Protecting Your Business Electronics From Lightning and Voltage Surges

Lightning and voltage surges in your building can instantly cripple businesses and is a cause of millions of dollars of losses annually. Without warning, electrical damage to your brand new state-of-the-art telephone system and computer networks can knock out your ability to make phone calls, send emails or access data on your servers.  Most importantly, it can knock your company off from accessing Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn (now I have your attention). That shuts down your business, leading to expensive repairs and costly business interruption.

Why does this happen?
Damage from voltage surges are disturbances in the normal pattern of a power system’s supply voltage — those caused by circuit switching and those due to the environment such as lighting storms.

Circuit switching surges happen when a sudden change to an electrical circuit occurs. That may be due to equipment use, changes in utility power supply, or damaged power lines. Arcing caused by loose connections or ground faults are other causes. Although people often discuss lightning and voltage surges as two distinct phenomenon, lightning is in fact one type of surge. 

Equipment struck by lightning

How to Protect Your Equipment
The simplest means is to install a grounding block and attaching to it #6 AWG insulated copper ground wire to the building steel or cold water pipe.  Make sure all equipment and racks are properly grounded to the ground block. To further minimize risk, install uninterruptible power supplies with surge suppression. UPS’s are sized according to the Watts, Amps or Kilowatts.

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