you can make an effort to ensure any exposed metal is shielded to make it less attractive to lightning. If a piece of metal does not provide a low-resistance path to the ground, lightning will be far less likely to strike it.
Install Surge Protection
Surge protection is vital for preventing damage to your electrical system. Surges can happen for a variety of reasons, but lightning is one of the most common, particularly during storm season. When lightning strikes your home, a power line, or even a different part of the electrical grid, the sudden influx of energy can find its way into electrical lines, causing a momentary spike in energy that can fry important components, damage wires, and even cause injury.
A surge protection system’s job is to stop this damage by “venting” the excess of energy out to a ground line that safely disposes of it. By redirecting this energy away from your home, a surge protector keeps you and your loved ones safe and even helps avoid potentially catastrophic damage to some of the most important parts of your electrical system (or anything attached to it).
While certain power strips you can buy have a surge protection system built-in, these systems often don’t perform nearly as well or as comprehensively as a whole-home surge protection system. Whole-home surge protection is installed on your main electrical input, offering full protection for everything attached to your electrical system in the event of a surge from natural or mechanical causes.
Unplug Critical Devices
Finally, the best way to protect your home from a lightning strike is to simply disconnect anything that may be at risk of damage during a surge. That can include everything from expensive devices like televisions or computer monitors to crucial data infrastructures like servers or desktop computers. Laptops, tablets, or cell phones that are plugged in and charging at the time of a surge might be at risk for irreparable damage as well.
The damage can even hit your most important and valuable appliances, including your refrigerator, microwave, or medical equipment you might depend on. While these devices may be built to be robust, very few things can withstand the immense power of an electrical surge. Therefore, if anything isn’t protected by a comprehensive surge protection system, we strongly advise you don’t take the risk and unplug the device during an electrical storm.Want to learn more about protecting your home from a lightning strike? Talk to Lightning Bug Electric about your options today! Dial (404) 471-3847 for more information.