How To Stay Safer in a Lightning Storm
Each year, firemen are called to thousands of lightning-started fires, many of those being in homes. A house fire started by a strike can be very dangerous. Flames occur at the point of contact, but because a bolt is pure electricity, it may also send an intense current along wiring or plumbing in the home causing additional fires, or causing electrical burns to those in the vicinity.
Five Tips for Staying Safer
Because lightning strikes randomly there is no way to predict a strike, but you can take steps to stay safer and learn what to do in case of a fire in your home.
1. Strikes can travel more than three miles from a storm cell – if you can hear thunder you are close enough for a strike - even up to 30 minutes after the last thunder is heard.
2. Your body can be an antenna, so stay indoors during a storm. Avoid metal sheds, barns or carports in favor of large, grounded structures. Do not sit on porches, near windows or in doorways.
3. If needed, get in a vehicle with hard top and sides. Never shelter under trees – that is the second leading cause of lightning fire casualties.
4. Avoid using computers or corded phones. Unplug the TV, computers, and major appliances to prevent electrical surge damage.
5. Wait to bathe, shower, or do laundry until the storm passes. Water can conduct electricity, so don’t do dishes or wash your hands during a thunderstorm.
In the event a person gets hit, it is critical to get help quickly, so call 911 immediately. If your home is struck and you suddenly find yourself in a house fire, avoid touching electrical and plumbing and get everyone out as quickly as possible. Get to safe shelter, then call for help.
Once things are under control, you may wish to call the local fire restoration technicians in Guthrie, OK, to help with lightning fire cleanup. They may be able to take the sting out of a difficult situation and help get your home back to normal.