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Power Surges and Damage to Electrical Equipment


Power surges may damage the electrical equipment in your home or business.

Electrical equipment is designed for specific voltages. Increases to the voltage resulting from a power surge may cause damage that creates electrical safety hazards. 

After a power surge, check your electronic devices and electrical safety equipment to be sure they work properly:

  • Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI): These devices protect you from electrical shock. They can be part of electrical outlets or circuit breakers (look for the “test” and “reset” buttons). They might also be built into electrical devices such as whirlpool tubs, hot tubs and heated floors.
  • Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCI): These devices protect your home from electrical fire. They are usually found in your electrical panel. Look for the “test” and “reset” buttons.
  • Smoke detectors, and/or carbon monoxide detectors:  These are hard-wired into your home’s electrical system.

You can't tell if your electronic devices have damage by a visual inspection alone. You need to find and use the “push to test” button (follow the manufacturer's instructions) to check if the devices still work. If not, replace these:

  • any GFCI and AFCI devices
  • smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

If you need someone to do electrical repairs in your home, by law you must hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor.