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It is summer, so that means it is thunderstorm season.  Are your electronic devices protected?

The most common claims this time of year are for electronic equipment damaged by lightning. One direct hit can send thousands of volts through your home or business, wiping out anything that is plugged into an outlet – from machinery and refrigerators to plasma televisions and computers. Fortunately, there is a simple, low-cost device you can buy to create a buffer between unwanted voltage and your expensive appliances and equipment.

battle_creek_homeowners_insuranceIt is an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS).

A UPS uses specially-designed electrical storage devices to absorb huge spikes in voltage before they can move through your house and destroy things plugged into the wall. The device pictured here is a simple one we use at Allen Harmon Insurance between the wall outlets and each desktop computer. Not only does it serve as a surge protector, it provides a battery backup in case the office loses power unexpectedly. 

The UPS in the photo costs less than $300. You can buy them for as little as $90, or spend over $1,000 on one large enough to protect a server or computer network. A separate device can be installed only where you have expensive electronics plugged into the wall, or you can ask your local licensed electrician about a “whole house” unit.

One of our commercial customers, a church, recently lost its professional sound system, pipe organ console, phone system, and computers from a single, direct lightning strike! The claim will be in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Lightning is unpredictable, so no unit guarantees that your devices will be safe. On the other hand, for a relatively small expense you can go a long way toward protecting those things that may cost a lot of money to replace!

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