Watch out for bad or inconsistent power. Integrated circuits, microprocessors, and hard drives are making A/V gear more computer-like every day, and such devices prefer a steady diet of clean power. And just as damaging as overvoltages - surges - are under-voltages. Line conditioners and voltage regulators clean up "dirty" power and ensure your gear receives a nice, steady flow of 120 volts AC.
Worse than bad power is no power. Components hate it when the electricity suddenly stops. The bulb in your DLP, LCoS, or LCD rear-projection TV, for instance, dies a little more each time the juice (and therefore the fan) stops before it's had a chance to cool down. To make sure the electrons keep flowing, install a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) as a battery backup. This will give you enough time to shut down your gear properly - but not to finish watching Peter Jackson's King Kong.
While it's not quite as certain as death and taxes, hard drives will fail eventually. When that happens, you can say "Adios!" to everything you've stored on the drive - unless you've backed it up. Many music servers make it easy to back up to external storage devices, and memory is cheap. Other systems, like the Kaleidescape video server, feature multiple hard drives and won't lose a single byte of data if one drive fails. For fail-safe backup, store your data off-site, if possible.
If flooding is a worry, keep your gear as high off the ground as you can - for instance, by installing shelves in a closet. As for earthquakes, there's not much you can do short of securing the components and not placing anything above them that could come crashing down.
If theft is your concern, the security industry has gadgets that would make James Bond jealous. A generator will keep the surveillance system running when power is lost, and a dedicated cellphone is more reliable (and less easily defeated) than a land line. Many hard-disk servers now offer network connectivity so you can view your security cameras remotely. Or they can be set to send you an e-mail alert if motion is detected in certain areas.
Finally, see if your homeowner's policy needs any special underwriting on your system - all components are not created equal. See what's covered and whether it will be replaced or prorated. Make sure the system is well-documented with model numbers, serial numbers, purchase dates, a connection diagram, and the like. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. A little time and a few hundred dollars now might save you days of grief and thousands of dollars later.
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