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Thunderstorm Preparation

Getting hit with Mother Nature's fireworks show this past weekend reminded me of the importance of surge protectors in the shop.

Getting hit with Mother Nature’s fireworks show this past weekend reminded me of the importance of surge protectors in the shop. No doubt you have surge protectors on your computer and your TVs, perhaps even on your sound system. But do you have them in your shop?


A few years ago we had a lightning strike come down the side of a tree outside our house. It blew a hosta plant right out of the ground, but didn’t kill the tree.


Various random acts of electrical mayhem also occurred throughout the house. In the shop, a charger for an underground fence blew right off the wall. Other devices, including a garage door opener, also suffered electrical problems.


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No problems were suffered by any of the three computers that were on at the time. In all three cases, they were on battery backup/surge protectors.


As I began the process of replacing blown parts, I was advised to get a small, plug-in surge protector for the garage door opener. It made sense, but why stop there?


We have a whole house surge protector in place to handle the mainline surges, but for random acts of electricity such as we experienced, individual surge protectors are a great idea.


With all the high-priced electrical tools and battery chargers now found in even a simple home shop, they are a really great idea.


Small, plug-in surge protectors are cheap and easy to find everywhere, from local hardware stores to the big box stores. I now have them on multiple outlets in the shop. No, they may not stop a direct lightning strike on the house from doing damage, but I am confident they will help with those near misses that can do plenty of damage on their own.


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