Schaedler Yesco

Cute or Catastrophic?


Cute or Catastrophic?

Sure they're cute to look at but don't be deceived by its little face and fluffy tail. We're talking about the squirrel—the more acceptable of the rodent family. In truth, these little guys have dangerous superpowers. They can darken a city, stop you from streaming your favorite shows, and cause severe damage through fire and electrocution. 

But why wires?  They can't taste very good.

According to Squirrels in the Attic, a nationwide service that helps with wildlife removal, squirrels, like many rodents, have a hard time controlling the length of their teeth and the speed at which the teeth grow. There are many disadvantages of having very long teeth in all animals. For example, chewing is very hard when an animal's teeth are too long, and since squirrels are primarily herbivorous, they need very strong teeth to feed on hard grains. For this reason, squirrels have to constantly chew on the metal wires to slow the rate of teeth growth and control the length of their teeth. This is why they chew through the rubber or plastic covering of the wires so that they can get to the hard wires themselves. It doesn't matter the age, nor does the behavior ever stop - both young and old squirrels need to chew on electrical wires to strengthen their teeth.     

So their oral care, while important to them, is a cause of lots of human problems.

A home in a suburban neighborhood started noticing flickering lights. It was different than the temporary surge from high electrical use. So the owner called the utility company. According to their tech, all was fine outside the home, so the owner called an electrician. The electrician reported no issues on the inside and suggested that the utility be called again. When the second tech came to inspect, he clearly saw the issue…right from the ground. Squirrels had chewed through all but one of the wires on the pole. Some little guy is running around that neighborhood with some strong chompers!

Unfortunately, the damage wasn't just to the utility pole and wires. A number of items in the home were literally fried, including the air conditioning unit, the garage door opener, an air compressor, a sound system, and more. 

But a critical piece of equipment survived—the homeowner's computer. It was saved because it was plugged into a high-quality surge protector.

The Surge Protector is the real hero.

Many of us look at surge protectors as just a big extension cord.  The reality is that it has a much more important job.  But don't be fooled. Even though they look similar, a surge protector is safer and more beneficial than your run-of-the-mill power strip. A power strip just adds extra outlet space. A surge protector defends against voltage spikes.  Read the packaging carefully to make sure you get the right product.

How does it work?

When a sudden increase in voltage occurs, such as from a lightning strike or damage to a power line, a surge protector detects the excess current and safely diverts it through the house's grounding path. It's similar to how if a watering hose has too much water, it's going to burst. If there's too much voltage, damage can be caused to anything plugged in. When a surge protector does its job, it takes the brunt of the surge instead of your electronics.

Types of surge protection

Protecting your belongings from power surges can be done in a couple of ways. The most common way is with a point-of-use protector, like described above. You simply plug the protector into the wall outlet and plug your appliances into the protector. But there are more encompassing options for whole-house protection. These solutions will require a professional and are installed either between the power lines in the street and your meter and/or between your meter and your breaker box.

For fast and easy protection, we recommend the APC SurgeArrest Surge Protector. This is the product that saved the homeowner's computer as well as a few other expensive electronics. 

Since controlling surges – and squirrels – is a bit of a challenge, do what you can control. Protect your belongings with surge protectors and inspect wires around your property often.

Find more safety products and solutions here or contact us at 1-800-998-1621. 

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