|Hmm - we do have a lightning-conductor in on our roof, but I suppose that will not be safe enough for electronics.|
It is known that lightening will always strike the object that stands out and that is why trees get wacked all the time in residential areas but rarely in the wooded areas.Why ? Because the "lone " tree stood out and made itself a target.
This is also why golfers on a golf course get whacked way more than any other humans,being in a boat during a thunderstorm is unsafe (higher than the water surface),baseball pitchers on the mound get zapped a lot (highest lone object) and why both Victorian houses (biggest damn house on the street ) and large lone trees get lightening rods installed.
What these rods try to do,and very well actually,is to be the tallest point which should take the hit and not the house/tree.This rod has a seriously heavy guage conductive cable that runs from this rod,down the house or tree and finally into a grounding rod inserted deep into the earth.This "Earth Ground" dissapates the power of the lightening strike into the earth thus saving the tree or house from any damage.
When I was a youngster doing tree work I installed a few of these puppies and is the only reason I know about them.My habit of asking "why dude,please explain the why " which pisses of some employers but needs to be asked anyway just to satisfy my curiosity combined with my NEED to know
Modern houses no longer use this method since it was found just grounding the entire house in a subdivision where every house is a clone of all the others on the street means a single one will not be a lightening aphrodesiac by standing out.At every home where the power service enters you will find the system/house ground strap which then goes to a rod buried below the frostline (frozen ground does not conduct and dissapate as well as natural dirt does) and is the central "star ground" point for every single grounded outlet in your house.
Without this connection your three phase AC plugs would be useless because that "third" connection,the ground lug would be floating and doing absolutely nothing.
The surge suppressor is not and never was meant to take a full on strike from lightening (nothing in your home could !) but because it is already done at the house ground level is more of a "bounce" protector that catches the pulse that can eminate from the original earth ground circuit trying to do its job.It is more overflow than it is direct so even though it can be at a high surge potential can be dealt with by using devices that at best are a "one shot" stop gap that can handle surges in the K-Volt range but would be toast,as would everytying else plugged in,if the house was not grounded and you took a direct hit.