A surge protector (or spike suppressor, surge suppressor, surge diverter, surge protection device (SPD) or transient voltage surge suppressor (TVSS) is an appliance or device intended to protect electrical devices from voltage spikes in alternating current (AC) circuits. A voltage spike is a transient event, typically lasting 1 to 30 microseconds, that may reach over 1,000 volts. Lightning that hits a power line can give a spike of over 100,000 volts and can burn through wiring insulation and cause fires, but even modest spikes can destroy a wide variety of electronic devices, computers, battery chargers, modems and TVs etc, that happen to be plugged in at the time. Typically the surge device will trigger at a set voltage, around 3 to 4 times the mains voltage, and divert the current to earth. Some devices may absorb the spike and release it as heat. They are generally rated according to the amount of energy in joules they can absorb.