Electronics are a huge part of most homes these days. No modern home can exist without using several appliances in its basic daily functioning, which means the likelihood of various malfunctions also increases. Electrical disasters are quite common, some more than others. They can occur due to various causes, and the damages caused by them can often be quite expensive to repair. One of the most common electrical disasters which your home is at risk from is a power surge.
To avoid having to deal with excessive surge damage, it is important to understand what a power surge is and how it works. This will help you take the necessary precautions to keep all your major appliances safe. Below is a brief explanation of what power surges are, followed by a few things you can do when you are faced by one.
What Is a Power Surge?
A power surge refers to a sudden spike in voltage in a particular area, and last for merely a few seconds. The best case scenario is that the circuit breaker trips and causes all your home’s appliances to be turned off at once.
Despite its short duration, a power surge is capable of causing a lot of damage to any building in the area which is using electricity in its functioning at that particular time. A power surge essentially has three main causes: a lightning strike, the overloading of outlets in your home as well as a power grid switch at your local electronics company. Regardless of its causes, it is important to know what to do when a power surge or outage occurs.
Have Supplies Ready
A power surge can lead to a prolonged power outage, which is often unexpected. Having the basic supplies ready for such a situation can be a lifesaver. Not only our daily tasks, but our communication also heavily depends on electricity. This means that a power outage can cut us off completely from the outside world, which can be quite dangerous in emergencies. One of the most important steps in preparing for a power outage is preparing for any such situations.
Your health is a priority in any such situation, which is why it is absolutely necessary to have a first-aid kit with you at all times. This will help in case the weather is bad and there’s a health emergency at home, since you will have some backup to get you through that time.
Moreover, power outages may lead to a lot of stress, and having gadgets to distract yourself with can also be of help. Try to keep a backup rechargeable internet device, so that you can still access the internet during this time. This will also help you stay updated with news and can give you another way to contact someone in case regular signals are not working.
If the cause of the power surge is a lightning strike, the best course of action is to remain indoors until the streets have completely dried up, the sun is out and the power is back on. Leaving at nighttime can be particularly harmful in such a situation, which is why making sure to prepare everything in advance can be helpful. Make sure your home is ready for a potentially long isolation period, stocked with food and all other necessities.
Unplug Major Appliances
One of the most obvious dangers to your home during a power surge is damage to your home’s appliances. A power surge will directly supply a huge amount of electricity to your appliances, which can end up destroying them, and in extreme cases, maybe even result in a fire. To prevent this, you can cut off your main power supply, but that will leave you with no electricity for any of your other tasks as well. The easiest solution to this would be unplugging those appliances which are most at risk of being harmed.
These appliances include things such as the refrigerator and air conditioner, electronics which are more prone to a power overload. These appliances can be difficult to replace, especially for homeowners on a budget, which is why they should always be prioritized during a power surge.
Keep an Eye on the News
When a power outage occurs, you electrical company will most likely be updating you on the situation; especially if the fault is from their end. In case the surge was caused by a lightning strike, the news will give you constant updates regarding the status of the weather and the city’s power supply, since this type of outage will be more widespread. By staying updated, you can feel more at ease knowing how long the issue is going to last, and when you can return to your normal life.
This is also a reason why having an internet backup can be of use, since you may not be able to access the news through other means during this time.
Avoiding Electrical Disasters
The damage from a power surge is not inevitable. It can easily be minimized, or even avoided altogether. As a homeowner, one of your biggest priorities should be keeping your home safe from any external threats. Electrical disasters are especially threatening to your home, since in extreme cases, they may even be fatal. To avoid a blackout, or even a fire from being started, make sure to take the previously mentioned precautions for a safer home during a power surge.