This is the time of year when we see a spike in the number of lightning strike related calls. First of all most lightning damage isn’t from lighting striking your house, it’s from lighting striking a tree somewhere close or even an overhead utility line. The strike could be up to a mile or more away and still cause damage in your home.
For items like electronics, microwaves, ranges, furnaces and air conditioners, all of these now have delicate electronics built into them and these electronics don’t handle the extreme high current levels a lightning strike generates. Other items such as light dimmers, ground fault interrupters and arc fault circuit breakers often fail when exposed to these conditions.
If you receive a direct hit on your home from lightning the damages can be more extensive. It could “vaporize” wiring in walls, and destroy your whole electrical system. There are certain tests we can perform on your electrical system to check for such damages but these tests take some time but are very good at locating damaged wiring. In addition, if you suspect you had a direct lighting strike, don’t be afraid to call the fire department immediately after the strike. If your house phone is out, use a cell phone. Remember that calling “911” from a cell phone may not provide the exact location where you are so be ready to give them your exact address. Lightning fires can smolder for hours in walls and attics before they finally explode into a full blown house fire. The fire department has equipment that will allow them to quickly determine if there is a fire lurking in concealed areas of your home.
Lastly, there is no 100% way to guarantee a lightning strike won’t damage your home, appliances and electronics or cause a fire, but there are things that can be done to minimize the threat.
- Lighting rods installed by a qualified contractor can provide protection to your home by bleeding off the electrical potential that builds up during a thunderstorm. If lightning does strike, it will be directed safely to ground by the heavy copper cables and ground rods driven deep into the ground. We can refer you to a contractor for this type of work.
- Whole house surge suppression devices installed by Grasser Electric can provide protection to your entire electrical system not only from lightning strikes but other spikes that can enter your home from the electric utility. We can also install surge suppression devices for incoming CATV lines and phone lines. Call us for more information on Whole House Surge Suppression. Compared to the damage a surge can cause, this is an extremely affordable method to give you good protection.
Don’t wait until you have had a loss to call us. Give us a call today at 636-441-5200 and let us send one of our qualified electricians to your home to provide a quote for Whole House Surge Suppression.