Which protection against power surges during storms?

Lightning and power surges during storms damaged my modem and phone this summer as well as my line which needed repairs. What can I do to avoid this?

The storms have been exceptional, so much so that parts of the Dordogne were without power for 50 hours.

Coupled with this, engineers who maintain the lines and the equipment in exchanges were overwhelmed, so repairs took longer than normal.

Those in rural areas were disproportionately hit as most lines to their properties are carried overhead on poles and falling trees break the lines (urban areas have most lines buried in ducts).

The advice is the same as for winter storms or when a property is left vacant for a long time.

Your telephone and broadband service is probably from one of a number of companies using the national network managed by Orange.

Maintenance of the network is by engineers appointed by Orange who repair faults in the order they are reported, so no company gains a particular advantage in this respect. Chan­ging companies in the middle of a fault may delay the repair as the original report will be re­moved and the process started again by the new firm. So, if you are unhappy with a service do not change until the fault is repaired.

Make sure none of the trees on your boundary can cause damage. You can also protect equipment in your home. The principle is to create a barrier between any equipment you have connected to the mains and telephone line from the external power source.

Similar to a multi-socket but with a protection circuit between the power going in and the equipment you plug into it, surge protectors provide a first line of defence.

However this will not necessarily be sufficient to protect from more powerful storms and surges. At such times it is preferable to unplug any devices that you are not using, including your telephone.

This will importantly include TVs that are connected to aerials or dishes which should also be unplugged.

Question answered by Bob Elliott from the telephone and broadband provider, UK Telecom. See uktelecom.net for more information on their services in France

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