Friday, 6 December 2013

Cautionary true story

Cautionary true story
common surge protector
Used for refrigerators, etc


Just this last week, a friend of mine lost not only all of his belongings, but the house that he lived in as well.
There is a back story to this. When we moved into our house, we basically tore it down and rebuilt it.
The issue of electricity came up by accident. I have an IMAC which is covered in metal and glass. For whatever reason, I touched the casing and felt a strange sensation.
So I went and shut it down and disconnected it from the outlet. I got my test meter and found that the ground that we have taken for granted in Europe, USA, and Canada was not present.
That same day, we had a spike in the electrical supply and lost our little TV (we had been using until our container arrived); it went up in smoke.
So I went on the search for surge protectors and copper rod to ground off the neutral side on the breaker panel( this is not advised if you do not know what you are doing); with this in place it was a bit safer.
With the new construction, the whole electrical system was installed to IEE standards for single family homes, completely grounded; no more suicide showers.
This is where my friend comes in, not having this information and thinking that it would not happen to him.
He has his mother living with him. She is 85 and not in the best of health. The night before his loss, his mother took ill and was admitted to the hospital; otherwise, she would have been in the house.
The night that the fire destroyed his home, was caused by a dramatic drop in voltage being supplied by the local power company followed by a massive spike in line voltage. That caused not only his home to catch fire, but others on the same grid.
 The difference is that in my friend's home, he did not have  surge protectors, which would have saved his equipment and appliances from bursting into flames and consuming 100% of his property and all of its contents.
Other homes on the same block were limited in their loss to replacing their surge protection systems. 
This is a common cause of spikes 

So what I am saying is that for the small amount that a surge protector costs, it is quite possible that they are the cheapest insurance that you will ever buy. 

Even the best surge suppressor can't do its job if the house wiring isn't properly grounded; there has to be a single way for the diverted electricity to go. "Without a good ground, the current may follow another wire and end up inside your modem or fax machine," says Tom Plesich, director of business development at Innovative Technology, a maker of surge-suppression equipment. Also, avoid plugging surge-sensitive electronic devices into the same power strip with laser printers, air conditioners, or other appliances with large motor loads. These produce their own low-level power surges that will affect all the devices sharing the strip.
Before buying a plug-in unit, check that it does the following:

•Meets UL Standard 1449 (second edition)
•Has a clamping voltage — the amount that triggers the diversion of electricity to the ground — of 400 volts or less. The lower the number, the better the protection
•Absorbs at least 600 joules of energy
•Protects all three incoming lines: hot, neutral, and ground. Look for "L-N, L-G, N-G" (line to neutral, line to ground, neutral to ground) on the product's spec sheet
•Stops functioning when its circuits are damaged by a surge

Both whole-house and plug-in types can get zapped without your knowing it; look for indicator lights that signal when a unit no longer works. 



Traditional English Roast Turkey Lunch

Main Course: Roast Turkey, Baby New Potatoes, Mixed Vegetables, Pork & Onion Stuffing, Thyme Sauce. Dessert: Chocolate Torte with Ice Cream & Bailey´s Sauce $25 per person (taxes included)
WhenWed, 25 December, 12:30 – 14:30 
WhereBig Ralph´s Restaurant
Please note:
* Bookings only
* Limit of 30 people
* We take reservations 'til Dec 20
* 50% deposit required

Cinderella on at the Yacht Club

If you were here last year, the play "The Man of La Mancha" was on at the same venue, and the turnout by the number of expats living here was amazing. I wrote a blog on it then and made a video of the highlights.
That same group will be here again with yet another classic, "Cinderella".
One showing only, December 14th, @ 11am; ticket price $5.00.
Get there early, as the seating last year got a bit thin.
Tickets, Edith is not selling the tickets any more.  You can get them from Mary Freeman Cell # 0983364633.  She is in town for a couple of weeks.



This month 

December 1, 1640 - A nationalist revolution in Portugal led to independence from Spain as the Spanish garrisons were driven out of Portugal.
December 1, 1822 - Dom Pedro, founder of the Brazilian Empire, was crowned as the first emperor of Brazil.
December 1, 1918 - Iceland was granted independence by the Danish parliament.
December 1, 1919 - Lady Nancy Astor became the first woman in the British House of Commons.
December 1, 1925 - The Locarno Treaties were signed by France, Belgium and Germany, as a preventitive measure to avoid another war, in the aftermath of World War I. Terms of the Locarno Pact were guaranteed by Britain and Italy.
December 1, 1941 - The American Civil Air Patrol (CAP), a U.S. Air Force auxiliary, was founded as Director of Civilian Defense, former New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, signed the formal order. The CAP currently provides aerospace education, a CAP cadet program, and emergency services such as locating missing aircraft.
December 1, 1942 - The Beveridge Report was published in Britain envisioning the welfare state including insurance for the entire population.
December 1, 1955 - The birth of the modern American civil rights movement occurred as Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama, for refusing to give up her seat to a white man and move to the back section of a municipal bus. Her arrest resulted in a year-long boycott of the city bus system by African Americans and led to legal actions ending racial segregation on municipal buses throughout the South.
December 1, 1988 - Benazir Bhutto was nominated to become prime minister of Pakistan, the first woman to govern a Muslim nation.
December 1, 1989 - Mikhail Gorbachev became the first Soviet Russian leader to visit the Vatican and meet the Pope, thus ending 72 years of strict atheist policy in Communist Russia.
December 1, 1990 - England was connected to mainland Europe for the first time since the Ice Age as engineers digging a railway tunnel under the English Channel broke through the last rock layer.
December 1, 1994 - The head of the U.N. Commission on Rwanda estimated 500,000 deaths had resulted from genocide.