New research from online electronics retailer reichelt elekronik reveals a startling 47 per cent of UK adults don’t know if they are insured against damage caused by lightning. 26 per cent admitted to not being insured at all against overvoltage.
A single lightning bolt can cost more than £45,000 worth of damage (source: Direct Line). Younger generations could find themselves paying the high price as they have more electrical devices at risk of being damaged than ever before. 60 per cent of 18-24-year olds don’t know if they are insured and 15 per cent don’t have adequate insurance.
The study of 1,000 adults in the UK shows that external lightning arresters are the most popular form of protection against lightning strikes (82 per cent). Nearly half of Britons (47 per cent) pull the plug to protect appliances. Over 55s are most likely to do this compared to 18-24-year olds (66 per cent vs 20 per cent). This is advisable behaviour because televisions, home appliances and devices connected to the socket can be destroyed by lightning with a force of up to 1.2 billion watts.
The research also found that 63 per cent use lightning protection systems connected to their mains electricity. Experts strongly advise that homeowners install this so-called lightning protection potential equalisation as it consists of a connected internal metal installations, heavy current and telecommunication systems and other grounded parts.
Other means of protection such as surge protectors and surge arresters are less known to the public and therefore not used as widely. Only 17 per cent use surge protectors according to the research.
Ulf Timmermann, CEO, reichelt elektronik, says: “Surge arrestors and overvoltage protectors are available and much more affordable today. Home owners can pick up ethernet surge protectors for as little as £15. These small upfront costs can pay dividends in the long term – the price for not using protectors far outweighs any upfront costs.”
The British public are well aware of the structural home deficiencies: 33 per cent are planning to install a lightning arrester. This is the most common choice of protection method amongst all age groups.
But ignorance does not protect against lightning. Experts advise using special lightning protection sockets so the domestic network is also to be protected against overvoltages. Devices from specialist retailers offer additional guarantees for the connected devices against overvoltage damage as well as a data recovery guarantee.