No. of Recommendations: 2
"It will take a very large, like lightning bolt large, surge to "fry" entire circuit boards."

The effect of smaller events can be cumulative & degrade parts to the point of failure (likewise ESD effect). "Fry an entire circuit boards" isn't what usually happens (unlike in tv/movies where they want to make it dramatic) - you may not notice a pinhole sized IC body blowout or that a cap has out-gassed it's electrolyte. Leave the doctoring * related advice giving to the pros & best follow good health advise you're given.

"Amateurs that we are," <snip>

Not "we"...some of us are professionals who design & get products through compliance testing (hence offering help here on things known about vs wild guessing).

"Does it (electronic failure due to power surges) happen? Yes. Does it happen alot? No, your power in your home rarely jumps by more than a few volts, and almost never, past 169 volts"

You can't know that...it's quite situational & I'm betting you've not scoped your mains for fast transients (I have and no a DVM doesn't count). Devil is in the details so betting that you're right with such generalities, just because you read it somewhere or count on the average vs the anomalies, leads to problems. Smart advise & money is spent on surge protection for high dollar items and replacing that protection every few years as it does get consumed with use suppressing events....FWIW that's what we non amateurs do.
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