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How can I reduce storm damage to my home?

According to the National Weather Service (2006 Hazard Statistic Report) lightening was to blame for over $63 Million in property damage in the United States in 2006. Causing over 47 deaths and 246 injuries in that year alone, protecting your home against lightening strikes is more than a reasonable concern. Damage by these types of storms is typically covered under standard home insurance policies while some even cover the damage caused by power surges due to lightening strikes. With expensive home electronics including flat screen TVs, gaming systems and computers becoming the norm in the average U.S. household, protecting your home against power surges is more important than ever.

The following steps may help to reduce the risk of home damage, bodily injury and possible death caused by lightening:

Install a Home Lightening Protection System: A home lightening protection system provides protection for your home by creating a path for a lightening bolt to travel safely to the ground, as opposed to onto your home. A lightening protection system is usually made up rods, a network of conductors, conductive paths from roof to ground, bonding connections and a grounding network. Always have your lightening protection system installed by a licensed electrician to ensure proper installation.

Use Surge Protectors: UL-Listed surge arrestors should be installed on all electrical service panels. Surge Protectors help protect your home electrical system, appliances and sensitive electronic equipment from the effects of lightening. Every power connection coming into your home should be protected including phone, satellite, cable and power lines. While power strips protect very little against electrical power surges, surge protectors that are installed correctly can not only protect your appliances and electronics but also help prevent electrical fires.

UnPlug it: The easiest, and often most overlooked, way to prevent damage to your appliances and electronics is to unplug everything if you know that a storm is approaching. Disabling the connection to your electrical system is a sure way to prevent power surge damage.

Last Updated: July 15, 2009

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