We are no stranger to thunder and lightning storms here in Virginia, but the harsh danger that lurks behind them is unknown to many of us.
Local U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 22,600 fires per year that were started by lightning (www.iii.org)
These fires can cause a lot of damage and can put the lives of your family in danger.
The use of lightning rods as well as the accompanying protection system are designed to protect a home or building from a direct strike of lightning, as well as a lightning-initiated fire. These systems work by intercepting the lightning strike and providing it with a conductive path for the harmful electrical discharge to flow through directly into the ground. For more information on lightning rods and lightning protection systems, you can visit https://www.weather.gov/safety/lightning-rods .
If your home is not equipped with a lightning-protection system, here are tips on how you can stay safe inside your home throughout a lightning storm provided by weather.gov.
- Stick to your cellular and cordless phones. Do not use any phones that are connected by a cord!
- Do not touch electrical equipment throughout the storm. This can include computers, TVs, or cords, however, you CAN use remote controls safely.
- Avoid plumbing as much as possible. Do not wash your hands, take a shower, or wash your dishes throughout the storm
- Do not lie on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls
- Protect your pets! Dog houses are not a safe shelter during there storms, and dogs that are chained to trees or on a metal runner are particularly vulnerable to lightning strikes
- Protect your property! Lightning will generate electric surges that can damage electronic equipment even from some distance from the actual strike. Typical surge protectors will not protect your equipment from a strike of lightning. Do not unplug equipment during a thunderstorm, for there is a risk you could be struck!