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Alternative Lightning Protection Systems

Check these products to see if they offer the kind of protection you're looking for:

Intelligent Line Disconnect® - the only commercially manufactured device that incorporates electrical isolation to literally “pull the plug” on lightning by simply switching your computer off. (See message from manufacturer, below.)

Strike UPS™ - a power protection system that detects the threat of lightning and automatically disconnects computers and other equipment until the danger passes.

 

Informative Article on This Topic:

Lightning Protection Advisory from The Computer Wizard (A UPS battery backup isn't always the best answer, he says.)

How to Protect a PC in a Thunderstorm

Why You Need Lightning Protection

How to Avoid Lightning Damage
to Computers and Other
Electronic Equipment

by Barbara Brabec

UPDATE, August 2011 The extreme weather conditions that have brought massive tornadoes, severe storms, floods, runaway fires, and drought all over the world have made many people wonder what’s wrong with the weather. (If you Google "what’s wrong with the weather" [in quotes], you'll find more than a million web pages discussing that very question.) Here in the Midwest this year, we've experienced more severe thunder-and-lightning storms than ever before, all of which has made me more paranoid than ever about unplugging my computer system at the first sound of thunder. As the following information proves, you simply cannot count on your surge suppressor to protect your computer from lightning during a powerful storm. 

I WROTE THIS ARTICLE a few years ago after two of my friends sent me reports about how a lightning strike fried all the computer and electronic equipment in their homes and home offices. My literary agent was one victim, and Jeanie Havel, publisher of PCPolyzine.com was the other. She sent me this e-mail report:

"As I sat in my living room minding my own business, lightning hit my (rented) house with a loud bang! Although, and thankfully, there was no fire, we did have a slight singe mark on the aluminum siding. The bulk of the damage, however, was to the electronic equipment. Despite surge protectors, etc., when the phone line was hit, we sustained damage to the computer, DSL modem, and router. The phone company has been very responsive, but with the amount of damage in our area, they are so far behind in repairs that they cannot give a date when service will be fully restored."

This kind of damage is terribly expensive both in terms of equipment and loss of productivity. For years, I’ve been preaching in my books and newsletters about the importance of unplugging computers and other electronic equipment when a storm is approaching. The sad truth is that you cannot put all your faith in a surge protector. As my agent reported to me after all the electronic equipment in her and her husband's home offices had been destroyed, as soon as the average surge protector receives one blast, it becomes a conduit for any follow-up lightning strikes.

New Generation of Surge Protectors

As part of my research for this article, I learned more about the generation of surge protectors for computers and other electronic equipment that may stop a lightning bolt in its tracks. One of them is Newpoint’s Power Blocker 2 Surge Protector, which comes with a $750,000 Connected Equipment Warranty.

The additional Web links (left) will direct you to a wealth of practical information and tips on how to minimize or totally avoid storm/lightning damage to your computer system and other electronic equipment in your home or office, and the update below will acquaint you with another product you might want to investigate.

Manufacturer Confirms My Advice

Shortly after this article was published, a manufacturer in this field wrote to congratulate me for presenting accurate information on this topic, writing:

"I wanted to take the opportunity to contact you after recent review of your web article entitled “How To Avoid Lightning Damage To Computers and Other Electronic Equipment.” I found the information presented in the article to be both interesting and informative, and I also thought it rather refreshing to find a services provider that has taken the time and trouble to study and present a true accounting of lightning strike phenomenon and the ways in which lightning can damage sensitive electronic systems. As you are obviously well aware, there is much false information out there on the web, and I felt the need to congratulate you on getting it right. My guess is that your customers and clients feel the same.

"In your article, you correctly state: 'For years, I’ve been preaching in my books and newsletters about the importance of unplugging computers and other electronic equipment when a storm is approaching. The sad truth is that you cannot put all your faith in a surge protector.' This advice is elegant in its simplicity and absolutely accurate.

"I thought you might appreciate learning that there is a low-cost desktop product available that automatically performs this very function – electrically disconnecting all system power, coaxial cable and telephone lines when the system is turned off. That product is the Intelligent Line Disconnect® manufactured by ILD Technologies, LLC. Available in two different models, it provides the ultimate protection for home/office computers and home entertainment systems as well. This is the only commercially manufactured device that incorporates electrical isolation to literally “pull the plug” on lightning by simply switching your computer off.

"Again let me thank you for your excellent web article and encourage you to keep up the good work."

— Keith Brashear, Executive VP of Technical Services, ILD Technologies, LLC

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