When Lightning Strikes

by Jeremy Watkin

Woman hand holding the phone tablet touch computer gadget isolatA good part of our team is located in our Poway, California office, so thunder and lightning are not a concern. We’re too busy applying sunscreen and waiting for part of our state to fall into the ocean to worry about a little storm.

With that said, we’re seeing more calls where a customer contacts us after a major storm to let us know that their device, usually an Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA), is fried. Those little guys are usually fairly durable — my brother had one with a melted case that still worked. But one thing they are not immune to is a surge of electricity caused by a lightning strike.

As I began writing this post I was going to tell you to protect your electronics with a surge protector. While that’s a fantastic idea for regular electrical surges, research indicates that even the best surge protectors are no match for a nearby lightning strike. Dan Robinson from StormHighway.com advises that “the best and cheapest way to protect your stereo, television, computer, or any electronic appliance is to unplug all power, telephone (modem), and antenna connections during a thunderstorm.”

While you’re at it, don’t forget to unplug your Phone.com devices so they are safe while the storms rage on! In the meantime, I’m polishing up my post titled “101 Uses For Your Fried ATA.” I like to use mine as a doorstop.