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Who Should Buy A Surge Protector?


The number of electronics in the average Floridian's home can be astonishing. Indeed, from laptops, modems and video game systems to smart televisions, high-end speakers and cable boxes, it is estimated that the ordinary American family has as many as 24 different electronic devices. Of course, all of these gadgets and appliances are completely dependent on electricity to run, and this reliance makes a household's electronics vulnerable to electrical surges. With the particular weather patterns in northern Florida, this risk of electrical surges is even greater. So who should own a surge protector in northern Florida? The answer is: anyone who has electronics that they can't afford to replace. 

Florida: The United States' Lightning Capital

In any given year, Floridians will see a major thunderstorm almost every third day. Indeed, after the eastern African nation of Rwanda, Florida is the world's lightning capital. The reason for this high amount of thunderstorm and lightning activity has to do with the state's geography; the warm, humid environment produced by Florida's positioning between the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Gulf of Mexico to the west combined with its sunshine-filled days make for the ideal thunderstorm-generating conditions. 

All together, Florida's frequent and dramatic thunderstorms end up causing almost 1.5 million lightning strikes each year. That's more than 25 lightning strikes for each square mile across the state. Beside the risk to life, all of these lightning strikes can cause significant property damage to the tune of $6 million a year.

The Damaging Effect of Electrical Surges

While northern Floridians are especially susceptible to electrical surges caused by lightning storms, the fact is that damaging surges can be caused in several ways. Besides lightning, some high-power devices can create a sudden spike in current when they turn on; similarly, faulty wiring can cause short circuits or tripped circuit breakers that lead to electrical surges. Even with lightning, a strike does not need to directly hit your home in order to cause a surge. Lightning that strikes near a power line can be enough to cause a surge down the line.

Whatever the cause, the potential damage is the same. A sudden spike in electrical current can severely damage or even destroy any electronics that are plugged in to your home's wiring. In the worse scenario, an electrical surge can even lead to a house fire.

How Surge Protectors Can Protect Your Investment

A surge protector can't stop a sudden electrical spike produced by lightning or any other cause. However, a good surge protector can help safeguard a home's expensive electronics from inevitable power surges.

Surge protectors work by essentially acting as barrier between any plugged-in electronics and the live electrical current flowing through your walls. These devices constantly monitor electrical flow. When it detects a sudden spike, a surge protector will automatically divert this excess electricity via its grounding wire, preventing any damaging current from affecting your electronic devices. While any electrical gadgets or appliances can be shielded with a surge protector, this layer of protection is particularly important for pricey electronics such as televisions and those that contain valuable data such as computers. 

In other words, good-quality surge protectors should be seen as necessities by anyone living in Florida who has expensive electronics that would be expensive or inconvenient to replace. If you're looking to purchase a surge protector, David Gray Electrical Services can help. Contact us to get started.