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Protecting electrical equipment

Your equipment is at risk

Lightning and voltage surges can cripple businesses in an instant. Without warning, electrical damage to state-of-the-art telephone systems, computer networks or expert diagnostic equipment can knock out a company's ability to communicate and transmit information.

That could shut down the business, leading to expensive repairs and costly business interuption.

Lightning storm

Understanding the problem

Damage from voltage surges usually can be avoided, but still accounts for millions of pounds in losses each year. What are voltage surges? Simply stated, they are disturbances in the normal pattern of a power system's supply voltage — those caused by circuit switching and those due to the environment.

Circuit switching surges happen when a sudden change to an electrical circuit occurs. That may be due to equipment use, changes in utility power supply or damaged power lines. An example of environmental surge is lightning.

Protecting your client's equipment

How can you protect your client's telecommunications systems, computers or other sensitive electronic equipment? The simplest means is the proper use of surge suppression devices and making sure all equipment is properly earthed.

In order to be effective, the earthing system must be continuous. And there should be only one earthing system. Never install a separate earth for computers or diagnostic systems — it creates a potentially life-threatening situation. Consult a professional engineer or licensed electrician if you suspect you have a separate earth.

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