It is not absolutely necessary, but it is a good idea. Power surges are sudden and sharp changes in circuit voltage. They sometimes occur because of lightning storms, static electricity, and electric motors being turned on and off. Computers, microwave ovens, VCRs, and other modern household appliances are sensitive to power surges, and if exposed to them, can be damaged. Some surges can entirely wipe out the data on the hard drive of a computer. A surge protector senses and absorbs high-voltage surges before they can damage anything that is plugged into an electrical outlet. Surge protectors are inexpensive and will prevent damage to household appliances. Because most surge protectors can accommodate several plugs, they also solve a recurring problem found in many of today's living and work spaces: a lack of outlets.