OUC joins Duke Energy, FPL in providing surge protection service

Summer lightning is a major concern in Central Florida, not only for your personal safety, but for the safety of your electronics as well.

Lightning can cause power surges that are carried through power lines and into your home, damaging pricey appliances and tech products.

[WEB EXTRA: More info on Central Florida power companies: Progress Energy | FPL | OUC ]

Most people already know a home surge protector power-strip can help protect TV sets and major appliances, but that may not be enough to keep your electronics safe.

The Orlando Utilities Commission just launched a program in April that adds an extra layer of protection to homes by installing a surge arrestor device at the meter to help stop power surges before they enter the home.

The OUC plan also comes with a home warranty, covering up to $5,000, to repair or replace appliances if a surge sneaks past the device.

"It's another layer," said Tim Trudell of OUC. "Sometimes your homeowners insurance doesn't process the claim, sometimes it's just not covered."

OUC joins other power companies like Florida Power and Light and Duke Energy in offering the surge device and protection service. Each program has its own fine print and varying costs, but the main point is the same: stop surges before they enter your home and give you some layer of financial assistance if they do.

"We've actually had it for about 30 years," said Travis Knous, a product and services manager with Duke Energy.

"Basically the way the device is arranged is to protect the appliances and internal components of your home," Knous said. "That would be the first protection, or level of protection. And the second level of protection would be the plug-in (surge protector) devices, which would help to protect more sensitive equipment, such as your television, DVD players, your network for your home, items like that."

Local 6 tagged along with a Duke Energy crew installing the device in Orlando on Tuesday. It took about 15 minutes.