What Happens When Lightning Strikes a Smart Home?
So you’re all set, sitting peacefully in your well-lit, efficiently run smart home, and a thunderstorm hits your neighborhood. What happens if lightning strikes your smart home? What then? Did a professional home automation expert install your system? Did they set up your system to be protected by “acts of God”?
Because of the multiple electrical components that create entryways into a home, a Smart Home is more susceptible to lightning damage. A lightning strike radiates a strong electromagnetic field, which can be picked up by wiring or refrigerant lines in a home, producing large voltages that can damage equipment.
Lightning typically enters a home through the electrical and telephone service lines (although there are only a few “phone lines” left connected to homes!). Once inside, it may travel through the wiring to any device or appliance that is plugged into an outlet. It can also spread through the metal pipes in a home’s plumbing system.
If you have a Smart Home, there are additional entry points for lightning. Wireless devices such as garage door openers, security cameras, and thermostats are all potential entry points for a lightning strike. Even the home’s electrical meter can be a path for lightning to enter the house.
Damage from a lightning strike can be severe. It can melt metal, cause fires, and destroy electronic equipment. In addition, the surge of electricity can cause power outages that may last for days.
If you have a Smart Home, there are steps you can take to protect your investment:
- Ensure that a professional home automation company installs your system
- Make sure that your system is protected by an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) or a generator.
- Install surge protectors on all of your devices and appliances.
- Have your home’s electrical system inspected by a qualified electrician.
Taking these precautions can help ensure that your Smart Home is protected from the damaging effects of a lightning strike.
Can lightning strikes damage electronics?
Suppose lightning travels into the home through the wiring or through communication cables (such as those used for internet, cable TV, or phone). In that case, it can cause severe damage to any electronics not adequately connected to a point-of-use surge protector. This includes computers, gaming consoles, flat-screen TVs, and home theater systems.
While surge protectors offer some protection, they are not foolproof. A direct lightning strike can cause damage even to equipment that is appropriately surge-protected. The best way to protect your electronics is to unplug them during a thunderstorm. If that’s not possible, you can also try disconnecting them from external power sources, such as the internet or cable TV.
Lightning strikes are also a leading cause of house fires in the United States. This is because a single lightning bolt can generate temperatures up to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This extreme heat can ignite combustible materials, such as wood or gasoline.
While most homes are built to withstand the forces of a lightning strike, any home can be vulnerable if it is not properly constructed or maintained. One of the best ways to protect your home from fire is to have it professionally inspected by a qualified contractor.
How to protect electronics from lightning strikes
Surge protectors are a great way to protect your electronics from electrical spikes. The best lightning surge protectors protect your devices from power surges, brownouts, and spikes during thunderstorms, blackouts, and other power fluctuations.
Again, unplug any electronic devices not used during a thunderstorm. This includes computers, TVs, gaming consoles, and home theater systems. If you are not home when a storm hits, and it is a smart home, there are ways to override the power and turn off your electronics from outside the house.
Lightning is one of nature’s most impressive displays. But it can also be one of the most destructive forces. However, by taking some simple precautions, you can help protect your home and possessions from the damage a lightning strike can cause.
What can resist lightning?
The main attribute common to all lightning rods is that they are all made of conductive materials, such as copper and aluminum. Copper and its alloys are the most common materials used in lightning protection. Aluminum is also commonly used, although it is not as effective as copper.
Lightning rods are typically mounted on tall structures, such as buildings and towers. They are also sometimes installed on poles or in the ground. Most importantly, they are placed in a location where they will be struck by lightning.
Once a lightning rod is struck by lightning, the electrical current from the strike will flow through the rod and into the ground. This helps to protect the structure from damage.
While no material can completely resist the forces of a lightning strike, conductive materials can help to dissipate the energy and reduce the risk of damage.
Lightning protection systems are designed to dissipate the electrical energy from a lightning strike so that it does not cause damage to the structure. These systems typically include lightning rods, grounding wires, and bonding straps.
When properly installed, a lightning protection system can help to reduce the risk of fire and other damage caused by a lightning strike.
How do you build a lightning protection system?
The standards define an effective lightning protection system as a set of equipment and devices to capture (never to attract) lightning and conduct it safely to the ground. Capture system: Device for picking up lightning. Down conductors: Equipment needed to conduct energy to the ground in a controlled and safe fashion. Grounding system: The final termination of the lightning current.
A well-designed and installed system will protect a structure from fire, explosion, and electrocution. It will also help to prevent damage to electronics and other sensitive equipment.
Building a lightning protection system is not a do-it-yourself project. Instead, it should be designed and installed by a qualified contractor.
When choosing a contractor, ask about their experience designing and installing lightning protection systems. In addition, make sure that they are familiar with the applicable safety standards.
The cost of a lightning protection system will vary depending on the size and complexity of the project. However, the investment can be well worth considering the costly damage a lightning strike can cause.
What happens when lightning strikes a smart home?
In summary, if you have a smart home, it is wise to ensure your home is protected from potential lightning strikes or any other natural disasters. Remember always to consult a professional first, as this is not a DIY project for amateurs. Protecting your home must be done right in order to avoid any costly damages or legal issues with your homeowner’s insurance. Stay protected on all fronts – good luck!