When Thunder Roars…Go Indoors!!!
June 20th to June 26th is Lightning Safety Awareness Week.
Safe Shelters and Indoor Safety
A house or other substantial building offers the best protection from lightning. How the building conducts a lightning strike is important. On the outside, lightning can travel along the outer shell of the building and may follow metal gutters and downspouts to the ground. Inside, lightning can follow conductors such as electrical wiring, plumbing, and telephone lines.
Avoid unsafe shelters such as open shelters on athletic fields, golf courses, parks, roadside picnic areas, and school yards. A shelter that does not contain plumbing or wiring throughout, or some other mechanism for grounding from the roof to ground, is not safe.
Corded phone use is the leading cause of indoor lightning injuries in the United States. Lightning can travel long distances in both phone and electrical wires, especially in rural areas. Stay away from windows and doors as these can provide the path for a direct strike to enter a home. Basements are generally safe from lightning risks, but avoid contact with concrete walls which may contain metal reinforcing bars.
Remember to bring in pets as well. Dogs that are chained to trees or wire runners are not safe. Dog houses are also not safe.
Protecting your personal property should also be considered. Typical surge protectors will not protect electrical equipment from a lightning strike. To the extent possible, unplug appliances or electrical equipment from all conductors well before the storm threatens.
For additional information, please check out the NOAA webpage dedicated to lightning information and safety at: www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov