You’ve probably heard it all before when it comes to power surges. They’re highly dangerous to you and all your valuable electronic devices in your business. You need to protect yourself to ensure no damage occurs to your equipment.
While you probably know the basics, there’s much more to power surges than you might realise. Have a look at our guide to learn all about power surges (including how they work and how to best protect your place of work). You’ll definitely be glad you get protected should your business ever experience any type of voltage transient.
The Basics of Power Surges
To put it simply, power surges are the sudden occurrence of voltage transients – rapid changes or spikes in voltage within your buildings power. These types of changes in power can have serious effects on the wiring in your property – all the way up to the electronic devices themselves. Even worse, an incident like a lightning strike could lead to an electrocution if you, or a staff member, is touching something which is connected to the power!
Power surges can come from a variety of sources:
Problems with the buildings wiring: If your wiring isn’t up-to-par, you may have issues that could cause power surges to specific outlets. Be careful in these scenarios – issues within your wiring could quickly become a highly dangerous fire hazard.
Lightning Storms: One of the more common sources of surges, a lightning strike can cause a dangerous spike in electricity. If a strike hits a building and makes contact with wiring or other sources of electricity, you could face both an electrocution and a fire hazard if you’re unprotected.
Equipment Protector Options
Fortunately, there are all sorts of devices designed to prevent voltage transients in your electronics. A few of the most popular include the following:
Surge protectors are typically what we all see as power strips. They’re grounded plugs that allow you to connect multiple electronic devices. And they’re built to better withstand sudden voltage transients to keep all the devices plugged into them protected.
Remember, not all power strips and protectors are created equal. There’s a reason why the prices can range from a few dollars to several hundred (or more) for protection. Generally you’ll want to look for the following characteristics when choosing the right power strip for your business:
Check Warranty Information: Many protectors will offer you a significant financial guarantee for equipment plugged into them. In most cases, better electronics protection will offer you a higher financial warranty (and usually a higher buying price).
Lifespan: The protection offered by these installations is not permanent, so make sure that your choice offers an indicator as to when you lose protection. In most cases, an indicator light will alert you as to when you’re protected or unprotected.
Surge arrestors work similarly to surge protectors – they put a stop to the transmission of voltage spikes. Arrestors are typically used for more major installations, businesses and other purposes.
You may need an arrestor if your business uses lots of expensive electronic equipment.
Surge diverters do exactly what the claim: they divert excess voltages from spikes back to earth and away from your electronics. These are typically installed on a primary switchboard to provide protection to your place of work.
While these devices may not offer full protection against something like lightning, they’ll give a good amount of general protection for everything you have plugged in. It’s generally recommended to still use surge protectors even with a diverter installed.
Keep You & Your Electronics Safe
As you can see, the dangers and risks associated with lightning and other electrical problems can prove very serious for your business. Even installing a few safety precautions could mitigate this risk from major financial loss to a simple tripped switch on your circuit breaker.
Take the time to ensure that your equipment is protected. That way, you won’t have to worry even when a lightning storm passes through your area.