Lightning typically damages electronics in one of two ways.
- The first is a direct lightning strike to the home, which is an infrequent occurrence. A direct lightning strike will cause significant damage to electrical and nonelectrical items in the home.
- The more common scenario is for a nearby lightning strike to enter the home through wires or pipes that extend outside the home. The energy from a nearby lightning strike can travel through communication wires (such as phone, internet, or cable wires), directly from a utility pole into the home’s electrical panel, or through conductive metal (such as plumbing or metal bars in the foundation)
Large appliances (such as a washer, dryer, range, refrigerator, well pump, water heater, etc.) are also vulnerable to surge and lightning damage. 9% of all lightning claims have shown damage to water heaters.