There are about 5.6 million commercial buildings in the US, with a total of 87 billion square feet of floor space. Electricity is the primary energy source for lighting, refrigeration, ventilation, AC, and computing.

With the devastation caused by major storms like Hurricane Maria in 2017, it’s essential to evaluate critical infrastructure and identify situations where investing money will protect vital equipment – such as medical equipment, emergency lighting, data centers, or computer systems.

Any of these devices in an increased electrified and digital world will have vulnerabilities; and they’re driving a new necessity for capital asset management: surge protection.

Complex electronic circuits that control the measurement of power (or gas or water) consumption, as well as handle smart telecommunications and other functions, are all vulnerable to circuit threats like transients, electrostatic discharges, power quality disturbances, etc.

Surges or transients can damage, degrade or destroy the sensitive electronic equipment in offices or businesses.

Robust circuit-protection technologies are essential to protect new capital assets in today’s increasingly digitized world. Surge protection is a cost-effective solution to prevent downtime, improve the system and data reliability and elimination of equipment damage due to transients and surges for both power and signal lines. It is suitable for any facility or load (1000 volts and below).

The current edition of the National Electrical Code® requires SPDs in emergency systems, elevators, escalators, electric wind systems, and fire pump controllers. The only state to mandate SPD use in hospitals, nursing homes, and mental health program and education facilities in Florida.

Regardless of code requirements, building owners, contractors, and engineers should know that SPDs are no longer an accessory to the electrical system – they are a necessity. Surge protection must become an integral protective component when building out or retrofitting any commercial building.

NEMA recognizes this critical need, and we are dedicated to protecting our nation’s electrical infrastructure. Browse the NEMA Surge Protection Institute for all the information you need for whole home protection.