[continued from above]
For a home, then, do the following
1. Install a good grounding system. Typically, this means driving several 10 foot ground rods (no closer than 10 feet to each other) and bonding them together with bare #4 wire buried below grade. You also need to tie in your "other" grounds–such as your gas pipe, water pipe, CATV, and phone. But, how you do this is critical–these must tie into the system without being on its main path. Making a mistake here can be very costly. Thus, it’s economical to hire someone who knows the right way to do this rather than to guess at it and burn things up.
2. Assess for lightning protection. At http://www.harger.com , you can find a free tool for doing this [ http://www.harger.com/lightningprotection.htm ]. Most homes do not need lightning protection, but many do. If you are on top of a hill, assume you do. If lightning has struck anywhere on your property, get a system installed.
3. Install a whole-house surge protection unit. This blocks out the high-energy stuff your point of use UPS and other surge protection simply is not designed to handle. A two-stage system provides adequate protection. The point of use units are designed to work with a beefier unit at the service entrance. If it’s not there, your point of use unit will be able to handle only small surges that come from incidental sources.