Can lightning destroy your electronic devices? Our advice in the event of a storm

In France, five departments have been placed on red alert because of storms. Are your electronics safe during a storm or thunderstorm if you don’t unplug them? Don’t bet on it. Lightning can do great damage.

When I was a child, it was explained to me that at the first light of a thunderstorm, with lightning in the distance, at the first flash of lightning, you had to run all over the house to unplug all the electronic devices. You may be wondering today if this practice is myth or truth?

Truth or myth?

The answer is clear: it’s true, you should unplug all your devices. And no, turning them off is not enough. Whether it’s your computer, your operator box or your television, on or off, they can suffer damage.

In fact, lightning that strikes near an electric pole can cause an electrical surge through power or telephone lines to your home. It’s a matter of millions of volts. If the surge is powerful enough, it can travel instantly through cables and telephone lines with an electrical force equivalent to a tidal wave.

There is an important first thing to remember when unplugging the plug: you can be electrocuted if you touch a cable during a power surge. It is therefore preferable to unplug the devices before a storm arrives.

Technology to your rescue

There are several ways to protect against these surges. First, remember to connect your devices to Wi-Fi when possible. Indeed, the overvoltage can pass through the RJ45 Ethernet cable. For those who absolutely require a cable, there are RJ45 surge protectors.

Invest in a good quality surge protector is the minimum, you can also buy an inverter.

When choosing a surge protector (surge protector), it is crucial to consider several factors. Make sure you have a Voltage Protection Rating (VPR) low, for better protection. The joule rating, which measures the energy absorbable by the surge protector, should be above 600 volts, indicating long life. Look for a fast response time, ideally less than a nanosecond, for effective surge protection. Finally, watch for signs of wear: a light usually indicates this. There are plenty of models on Amazon, you have the choice.

A UPS, or UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply), is a device that provides additional protection by providing backup power in the event of a power outage. This gives you time to back up your data and properly shut down your devices. We have a dedicated buying guide for these devices.

After the storm

If your house or apartment has been affected, you will also have to think about changing the surge protector strips. They are like airbags in your car. They are designed to protect you, but once they do, they need to be replaced.

So check your electronics for any signs of damage. Also be aware that a lightning strike can cause a voltage spike that blows circuit breakers. Make sure all your circuit breakers are in the “ON” position. Finally, check your electrical outlets: sparks or a burning smell coming from your outlets may indicate damage.

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