5 Ways to Protect Against Lightning Strike

Author: Chris Laney

Depending on what region of the country you live in, the threat of being struck by lightning, and the chance of sustaining serious damage to your business and the technology that you depend on, will vary. If you’re in the southeastern part of the United States, lightning seems to be a regular occurrence. For other parts of the country, it may not be as frequent but still something to be aware of.  

This week is Lightning Safety Awareness Week and we believed it’s important to share some tips and tricks on how to protect your organization’s network if you’re to be struck by lightning. Keep in mind that no matter how many safeguards you put in place, mother nature may still get the best of you, but when you are proactive about protecting your network, you can dramatically reduce the probability of experience significant damage or downtime.

Before we provide the top ways to prevent a network meltdown, here are the top reasons why it’s important to have a plan in place to prevent disaster.

  • Data Loss!
    • We are dependent on data and losing it can put a company out of business!
  • Downtime!
    • Damage to computers, servers or other expensive equipment not only means replacing it, it also means productivity suffers while repairs or replacement is going on.
  • Connectivity!
    • Losing connectivity to your network and/or the internet can be serious especially if email, IP phones or other internet based communication is interrupted.

Any or all of these things could greatly affect your organization’s ability to function and can cause loss of revenue. That’s why combating the possibility of lightning strikes is essential. Please note that if you live in an older building, we recommend having an certified electrician evaluate your wiring. They can test cabling, wiring and outlets to confirm whether or not they are capable of handling the flow of power and data moving through your network.

Surge Protectors

The first and most cost-effective way of implementing protection of your equipment is to employ surge protectors for every outlet with electronics. The cost is relatively cheap depending on the type of surge protector you purchase and it could prevent huge disasters evolving equipment in your organization.

Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS)

A UPS is an electrical apparatus that provides emergency power to a load when the input power source or main power fails. A UPS will provide near-instantaneous protection from input power interruptions, by supplying energy stored in batteries. The on-battery runtime of most uninterruptible power sources is relatively short (only a few minutes) but sufficient to start a standby power source or properly shut down the protected equipment preventing the loss of unsaved data.

Backup Generators

Backup generators differ from a UPS in that they are designed for a longer run time (days and even weeks) and are powered via fuel rather than batteries.

Data Backup

A powerful lightning strike could cause significant damage and data loss if a surge protector is too small or if a UPS is old and the battery is worn out. A good backup is critical to the survival and growth of your business. MapleTronics offers TorQ41 which can backup onsite and in the Cloud. Other business continuity features include snapshots and failover in the event of a server problem. 

Cloud Services

Something to consider is whether your organization should host all of its data locally. Many businesses are moving to cloud services for email and file saving. If lightning strikes, then all of your files and email would still be available remotely from anywhere. For many organizations, this has been a better way to collaborate, save money, and provide security knowing your files are backed up.

Mother nature can destroy organizations but by considering these tips and tricks, you may be able to protect your business or at least have it backed up so you can get running without much downtime. For more questions or comments, feel free to reach out to us at [email protected].