The rapid uptake of home theatre in Australian homes – 29% have one with a further 22% planning on buying in the next 12 months – has left many homes at risk of losing thousands of dollars of equipment due to a single power surge.

Most consumers do not realise that power spikes and surges can destroy or seriously damage all home theatre equipment plus computers (and data), refrigerators, dishwashers – in fact any electrical appliance.

The need for a power surge protection device is vital if consumers do not want to risk losing thousands of dollars plus countless data as the result of one large power surge (often during a thunderstorm) or numerous smaller spikes and brownouts (drops in supply noticeable when lights flicker and dim) that are sometimes daily occurrences with any mains power supply.

A surge protector is a device that sits between the power outlet and the electrical device and regulates the current by either blocking or shorting to ground any unsafe voltage, therefore reducing the risk of damage caused by power surges and spikes.

Better surge protectors block a power surge within a few nanoseconds and will withstand surges of more than 1000 joules, while combining surge/overload protection with power conditioning and noise filtering.

Noise is the smaller fluctuations in the electrical current that can be caused by other devices on the same power circuit or by large devices being used nearby. This noise can produce a fluttering television picture and gradually degrade and damage appliances over time.

Avico Electronics  have released a power surge protector specifically designed for the home theatre, called the Home Theatre 8.

Avico Home Theatre 8 power surge protector provides sockets for eight appliances to be used simultaneously plus dedicated sockets for cable television, telephone and television aerials.

The Home Theatre 8, in its sleek silver housing, has a high speed response time of less than two nanoseconds, will protect against a surge of up to a massive 1550 joules and has protection against EMI (Electromagnetic noise Interference) and RFI (Radio Frequency Interference).

The power surge protector also features a good warning system, whereby a series of three lights will show at a glance whether the system is working accurately, if it should be checked and if the internal home wiring is properly earthed.

Avico Electronics is keen to point out that, as with other metal oxide varistor (MOV) power surge protectors, the Home Theatre 8 will need replacing once it has been subjected to a major power surge or has been in service for some time and experienced numerous minor power fluctuations.

MOV surge protectors are known to provide the required protection against big surges, but do require replacing once hit. But it is an inexpensive alternative to losing thousands of dollars of electrical devices.

Avico Home Theatre 8 power surge protector, along with a complete range of audio visual and computer accessories, is available nationally from most electrical retailers, audio/visual outlets and department stores.