Surge protection must be taken seriously by everyone with something to lose. This can be as simple as making sure that the $1,000 computer that you just bought is plugged into a protective device of some sort, to making sure that millions of dollars’ worth of equipment won’t be destroyed in an instant by a lightning strike. Many people are unaware that there are power surges every day, and while these fluctuations may not be enough to actually pop the breakers in your home, they are not good for the overall performance of your electronic devices. The same is true for industrial facilities, only in far larger proportions. The flow of electricity must remain within a stable range in order to not damage circuitry inside of data processors, and that range allows for ongoing degradation of performance over time. This will cause the life span of the equipment to be shortened by simple variations in current, and completely ended by a large scale power surge. Power surges can happen for a number of reasons ranging from simple switching errors that occur when components are powered up or powered down, to massive surges in electrical flow that follow a lightning strike. All must be protected against if you are going to get the most from your circuit-driven equipment.
Most people do not use any form of lightning protection specifically in their homes, relying instead on small versions of surge protection devices like power strips or battery backups. The level of these devices is generally determined by the cost of the equipment that is being protected, with few people investing more than a few hundred dollars into residential surge protection. They rely upon the surge strips that are easily purchased at local retail stores in combination with their home breaker systems. Even residential users can benefit from the highest level of surge protection that is affordable, and as smart home systems become more evolved, so should the levels of protection increase.
Industrial facilities must rely upon higher levels of protection due to three factors, first and foremost being the fact that they are more likely to be struck by lightning than a typical residence. Industrial facilities are remote and are usually the tallest structures in an area, making them prime targets for lighting. Because you can expect to be struck more often, you must take surge protection and lightning protection more seriously. Industrial facilities also bear the burden of having far more expensive equipment than most residences, that equipment usually being positioned in harm’s way. Lastly, industrial facilities are generally in charge of producing services or products that customers rely upon, making their uptimes more critical than most home systems. When you rely upon being functional in order to make money, you must employ protection devices that minimize the reset time. This means that even if the devices protect against the surge, they must also provide the quickest resetting times available in order to improve business functionality. While industrial and residential surge protection is essentially the same in the way it functions, it can be very different in its importance.