Protecting your home from lightning

July 15, 2008 5:28:40 PM PDT
It's that time of year when afternoon thunderstorms can pop up with little warning, and it doesn't have to be a severe thunderstorm to do extensive damage to your home.

"Our customers lose millions of dollars worth of equipment every year due to lightning,"Progress Energy spokesperson Alan Swisher said.

A Brier Creek family lost their home to lightning about two weeks ago. The family was vacationing at the time.

Lightning struck at least three times on their street and one strike left the house smoldering for hours until it was destroyed.

It's a loss that could have been prevented, according to Progress Energy officials.

To prove their point, they're running 3,000 volts through an unprotected outlet and through another with a special surge protector.

"You saw the unprotected bulb blew up," Swisher said. "While the one that was protected survived and lived to fight another day."

For $6 a month, Progress Energy will install a device on your meter, protecting non-electronics like the fridge and washer and dryer.

The special surge protector also comes in handy even if the computer and television is unplugged during a storm. Lightning can travel through cable lines.

"Whatever's coming into your equipment we can intercept it at that point before lightning gets into the equipment and does damage," Swisher said.

North Carolina is considered one of the leading states with the most lightning strikes -- all the more reason to protect your home.


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