The summer months of June, July, and August are when most lightning strikes happen in the United States. Arizona is particularly prone to electrical storms during our annual monsoon season. The key ingredient is moisture coming into the state, which triggers some of the world’s most spectacular lightning displays. With every home in the Valley of the Sun at risk of a lightning strike’s electrical surge, here are some basic precautions to keep your family and home safe.
Home Wiring Protection
What year was your home built? Some homes built in the 1960s and 1970s were equipped with aluminum wiring instead of copper wiring. Aluminum wiring was less expensive for home builders to install, and over time, it was discovered that aluminum connections would overheat. Not having copper wiring and proper grounding can impact wall switches, outlets, your HVAC system, and the breaker panel. Check your wall outlets. If you see three-prong outlets, you’re in good shape. If there are two prong outlets, you could have a problem and may need to call a professional electrician to replace outlets and wiring.
Whole Home Surge Protector
You most likely have surge protectors for some of your home’s computer equipment and televisions. A whole home surge protector absorbs the electricity from a lightning strike, so that it doesn’t damage your home’s electrical system. A whole home surge protector is installed at the main breaker box and provides protection for all appliances connected to the power line. Make certain that the surge protector is rated for the expected electrical load. This protection device doesn’t affect your home’s day to day operation. It protects your home and appliances against a spike in electricity caused by a lightning strike.
Unplug Appliances and Electronics
Power surges can quickly wipe out appliances, computers and tablets, cellular devices, televisions, modems, and other electronic devices plugged in and not protected by a surge protector. Before a storm hits, unplug these items. Because electricity can travel through electrical wiring and phone lines, do not touch any outlets or landline phones during a storm.
Electricity can also travel through plumbing. So, avoid the bathtub, shower and indoor swimming pools and spas while there is active lightning.
According to the CDC, about 32% of lightning injuries happen indoors, and 66% of all lightning casualties occur between noon and 6pm. It’s important to note that lightning can continue to strike from a departing monsoon storm. If you see lightning or hear thunder, stay inside.
Want to learn more about protecting your home from lightning during electrical storms? Call the experts at Cool Blew. We can provide you with the information and solutions you need to stay safe through monsoon storms and all year long. Call us now at 623-872-2900.