A surge protection device (or surge suppressor or surge diverter) is an appliance or device designed to protect electrical devices from voltage spikes. A surge protector attempts to limit the voltage supplied to an electric device by either blocking or shorting to ground any unwanted voltages above a safe threshold.
Surges or transients are short duration increases in voltage measured between two or more conductors. These potentially harmful voltages can be induced into a building from a direct strike or from secondary effects of lightning which can reach up to 6000 Volts.
Overvoltage can arise from lightning activity or switching transients generated from within a building, although these effects tend to be of a lower magnitude.
As a general guide, all cables that enter or leave a building should be protected as these lines offer electricity pathways in.
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