Why you need to switch out your surge protectors to protect your electronics

TAMPA, Fla. - You know the saying -- 'when thunder roars, go indoors' that's because lightning is around. But, even what's inside your home can be hit by lightning.

Geek Squad Tech Support with Best Buy tells us this summer they have had customers bring in broken televisions and computers because of lightning strikes - some of those even plugged into surge protectors -- meant to protect electronics during a spike in energy. 

Forrest Forcino, a Senior Counter Intelligence Agent tells ABC Action News you need to be checking your surge protectors because they don't last forever. 

"Maybe once every two years or so because those components as they do take those electric surges they are going to wear out," he said. 

He also added that a surge protector can only protect up to certain amounts of energy.

Forcino said lightning doesn't have to hit your home directly, but can strike nearby and travel inside your home through different ways like nearby power lines. Some signs your TV was struck by lightning: it won't turn on, smoking, the sound isn't clear. 

You also want to make sure you have invested in a reputable surge protector and don't confuse it with a power cord. A surge protector usually has some sort of breaker on it in case it needs to be reset from taking an extra boost of energy. 

Forcino tells us since surge protectors aren't guaranteed you should look into warranty packages when buying electronics. Home insurance policies can cover damages from lightning too but you'll want to see if your deductible is worth the price. 

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