Keep Safe During Lightning Season

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 by under Life Safety, Personal Safety

As you gear up for the summer, sunscreen and lifeguards may be at the top of your safety list. 

But, did you know that summer is also the peak season for lightning in the U.S?

Lightning can cause serious injury and even death. In 2013, the U.S. saw 23 fatalities in 14 states. Luckily, these numbers are dropping year over year due to raised awareness.

In addition to the physical harm lightning can inflict, it can also be a menace to your home’s security. Learn how to protect yourself and your home with the below tips.

Outdoor Lightning Safety

Leisurely activities were responsible for the vast majority of fatal incidents. Victims were at the beach, fishing, swimming, playing a sport and/or exercising outdoors.

A little rain won’t hurt you; but when you hear thunder, it is time to take cover. Technologies exist to inform you of severe weather. Apps like WeatherBug, Lightning Finder and The Weather Channel keep you informed of current conditions and safe.

Furthermore, keep the 30-30-rule top of mind during lightning season. This rule says that if the time lapse between lightning strike and thunder is less than 30 seconds, seek shelter immediately. You should then wait 30 minutes before going back outside.

Indoor Lightning Safety

Just because you’ve taken shelter from the storm does not mean you’re completely out of the water. Some dangers are still present within the home during a lightning storm. As you take shelter, be sure to:

  • Stay away from windows and doors.
  • Avoid plumbing (washing hands, showering, doing the dishes, etc.).
  • Stop use of wired appliances.
  • Steer clear of concrete and other conductor surfaces.

Moreover, thunder and lightning storms can surge your home or leave you without power for a period of time.

Take preventative action by implementing surge protectors on all valuable appliances and installing a wireless security system with back-up batteries. (Note: The phone line is where the majority of surges hit the panel.) Wireless panels are more reliable in tough weather conditions and offer a more versatile security approach.

What other safety tips would you suggest during lightning season?

Image Source: Damitry Kalinin via Flickr

 

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