Surge Protection Equipment: A guide to selection and installation in historic buildings

Historic buildings take many shapes and forms and as many uses, from simple places of worship to highly serviced office buildings. Nearly all these buildings, however, contain some form of electronic equipment such as alarm systems, telephones, computers, fax machines, modems, CCTV, tills and in places of worship, electronic organs, lightning controls and sound reproduction systems.

The statistical evidence indicates that most of the claims against damage resulting from lightning strikes arise from the destruction of electronic components and printed circuit boards commonly found in the following modern building systems.

  • fire alarm control panels
  • security systems
  • telephone exchanges
  • sound system mixer units and microphones
  • lighting dimmer units and control panels

The benefits of effective transient overvoltage protection are the prevention of equipment damage, data loss or destruction; reduction in the loss of essential services and prevention of the associated fire, repair and electric shock hazards. Historic England and the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group would recommend that consideration be given to the installation of surge protection devices in all at risk historic buildings, including places of worship.


  • Introduction
  • What are surges?
  • Risk assessment
  • How to protect against surges
  • Selection of equipment
  • Installation
  • Maintenance
  • Glossary
  • Bibliography
  • Useful addresses
  • Acknowledgements

Additional Information

  • Series: Guidance
  • Publication Status: Completed
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