I've had a Monster HTS 400 surge protector in service since 2006. I know that if it ever has taken a surge that it has the sacrificial type of protection and the protection is expended.
It is called electricity. That means if an electric current is incoming to a Monster, then at the exact same time, that same current is also outgoing into attached appliances. Much later, that protector parts fail (sacrifices) ... after damage has happened to things in that electrical path. Where is this sacrificial protection? It is the urban myth promoted to so many who even forget that basic electrical concept taught in elementary school science..
Even fuses have a voltage number. If a transient electrical current exceeds that voltage number, then a blown fuse continues to conduct current. A second reason why sacrificial protectors do not exist. It conducts that surge into attached appliances until that surge current finally stops. Only then does the disconnection exist.
MOVs must degrade. Degradation is the only failure mode that is acceptable. Catastrophic (sacrificial) failure is clearly stated as a violation of manufacturers specifications. But if that protector is grossly undersized, then a manufacture can promote outright lies (sacrificial protection) to the most naive consumers.
Why would they do that? View specification numbers. It has the same tiny protection also found in $10 protectors sold in Walmart. A $3 power strip, with five cent protector parts, is hyped by lies, advertising, myths, and hearsay into a $30 or $90 sale.
Monster has a long history of doing this. They sold speaker wire marked with the amp and speaker ends. Monster said connecting a speaker end wire to the amp would subvert sound. Many did just that and claimed they could hear a difference. It is called a scam. And it works because so many automatically believe what they are ordered to believe rather than think for themself.
So Monster sold that $7 speaker wire for $70. Monster's long history is to identify scams. And then sell an equivalent product for much higher profit. That Monster protector even sold in Radio Shack for $120.
Any honest person reads specification numbers. How many joules does it claim to absorb? Hundreds? Thousand? A surge that tiny is routinely converted to rock stable, low DC voltages by power supplies. That surge is converted to power safe to power semiconductors because that surgte is so tiny. A tiny surge destroys a sacrificial protector - to promote more sales.
More numbers. How often does a surge exist? Maybe once every seven or eleven years. Why would anyone say a protector must be replaced every two or five years? Those are profit centers. Marketing lies to naive consumers is that profitable.
Your concern is a surge that is hundreds of thousands of joules. No plug-i protector claims to protect from typically destructive surges. Meanwhile, the solution routinely used over 100 years ago does protect from those surge. And does not fail after many such surges over many decades. But that means learning well proven science and over 100 years of proven experience everywhere in the world. Most don't learn from facts and numbers. Most are routinely manipulated by soundbytes, advertising, hearsay, spin, lies, and emotion.
That failure light can only report a catastrophic type failure - a completely unacceptable one. It can never report degradation - the acceptable type of failure.
To avert house fire, a one amp thermal fuse would disconnect protector parts as fast as possible from the surge. And leave all appliances connected to the surge. No problem. The numbers were posted above. Electronics will routinely convert that surge into low DC voltages to safely power semiconductors. Protect itself. Meanwhile a naive consumer, using wild speculation, will claim, "My protector sacrificed itself to save my electronics." Total bull invented by wild speculation. And completely dismissed once one actually learns specification numbers. Or learns what all MOV manufacture state with numbers often on page one of the datasheet. Catastrophic failures happen when the protector is grossly undersized. That light will only report when a ;protector is grossly undersized - should not have existed - was a potential fire. Also called a scam.
Effective protection even from direct lightning strikes costs about $1 per protected appliance. It is the solution routinely used over 100 years ago in facilities that cannot have damage. It comes from other companies known by any guy for integrity. Monster clearly never was on the integrity list.
Effective protection always (as in always) answers this question. Where are hundreds of thousands of joules harmlessly 'absorbed'. The informed have asked and answered that question even 100 years ago. An effective solution costs that little - about $1 per protected appliance. If any one appliance needs protection, then every appliance must be protected.
It was always this simple. But first so many lies, hype, speculation, and scams must be exposed - above. Monster products will never answer that 'hundreds of thousands of joules' question. That would harm profits. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground. Obviously wall receptacle safety ground is not earth ground. Then hundreds of thousands of joules dissipate harmlessly outside. Best protection has always means no surge anywhere inside. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground.
Did I mention that a plug-in protector can even compromise (bypass) what is superior protection inside appliances? We engineers even demonstrated that in design reviews ... by literally tracing the surge path by actually replacing each damaged semiconductor. How many foolishly assumed price defines quality? How many ignored every specification number? Most apparently.