The circuit breaker is a temperature-sensitive device and will break the circuit when it reaches a fixed temperature during prolonged energy use.  If you have too many devices plugged into a surge protector or power strip, the prolonged power draw will heat up the circuit and trip the breaker.  A powerful energy surge like a lightening strike is a very fast event, millionths of a second.  A circuit breaker reacts in thousands of a second, so the faster surge is past the circuit breaker before it can react.  This is why a lightening strike can get past your electrical panel circuit breakers and individual device circuit breakers to damage your sensitive electronics.


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