Protect Your Home From Lightning Damage

While Mother Nature’s temper is unpredictable, homeowners can take preventive steps to protect their homes, and wallets, from lightning damage. Following these suggestions can help remove many fears of tomorrow’s storm.

Lightning Safety Awareness Week

If you own a home and your safety inspections are overdue, Lightning Safety Awareness Week, June 19-25, is a perfect time to (A) increase your family’s safety and (B) eliminate possible recovery costs you may face due to fire or severe thunderstorm damage. According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS),

Lightning does not need to actually directly strike a home or business to induce a power surge and cause extensive damage.

Loretta Worters, VP of I.I.I., points out how dangerous favorite household gadgets can be on Insurance Networking News, “The number of claims is down, but the average cost per claim continues to rise, in part because of the huge increase in the number and value of consumer electronics in homes.” She continues, “Plasma and high-definition television sets, home entertainment centers, multiple computer households, gaming systems and other expensive devices—which can all be destroyed by power surges—are having a significant impact on claims losses.”

Preventive Steps You Can Take Today

Imagine this scenario: This year is your family’s year for hosting the annual World Series get-together. You’ll score when taking simple safety steps ahead of game time. If the storm hits, your family, friends and home can safely weather the rain delay.

Not sure where to start? IBHS offers homeowners these safety pointers:

  • A whole-house surge protector is the best starting point for reducing the risk of damage or a fire
  • Make sure all protectors have a working indicator light.
  • Add receptors on the roof and cables to direct the strike away from the interior of your house

Don’t Forget Your Wireless Network

In addition to plasma televisions, the IEEE Guide for Surge Protection of Equipment reminds households to learn more about protecting their wireless home networks: “Wireless local area networks (LANs) are very popular for use within the home.” If lightning strikes a home-based wireless network that’s connected to a link outside the home, any surge can directly affect the home’s computer system. Are your files protected?

IBHS agrees and suggests installing additional surge protectors to avoid surge damage. Surge protectors should protect all equipment, including:

  • telephone
  • cable
  • satellite TV lines

Now that you’ve installed lightning/power surge protection, how will your family spend its next worry-free rain delay.