Indy homeowners looking for lightning protection

GREENWOOD, Ind. - The lightning that lit up the sky during Wednesday night's storms may have been spectacular to view, but it is also being blamed for at least two major fires in the Indianapolis area.

One of those fires started in an apartment complex, leaving at least a dozen families homeless. The other left a Greenwood home a total loss.

Charlene Vennard is waiting to see how bad the lightning damage is to her home, which is currently for sale. And she's had another home that was struck by lightning in the past.

"Where I used to live, it blew out our box and it took out the air conditioner," Vennard said. "It's very scary."

Vennard said she's not waiting for a third strike. Instead, she had a lightning protection system installed on Thursday.

Electrician James Beavers installs the surge suppression system right into the electrical box.

"When it recognizes the extra surge in power, it sort of works like a vacuum cleaner in a sense," said Beaver, co-owner of Joe Schmo Electrical Service. "It sucks that power out through these wires and then pushes it through the grounding system and just sends it right out of the house.

Vennard says his company has installed many of the systems in recent years.

"We have a lot of people that have been asking for them, where maybe eight or 10 years ago they weren't," he said.

Vennard said taking this step in her new home will give her peace of mind every time another storm rolls through.

"You know, with all of the electronic equipment people buy now – and I have a smart TV, a laptop, everything's online – I want to protect all of that," Vennard said. "When I'm home I work from home, so it's important."

Surge protection systems like the one Vennard had installed run between $200 and $600. That includes installation and warranty.

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