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4 Kilowatt F MARCH 2013 PLAY IT SAFE


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POWER SURGE


Choose the best surge protectors by educating yourself first.


ower surges are responsible for millions of dollars of property damage each year, and, over time, they can decrease the lifespan of TVs, computers, stereo equipment, and anything else plugged into a wall outlet. Being educated is the key to choosing the best surge protection for your home.


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How does a power surge cause damage?


First, what is a surge? “A surge is a boost in the electrical charge over a power line,” explains Dennis Krueger, general manager of Kiwash Electric. “This can be caused by lightning, but it’s more commonly caused by electrical devices such as air conditioners and refrigerators, that require a lot of energy to start and stop their compressors. Faulty wiring is another culprit.”


Frequent, small power surges tend to shorten the life of home appliances and electronics. “Power surges come in all shapes and sizes—the most extreme case being a lightning strike because it can destroy equipment and sometimes set your house on fire,” said Alan Shedd, director of residential and commercial energy programs for Touchstone Energy Cooperatives. “But less severe power surges can be caused by hundreds of different reasons.”


He explained the severity of a surge depends not only on the voltage and current involved but how long the event lasts. "Most surges are very short in duration. It’s important to realize that surges can happen through any connection on a device. If there's a wire connected to your equipment, then it provides a path for a surge,” Shedd said.


How can I protect my property?


A surge protection device mounted at your home’s main electrical panel or the base of your electric meter protects equipment inside your house from surges that could enter through an outside electric, telephone, and cable TV or satellite dish line.


Point-of-use surge protection devices do not suppress or arrest a surge, but divert it to ground. Shedd explained they are designed to protect sensitive electronic appliances, like a computer, and resemble a regular plug strip. "But don’t assume your plug strip offers surge protection unless it specifically says so," he adds." You can also install special electrical outlets that offer surge protection, which can be helpful in places like kitchen countertops.


“My computer is plugged into an uninterruptable power supply with surge protection,” Shedd notes. “We had a lightning strike, and a surge came in over the phone line. But the surge protector stopped it.”


One of the most effective ways to protect your property is a two-tiered approach. A service entrance surge protection device reduces power surges to a lower level that protects large appliances, such as your stove or clothes dryer, while point-of- use surge protectors defend your sensitive electronics.


To understand the many types of surge protectors available and choose the best one for your needs, Home Depot offers a helpful buying guide. Visit www.homedepot. com, click on "Buying Guides", then 'Electronics", the Surge Protection."


COMING UP in Kiwash Country


n MARCH 3-5


Kiowa County Junior Livestock Show Hobart, 580-726-2553


23-24 Clinton's Hub City Market Frisco Conference Center, Clinton 580-323-2222


28


Let's Talk About It: Lonesome Dove 7 pm, Hobart Publlic Library


28-31 Bi-Annual Easter Pageant, 7 pm Pine Acres Church, Weatherford


n APRIL


11-13 SWOSU Rodeo Don Mitchell Rodeo Arena Weatherford, OK 73096 580-774-3068


18-21 Apache Rattlesnake Festival Main Stree, Apache


n MAY


24-25 Clinton Route 66 Festival Downtown & McClain Rodgers Park Clinton, 580-323-2222


24-25 Cordell Roundup Club Open Rodeo Rodeo Grounds, Cordell, 580-832-3781


24-27 Celebration of Freedom, Hobart 580-726-5900


SUBMISSION DETAILS:


Kiwash Electric Cooperative promotes local festivals, rodeos, fairs and other events in our monthly newsletter, the Kilowatt. Calendar listings are free.


Please send details to: Lisa Willard, Kiwash Electric, PO Box 100, Cordell, OK 73632, or send e-mail to: lwillard@kiwash.coop. Please send event listings by the 10th of the month prior to publication.


If you have questions about submitting a event, or need to speak with a Kiwash representative about other matters, please call 888-832-3362, or visit www.kiwash.coop.


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