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Lightning Strikes

I don't need to say too much about these! Lightning can deliver a charge of millions of volts, and if your home is hit directly, significant damage will likely be the result. Good line protection equipment can often help reduce the chances of catastrophe should lightning strike, usually by being the "sacrificial lamb" and going up in smoke (which is OK--it's better than your PC doing that). But due to the sheer power involved in a direct hit, there is a good chance that even with protection your equipment may be damaged.

A direct hit with lightning is fairly rare, but there is another lightning-created risk that more commonly affects PCs. Due to the enormous amount of electricity involved in a storm, a strike near your PC--near meaning within several miles--can induce currents in metal objects. Any wire that comes in from the outside and attaches to your PC can become a conduit for a pulse of destructive energy. This includes the power cord of course, but also the telephone line. It's not likely that you'll have your home hit in the next year, but in many areas of the world, it's almost certain that you'll have a strike within a mile or two.

Next: Brownouts


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