Illuminating: Lightning Safety
Did you know lightning strikes occur in the United States about 25 million times each year?
That statistic is according to the National Weather Service, or NWS, and is especially important to think about this time of year. According to the NWS, lightning is more likely to strike during the summer months, although it can happen any time of year.
The NWS says about 47 people, on average, are killed by lightning strikes, with hundreds more being injured.
Fortunately, there are ways to keep yourself safe.
If you’re able, the first piece of advice is to find shelter, preferably inside your own home.
If you are at home, the National Weather Service has several tips to stay safe:
- Stay off corded phones (you CAN use cell phones).
- Avoid plumbing: do not take a shower or wash your hands.
- Stay away from windows and doors.
- Do not lie on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls.
- Bring your pets inside.
- Remember that typical surge protectors will NOT protect against surges caused by lightning strikes.
If you are unable to get to shelter, the NWS advises you take these steps:
- Avoid open fields and hilltops.
- Stay away from tall, isolated trees or objects
- Stay away from water.
- Try to get into a low-lying area or keep heading toward shelter.
- If you’re in a group, spread out to avoid a strike hitting multiple people.
Lightning is hotter than the surface of the sun, reaching temperatures of around 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
And that hot, hot heat CAN cause fires. About 24,600 fires are caused by lightning in the United States each year, according to the NWS. Of those, about 4,400 are house fires.
In our line of work at SERVPRO of West Brown County we know just how much damage house fires can do. They can be devastating for families.
It’s unfortunate we know the damage, but luckily, we also know how to fix a lot of that damage. Our crews have the knowledge and experience to help you recover if the unthinkable happens. Just give us a call at 920-434-8224.
And always remember, despite the old saying, lightning can and often DOES strike the same place twice.