How to protect your home from lightning

11:39 PM, Apr 10, 2013   |    comments
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Lightning over Grand Rapids. Photo by viewer Ross Sherman.

WALKER, Mich. (WZZM) - It's after storms, like the ones we've seen the last few days, when employees at Michigan Lightning Protection get most of their calls.

The Walker business does one thing; install lightning rod systems on homes and businesses. Portfleet claims they are 94% affective. "It's a system of both cable, air terminals at the top, and ground rods spaced proportionately around the exterior of your home."

Depending on the size of the house, these systems start at $2,500. But here's a perk: "There are a few insurance companies that will give a reduction in rate if you get a certified lightning protection system."

Whether you want to take your lightning protection this far or not, Portfleet has a recommendation for everyone: "It's also important to have good surge protection for your electronic devices."

Surge protectors are a type of power strip, so if you see a power strip that does not say "surge protector," you are probably not getting one that will protect your electronics against lightning.

Also, look for the number of "joules." A typical direct strike of lightning is at least 2,000 joules, so a surge protector which cannot protect against at least that much, will only help you so much.

Last, surge protectors are only good once. Once they have protected against surges, they are only good as splitters.

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