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Lightning an unstoppable force

Lightning strikes every 14 seconds worldwide, according to one statistic, and when spring rolls around, many people start thinking about installing surge protection devices to protect their televisions, other home electronics and appliances.

It's not a bad thought but the truth is that surge protection devices cannot prevent damage from direct lightning strikes, or even some indirect ones. No product can -- lightning is just too powerful. That shouldn't stop you from investing in good surge protection devices, however.

Some think that lightning is the only cause of a power surge, which is not true. Some surges are created internally from appliances. The normal operation of large appliances, such as refrigerators, air conditioners, vacuum cleaners and microwaves could cause surges. Whenever the large appliance cycles on and off, a surge can happen.

Other, more common causes of power surges can occur when a tree, bird, squirrel, or raccoon comes in contact with the power lines, many outside forces uncontrollable by Edisto Electric Cooperative. Improper or faulty wiring inside your home may be another source of surges.

Even minor fluctuations in the electrical power supply can cause surges. Edisto Electric Cooperative does everything possible to provide you with clean, quality power but it cannot guarantee that power surges will not reach your home. Your cooperative can recommend surge protection devices to help protect your home electronics and appliances.

When lightning is striking close to your home, however, the best method to protect electronics is always to unplug them until the storm has passed.