How to keep your gadgets safe from lightning

Summer starts on Wednesday and with summer comes heat, mosquitoes, and thunderstorms.

And what exactly would a southern thunderstorm be without lightning?

For instance, the storm that moved through the St. Johns County area Saturday evening had about 1,000 lightning strikes per hour. One of those many bolts of lightning hit a home off of Old county Road 210. The lightning strike only caused minor damage but it could have been worse.

 

 


We have seen the damage lightning can do outdoors, to the outsides of homes, even create massive wildfires like the one that has been burning in the Okefenokee Swamp, but what can lightning do to the things inside our homes?

Carla Johnson lives near the home where lightning struck and isn’t sure her family is doing enough to protect themselves.

“We’ve had friends or people we know that once lightning hits your house a lot can go wrong,” said Johnson.

Lightning damage to home electronics happens when a strike brings an excess of energy to utility poles.

“Besides having surge protectors and that type of stuff we probably are not as prepared as we should be.”

Surge protectors in addition to multi-socket power strips protect devices by absorbing excess voltage, so they're handy to have and use around the house.

However, nowadays, when it seems we have dozens of electronic devices to charge, it’s a lot easier to just plug them directly into the wall.  But don't.

Plugging your electronics directly into a wall socket leaves them vulnerable to a power surge from a lightning strike and it could mean a costly bill for you and an early grave for your beloved IPhone, smart t.v. etc. Instead, you’ll want to use an individual plug in surge outlet.

However in severe storms, the best protection, if you can is to just unplug your electronics and appliances.

Also During a thunderstorm, it is a good idea to avoid touching or being near the following items at home:

• Hard-wired telephones
• Plumbing
• Electrical appliances or wiring
• Metal objects including electric wires, fences, machinery, motors, aluminum ladders, and power tools

 

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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