Surge suppressor on split bus panel

Any electrical gurus out there that can enlighten me on the use of the whole house surge suppressor on a split bus panel? Does it matter if the suppressor is on the mains and is not switchable?

I know the panel needs to be shut off in 6 or fewer motions. I see one double breaker with a missing handle tie but one leg not in use so I’m seeing that this panel can be switched off in 5 motions.

I usually feel more confident with panels but this one has me a little perplexed. Also having a hard time unraveling the mass of wires at the ground bar.

I put some other pics for those that like to analyze panels for kicks.

Not sure why the photos are improperly rotated. Any help with that would be great too!

Any insight is appreciated.

Most of the consumer grade digital cameras produced in the past couple of years use virtual portrait mode, not true portrait mode. They cannot (or will not) agree on the EXIF codes for portrait mode.

I don’t understand the “is on the mains” part of your question but the suppressor does not need to be switched.

Also, that does not look like a split bus panel to me but it might be. I cannot see enough in the pictures to know.

I believe the OP was asking if the protection needed to be above the smaller branch circuit portion of a split buss panel or could be below the split.