More storms across the Ozarks could mean more risks for your electronics

Published: May. 20, 2022 at 9:48 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - As more storms amp up, so does the risk of frying your electronics.

One Springfield family said they experienced this exact issue after Thursday night’s storms.

“I saw a light out my window, and then all of a sudden, there was this huge kaboom,” said Jackie Thomas.

Thomas and her husband heard storms overhead Thursday night but did not think much of it until those charges found their way inside.

”That’s what made me scream,” Thomas described. “Whenever I was lying there, I’m going, ‘Woah.’ Then all of a sudden the TV went out, and sparks just flew up from the back of the TV.”

She said the straightforward task of watching TV turned terrifying.

”I screamed bloody murder, and my ears, it felt like someone put a plug in them,” Thomas said. “You could barely hear.”

A few cable wires ripped apart, and other electronic devices took a hit. Thomas showed KY3 a few devices that had been blackened, melted, and burned by the sudden surge of electricity.

The family thinks lightning struck their home or pretty close. Thursday’s storm required them to get a new dish on their roof and some new wiring. Electricians say there are a few preventative measures you can take. It starts with ensuring your home is well-grounded.

”Grounding is real important,” said Mr. Electric CEO Nathanael Toms. “Because of a lightning strike, you want to run it all the way to the ground. If it hits, you want it to go to ground. If it’s not finding ground, it will blow up a lot of stuff.”

The Thomas family lost a few devices, including large TVs. A surge protector also got fried, but it saved a few devices. Electricians say the tool will not stop lightning but can help prevent a surge.

“By putting those in the secondary position, they will shunt that and soak that to ground in a nanosecond,” Toms said. “So you’re going to be further ahead than running, ‘lightning’s coming.’ “

Toms even suggests taking it one step further. You can get surge protectors for your breaker box.

”By putting it here, you’re stopping it before it hits the whole electrical grid,” he said. “If you’re going to invest in something to protect everything, this is the giant.”

Electricians say unplugging large electronic devices is also a safe alternative. Surge protectors are often a good tool because many electronic warranties do not cover this problem.

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