How to Protect Your Home Electrical Devices from a Power Surge in Vancouver

Image of multiple devices plugged into a power bar

A home electrical surge can happen at any time so it’s no surprise that it’s a major concern for homeowners. In Canada alone, there are about 24,000 house fires each year, many of which have been caused by a home electrical problem. The good news is that with the proper precautions, your home, family, and devices can be protected! While there are many ways you can prevent these power surges from happening, hiring a residential electrician to optimize your space and ensure safe electrical practices is top priority. Protecting your home and devices from a power surge can be difficult. However, with the help of our electrical contractors in Vancouver, you can rest assured your home is optimized, functioning, and above all else, safe.

What is a power surge and why do they happen?

A power surge is a sudden increase in the flow of electricity that can damage your home electronics and appliances. A home power surge occurs when too much voltage comes into your home through an electrical wire. This overload can break down appliance circuits, blow fuses, and cause surges that go on indefinitely. Additionally, when a device stops using power, this excess voltage may be redistributed to another appliance and cause significant damage. Some causes of a power surge include:

  • Lightning
  • Power grid failure
  • Overloaded electrical appliances
  • Bad wiring
  • Outdated electrical systems

The good news is there are ways you and your residential electrician in Vancouver can protect your home from power surges!

How can you protect your home from a power surge?

Firstly, you’ll want to look out for signs indicating an impending power surge. Oftentimes, flickering lights will occur before a power surge; so, if this happens, switch off your outlets to help protect your electronics just in case. While this is a good precautionary measure, this won’t fully protect your home and appliances. Why? Because damage to your devices is not typically caused by one massive surge but rather several minor surges that add up over time. Therefore, to properly protect your home, avoid reactive measures and opt for preventative ones instead. Here are 5 tips to protect your home, devices, and yourself from power surges:

1. Install a Whole-House Surge Protector

Installed near the main electrical panel, these devices protect your electronics by diverting any excess external fluctuations to the ground. These can be used with other surge protectors or on their own but should be installed by electrical contractors trained in these practices.

2. Use Surge Protector or Surge Suppressor Power Strips

When your home suffers from a power surge, it’s not just your house that pays the price. Your appliances and electronics are also at risk, however, using power strips with built-in surge protectors can prevent damage to your devices. With that said, not all power strips are equipped with this so make sure yours include this safety feature.

3. Surge Protectors with a Backup Battery

Incredibly handy during a power outage, these devices will provide backup power to any connected appliances. Rather than powering your devices directly, the power from your wall outlet charges the surge protector instead. Inadvertently charging your device while isolating it from the risk of a power surge.

4. Unplug Devices During a Storm

Lightning strikes are a major cause of home electrical surges. While surge protectors can prevent damage to your electronics during power fluctuations, they won’t protect them from direct lightning strikes. Therefore, if there’s a lightning storm brewing, unplug your electrical devices and appliances to keep them safe.

5. Inspect Your Wiring

When wires are damaged or exposed, they’re not equipped to handle the flow of current and offer little resistance. This could increase the likelihood of a surge occurring throughout your home electrical system. If your circuit breakers often trip, or you notice buzzing, vibrating, or burning coming from your outlets, you likely have faulty wiring. Call a residential electrician in Vancouver to inspect your wiring and avoid an impending hazard.

Looking for Electrical Contractors in Vancouver and Surrounding Cities?

At BPM Electric, we want to protect and optimize your home electrical year-round. Whether you want to equip your home in case of a power surge, replace faulty wiring, or install new lighting, our electrical contractors are up to the task. Reach out to our commercial and residential electricians in Vancouver, Surrey, Langley, and other nearby areas today!