It's not uncommon for home insurance claims for fires to stem from lightning strikes. You may not think you can do much to prevent this type of damage. However, there are steps you can take to make your home a bit safer and reduce the risk of a strike from occurring. If your area sees a lot of thunderstorms with lightning, be sure to work to minimize those risks. Here are some tips to help you do that.
Whole Building Surge Protection
When lightning strikes a home, it can instantly cause damage to your home's electrical system. This type of charge can cause a fire to start as well. However, it is possible to minimize this risk.
With a whole-home surge protector, it is possible to stop that charge from moving through the home and causing damage. You may be able to have one installed through your utility company. If not, they can recommend access and needs for this system.
This type of system protects against that magnitude of strike across a whole structure. It does not necessarily protect the specific area where the lightning strikes, but what comes of it. When in place, it works to ground the super-charged current that is racing through the home. That can be lifesaving.
When A Storm Is Coming
There are a few things you can do as a storm approaches that can help protect your home. If you have a warning that the storm is lightning-heavy, take these steps:
- Unplug as much electronic equipment as possible. That safeguards those items.
- Add a surge suppressor for any type of connected line. This includes your cable and TV lines, as well as your phones. This is critical even when there is not a storm heading your way.
Protection From Surges
You can prepare for storms long before they occur. The best step to take is to invest in a surge suppressor designed to handle the intensity of lightning strikes. Plug everything in your home into these. They are very different from simple power strips. They should have a Joule rating of over 1,000 and be UL 1449 tested. Make sure the light on it is on to indicate it is working.
You should also keep your home's electrical system up to date. Have a home inspector come to the home to look it over at least one time every year, especially if the home is older. As a backup, make sure your home insurance is up to date. Most policies cover damage from lightning strikes.