Steps to Protect a Home’s Electronics – More and more homeowners are becoming aware of the need to protect their homes from lightning strikes. The number of homes struck by lightning has increased 5 to 8% and exceeds billions of dollars annually. Lightning can rip thru roofs, cause structural damage, ignite fires and cause chaos with electronic equipment. The most common damage mode is a lightning strike to the network power, phone and cable TV. It can go to all your connected equipment. The next most common mode of damage is when lightning strikes travel thru the ground connecting to the external wiring such as air conditioners, exterior lights, gate control systems and security systems – all of which will carry the lightning into the home. The third most common lightning damage is when it strikes nearby objects such as trees, flagpoles and signs. It can thus radiate a strong electromagnetic field which can be picked up by the wiring in the house. The fourth and last mode of damage is a direct lightning strike to the house.
The National Electric Code requires certain grounding, bonding and protection features intended to protect against lightning. They can greatly reduce personal injury, however they are somewhat inadequate to prevent damage to electrical and electronic equipment. A UFER ground rod has been a requirement for all homes since the late 1970s. It is installed prior to the concrete pour of the footers, and the ground wire is run to the rebar that is encased in the concrete footers. This is superior to the older ground rod installed in the earth, which is susceptible to electrolysis. A lightning rod is commonly not used since it is more expensive and only protects against direct hits. Enhanced protection against lightning includes installing a Lightning Protection System, surge protectors on the AC wiring, surge protections on the signal wiring and point-of-use protection on the equipment being used. The effectiveness of this protection system depends on the integrity of the building’s wiring. If you have any doubt or concerns that your home is properly protected and/or to verify if there is any sort of lightning protection device installed in your home an electrician can assist you with the effectiveness of your current system.
Jazz and Classical Bridge the Gap – The worlds of jazz and classical music are combining to bring in fresh arrangements of pop songs and adding a spin to some jazz standards. In New Zealand, The Rodger Fox Big Band will team up with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra to cover a handful of genres from classical thru to jazz, Latin and big band. The order of works will be decided spontaneously each night depending on the mood in the concert hall. It’s definitely going to keep you on the edge of your seat. This is a first for this ground-breaking concert series.
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