Home Electrical Safety Tips – State Farm

To prevent such damage, consider using lightning protection systems and surge protection devices and investing in Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs), and follow some general prevention tips.

Where do electrical surges come from?

Electrical surges happen in storms when:

  1. Electric utility lines touch one another
  2. Power grid switching occurs
  3. Air conditioning units, furnaces, refrigerators or vacuum cleaners turn on and off.
  4. Lightning strikes within two miles of a home

Lightning Protection Systems

  1. Provide a direct path for the lightning to follow to the ground
  2. Prevent destruction, damage, injury or death as it travels that path

When there is lightning nearby:

  1. Do not use the telephone except in an emergency.
  2. Stay away from electrical appliances, TVs, fireplaces, metal objects, windows or doors.
  3. Seek shelter immediately in an enclosed building or vehicle.
  4. If you cannot find shelter, find a low lying area, crouch down with feet together and hands on your knees until the storm is over.
  5. Avoid isolated trees, high ground, bodies of water or large open areas.

If someone is injured, administer first aid, if you are qualified to do so, and call for emergency help. You cannot be shocked by someone who has been hit by lightning.

Surge Protection Devices

Properly installed surge protection devices (SPDs), combined with a good grounding system, should protect your electronic and electrical appliances from all but the most severe electrical surges. An SPD does not suppress or arrest a surge; it actually diverts the surge to the ground.

Each time a surge occurs, the damage to the electronic or electrical appliance accumulates, weakening the appliance components until they finally fail.

Things to consider when looking for SPDs:

  1. The surge protector should be listed to UL Standard 1449.
  2. The surge protector must be capable of protecting all power and signal lines that are connected to the protected equipment.  Examples of signal lines: phone lines and coaxial cable from satellite, cable TV or external antenna.
  3. Select a surge protector that has an indicating light and/or audible alarm to show when it needs replacement.
  4. Look for SPDs that come with a manufacturer’s warranty. Some warranties cover only the device; others also cover the damaged equipment and electrical wire insulation chewed by rodents.

via Home Electrical Safety Tips – State Farm.

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