Power surges are a common occurrence during storms, but they can cause serious damage to your home’s electrical system. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to reduce the risk. Knowing how to prepare for and respond to these events is essential to protect yourself, your family, and your property from harm.
Below, we talk about the risks of storm-related power surges, how you can prepare for them before a storm hits, and what to do after the storm has passed.
Understand The Risks Of Storm-Related Power Surges
A power surge is an abnormal and significant increase in the electrical current that flows through a circuit or appliance. When this happens, wiring and electronics can become damaged. While power surges can have multiple different causes, they commonly occur during thunderstorms and other severe weather, usually due to lightning strikes or when utility companies reset circuits after outages.
Even a small power surge can fry sensitive components in modern electronics like computers and televisions, while a large surge carries the potential to overload circuits or even cause an electrical fire. As a result, any kind of surge puts you at risk of damaging your property and losing any data stored on hard drives connected to the affected outlets.
Prepare Your Home Before A Storm
There are several things you can do to prepare for the possibility of a power surge during a storm ahead of time. Pay attention to the weather and if a storm is predicted in your area or it looks like there may be a storm heading your way outside, take these steps:
Back Up Important Data
Save copies of important documents and digital images on a reliable external storage device that can be disconnected from its power source until the storm has passed.
Unplug Appliances & Electronics
Unplug all appliances and electronics from your wall outlets. If you need to charge your phone, try to do so before the storm hits or better yet, use a backup battery pack that doesn’t require power from your home. This ensures things like your computers, large appliances, furnaces, and televisions are protected from surges that may flow through your home’s wiring.
Turn Off Your Main Breaker
You can also turn off your main breaker to prevent electricity from coming into your home at all during the storm. This is a great way to protect the wiring in your home from any surges and significantly reduces the risk of fire caused by old wiring being overloaded with power.
Use a Backup Generator
Shutting off all the power to your home or appliances can protect them from damage, but this can be inconvenient, particularly for storms that drag on or are predicted to last several days. Using a backup generator can offer you an alternative source of power during that time to keep critical appliances like your refrigerator and your HVAC system running.
Upgrade To A Whole-Home Surge Protector
A whole-home surge protector can keep your property safe from dangerous voltage spikes caused by storms and lightning strikes. Surge protectors work by diverting the excess voltage that comes into your electrical panel to the ground, which disperses the power before it has the opportunity to travel through your wiring and reach your appliances.
Take Action After a Storm
After the storm passes, take the following steps:
Check For Damage
Check your circuit breaker panel for any tripped breakers and inspect your home and appliances for any signs of possible damage that may have resulted from a power surge. This includes things like burnt wires, melted insulation, or no longer being able to turn the appliance on. You should also replace any damaged surge protectors in your home with new ones, since they are no longer able to protect from power surges.
Contact A Qualified Electrician
If you see any signs of damage, contact an electrician right away before attempting to use the appliance or electrical system again. Electrical problems are definitely not a DIY issue, and trying to make repairs yourself can potentially result in more damage or even serious injury. An experienced electrician can help diagnose the issue and determine the best course of action.
Contact Us Today For Help Protecting Your Property From Power Surges
If you have experienced any kind of damage due to a power surge or need help upgrading your home’s electrical system for better protection against future storms, contact us today. Our team of qualified Goshen electricians can assist you. Call now at (845) 299-2074 or fill out our short online form and our team will get back to you as soon as we can.