Love them or hate them, thunderstorms are a natural part of life here in the Carolinas, especially during the spring and summer. As the seasons shift and we prepare for stormy weather, many families may be wondering whether they should unplug their electronic devices during a thunderstorm.
In this blog, we help homeowners understand the risks that thunderstorms can pose to their electronics and personal safety.
Safety First: What To Do When a Storm Strikes
While TVs, computers, and cellphones might be prized possessions, they’re nothing compared to your own personal safety. The number one priority during a thunderstorm should always be to seek shelter. Lightning strikes generate roughly 15 million volts of electricity and can reach temperatures as high as 50,000º F. For this reason, it’s best to stay out of harm’s way by remaining indoors during a heavy storm.
Lightning can travel through your home’s electrical system with ease, which is why it’s strongly recommended that you refrain from using plugged-in devices during a storm. These include things like landline phones or desktop computers. Also, avoid direct contact with plumbing as this can be an electric conduit. Do not bathe or take a shower; water is still an electrocution risk even when indoors.
It’s not always realistic to unplug every electronic device before a thunderstorm hits. However, by planning ahead and understanding which devices are at the highest risk, you can prevent lasting damage from disrupting your daily life after the storm passes.
The following are just some of the devices you should consider unplugging during a thunderstorm:
- Coffee makers
- Desktop computers
- Gaming consoles
- Hair dryers
- Smart appliances
Essentially, any electronic device that is plugged in, has wiring, or contains a microprocessor is at risk during a thunderstorm because lightning strikes near your home can cause electrical surges that overload and damage them. Unplugging everything can be a hassle, but fortunately, there’s a better way to protect your electrical devices. Whole-home surge protection will prevent your valuable electronics from damage due to surges.
Prevent Against Damage With Whole-Home Surge Protection
One of the biggest threats to your electronic devices during a storm is a power surge. This happens when a voltage increase disrupts the electric current to your house, causing a brief interruption to your power supply. Depending on the source of the surge, device damage can range from insignificant to severe. Surges caused by lightning have the potential to shut down major appliances like refrigerators, laundry machines, and even HVAC systems.
While nothing can protect your devices against a direct hit of lighting to your home, lighting strikes in the area still pose a large risk to your devices. To protect them against electrical surges, invest in a whole-home surge protector. These devices are installed directly into your home’s electrical panel and offer downstream protection on all connected electronics. Unlike power strip surge protectors, whole-home surge protectors are equipped to handle high-surge events like lightning strikes, offering greater protection for all your devices.
Choose Acosta for Whole-Home Surge Protection Services
Charlotte families looking to prepare for seasonal thunderstorms with whole-home surge protection can turn to Acosta Heating, Cooling & Electrical for the solutions they seek. Our master electricians offer whole-home surge protection solutions perfect for keeping your devices safe through the storm.