Lightning is nature’s power unleashed that can cause untold damage, and although it is a global occurrence, it is not equally distributed geographically.
There are, however, numerous preventative measures that can be taken to avoid damage, especially to sensitive and costly electronic equipment in the work environment.
The important of lightning protection cannot be stressed sufficiently as it needs to protect against disruptive and destructive results.
Protection of power lines
Perhaps the most common occurrence of damage is to electrical equipment as a direct result of strikes to the power supply. A spike or surge that enters via the power lines can damage all electronics connected to the electricity supply.
It is important to use a surge diverter located inside the mains switchboard to avoid damage.
Surge diverters to earth the major part of the energy from a spike or surge at the entry point to a building is all-important.
Surge diverters will reduce spikes and surges that enter electronic equipment, but damage can still be done to electronic devices that are sensitive. This is the reason why it is imperative to install surge filters for every device to avoid damage.
Surge protectors can be installed in DB boards or can be free-standing units with flexible leads that can be plugged into power outlets. Surge protectors in the DB board are inexpensive as numerous devices can be connected to the power simultaneously. (numerous PCs can be plugged in at once)
It is important to note that the protection of power lines won’t automatically prevent surges from entering electronics and signal cables and data cables. Power line protection does not prevent damage to computer configurations and can cause extensive damage should a lightning surge enter cabling systems connected to devices.
Telephone cables are not immune to lightning surges either and if PCs are connected to a modem these can also be destroyed. It is important to ensure that all cables, devices and networks have the necessary protection from strikes.
Remember that electronic equipment should be protected from both ends of a cable and not one end only.