When lightning strikes, nothing in its path is safe. A Mesa home was among several in the East Valley likely hit by lightning Tuesday night.
Every home nearby is at risk of the strike’s electric surge.
“When there’s a fault, it wants to find the easiest path to earth,” said Tom Petteruti.
Petteruti with Tap and Sons Electric said with lightning so common during our monsoon season, homes need protection to save appliances inside. That starts by having proper copper grounding and wiring, which older homes built before the 70s usually don’t have.
How do you know if your home is properly grounded? The outlet on your wall is a dead giveaway.
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As long as you have three prongs, you’re good to go, but if you only have two, that’s a problem.
But it goes further than that. Petteruti suggests buying a whole home surge protector that will absorb the electricity.
“If you just protect the whole electrical panel, it protects everything,” said Petteruti “This will attract it and say, ‘Hey this is the easiest path to earth,’ so it’s not going in the home.”
He said they only cost about $400 but electric companies in the Valley aren’t selling many at all because people can’t physically see the risk.
“How many are you guys selling? Are you seeing these flying off the shelf?” asked Arizona's Family reporter Briana Whitney.
“We’re not. And we try to educate customers on why they should have it,” said Petteruti.
He said they generally only install lightning rods on commercial buildings because many HOA’s don’t allow for rods on roofs, and with technology so advanced, the small whole house surge protectors can protect just the same.
But it’s something to invest in now because a lightning strike won’t wait for you.
If you are in an older home that only has a two-prong outlet, the proper wiring can be installed, but it will cost a pretty penny, somewhere between $6,000 to $10,000.
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