Protect Yourself from Lightning Strikes – When you see lightning, take safety precautions. Safety precautions outdoors You can protect yourself from risk even if you are caught outdoors when lightning is close by.
If the weather forecast calls for thunderstorms, postpone your trip or activity. Remember: When thunder roars, go indoors, Find a safe, enclosed shelter. Safe shelters include homes, offices, shopping centers, and hard-top vehicles with the windows rolled up. If you are caught in an open area, act quickly to find adequate shelter. The most important action is to remove yourself from danger. Crouching or getting low to the ground can reduce your chances of being struck but does not remove you from danger. If you are caught outside with no safe shelter nearby, the following actions may reduce your risk:
Immediately get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges, or peaks. Never lie flat on the ground. Crouch down in a ball-like position with your head tucked and hands over your ears so that you are down low with minimal contact with the ground. Never shelter under an isolated tree. Never use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter. Immediately get out of and away from ponds, lakes, and other bodies of water. Stay away from objects that conduct electricity (such as barbed wire fences, power lines, or windmills).
If you are in a group during a thunderstorm, separate from each other. This will reduce the number of injuries if lightning strikes the ground. If you are out in the open water and a storm rolls in, return to shore immediately. Avoid open vehicles such as convertibles, motorcycles, and golf carts. Avoid open structures such as porches, gazebos, baseball dugouts, and sports arenas. These structures won’t protect you from lightning. Stay away from open spaces such as golf courses, parks, playgrounds, ponds, lakes, swimming pools, and beaches. Seek shelter immediately. Stay away from tall structures, such as telephone poles and trees; lightning tends to strike the tallest object around.
Safety precautions indoors Being indoors does not automatically protect you from lightning. In fact, about one-third of lightning-strike injuries occur indoors. Here are some tips to keep safe and reduce your risk of being struck by lightning while indoors.
Avoid contact with water during a thunderstorm. Do NOT bathe, shower, wash dishes, or have any other contact with water during a thunderstorm. Lightning can travel through plumbing. Avoid using electronic equipment of all types. Do NOT use anything connected to an electrical outlet, such as computers, laptops, game systems, washers, dryers, or stoves. Lightning can travel through electrical systems and radio and television reception systems. Avoid using corded phones. Corded phones are NOT safe to use during a thunderstorm. However, cordless or cellular phones are safe to use during a storm. Do NOT lie on concrete floors or lean on concrete walls during a thunderstorm. Lightning can travel through any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring.
Lightning strikes may be rare, but they still happen, and the risk of serious injury or death is severe. Take thunderstorms seriously. Learn and follow the above safety rules to keep yourself safe from lightning. : Lightning Safety
- 0.1 What is the 30 30 rule for lightning?
- 1 What not to do during lightning?
- 2 Can lightning strike inside house?
- 3 What are the chances of lightning hitting you?
- 4 Can lightning strike through a house?
- 5 Where does lightning strike the most?
- 6 Can you sit on the toilet while it’s lightning?
- 7 Is it safe to sit on the toilet during a lightning storm?
- 8 What is the lightning 3 second rule?
Where is the safest place in a house during lightning?
Lightning Safety In the United States, lightning routinely kills more people each year than tornadoes or hurricanes. Tornadoes, hail, and wind gusts get the most attention, but only lightning can strike outside the storm itself. Lightning is the first thunderstorm hazard to arrive and the last to leave. Lightning is one of the most capricious and unpredictable characteristics of a thunderstorm. Because of this, no one can guarantee an individual or group absolute protection from lightning. However, knowing and following proven lightning safety guidelines can greatly reduce the risk of injury or death.
|Where to Go The safest location during a thunderstorm is inside a large enclosed structure with plumbing and electrical wiring. These include shopping centers, schools, office buildings, and private residences. If lightning strikes the building, the plumbing and wiring will conduct the electricity more efficiently than a human body. If no buildings are available, then an enclosed metal vehicle such as an automobile, van, or school bus makes a decent alternative.||Where NOT to Go Not all types of buildings or vehicles are safe during thunderstorms. Buildings which are NOT SAFE (even if they are “grounded”) have exposed openings. These include beach shacks, metal sheds, picnic shelters/pavilions, carports, and baseball dugouts. Porches are dangerous as well. Convertible vehicles offer no safety from lightning, even if the top is “up”. Other vehicles which are NOT SAFE during lightning storms are those which have open cabs, such as golf carts, tractors, and construction equipment.|
|What To Do Once inside a sturdy building, stay away from electrical appliances and plumbing fixtures. As an added safety measure, stay in an interior room. If you are inside a vehicle, roll the windows up, and avoid contact with any conducting paths leading to the outside of the vehicle (e.g. radios, CB’s, ignition, etc.).||What NOT to Do Lightning can travel great distances through power lines, especially in rural areas. Do not use electrical appliances, ESPECIALLY corded telephones unless it is an emergency (cordless and cell phones are safe to use). Computers are also dangerous as they usually are connected to both phone and electrical cords. Do not take a shower or bath or use a hot tub.|
What is the 30 30 rule for lightning?
When You See Lightning, Count The Time Until You Hear Thunder. If That Is 30 Seconds Or Less, The Thunderstorm Is Close Enough To Be Dangerous – Seek Shelter (if you can’t see the lightning, just hearing the thunder is a good back-up rule). Wait 30 Minutes Or More After The Lightning Flash Before Leaving Shelter.
What not to do during lightning?
Indoor Lightning Safety –
Stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity. Avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths and faucets. Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches. Do not lie on concrete floors, and do not lean against concrete walls.
What is the best form of protection from lightning?
The best personal protection against lightning is to be alert to the presence of a hazard and then to take common-sense precautions, such as staying inside a house or building or inside an automobile, where one is surrounded by (but not in contact with) metal.
People are advised to stay away from outside doors and windows and not to be in contact with any electrical appliances, such as a telephone, or anything connected to the plumbing system. If caught outdoors, people are advised to avoid isolated trees or other objects that are preferred targets and to keep low so as to minimize both height and contact with the ground (that is, crouch but do not lie down).
Swimming pools are not safe during a lightning storm because water is a good conductor of electricity, and hence being in the pool effectively greatly multiplies the area of one’s “ground” contact. The frequency with which lightning will directly strike a building in a particular region can be estimated from the building’s size and the average number of strikes that occur in the region.
If a building is struck whenever a stepped leader comes within 10 metres (33 feet) of the exterior of the building, then a building that is 12 metres (39 feet) wide and 16 metres (52 feet) long (an area of 192 square metres, or about 2,000 square feet) will have an effective strike zone of 32 metres by 36 metres (an area of 1,152 square metres, or 12,400 square feet).
In a region where an average of three cloud-to-ground lightning strikes occur per square kilometre annually, such a building will experience an average of 0.0035 direct strike per year, or one strike about every 290 years (1,152 square metres × 3 flashes per square kilometre × 10 −6 metres per square kilometre).
In a region where there is an annual average of five strikes per square kilometre, the same building will experience an average of 0.0058 direct strike per year, or one strike about every 174 years. These calculations indicate that, for the second example, an average of one of every 174 buildings of similar size will be directly struck by lightning in that region each year.
Structures may be protected from lightning by either channeling the current along the outside of the building and into the ground or by shielding the building against damage from transient currents and voltages caused by a strike. Many buildings constrain the path of lightning currents and voltages through use of lightning rods, or air terminals, and conductors that route the current down into a grounding system.
- When a lightning leader comes near the building, the lightning rod initiates a discharge that travels upward and connects with it, thus controlling the point of attachment of lightning to the building.
- A lightning rod functions only when a lightning strike in the immediate vicinity is already immanent and so does not attract significantly more lighting to the building.
The down conductors and grounding system function to guide the current into the ground while minimizing damage to the structure. To minimize side-flashes, the grounding resistance should be kept as low as possible, and the geometry should be arranged so as to minimize surface breakdown.
- Overhead wires and grounded vertical cones may also be used to provide a cone-shaped area of lightning protection.
- Such systems are most efficient when their height is 30 metres (98 feet) or less.
- Protection of the contents of a structure can be enhanced by using lightning arresters to reduce any transient currents and voltages that might be caused by the discharge and that might propagate into the structure as traveling waves on any electric power or telephone wires exposed to the outside environment,
The most effective protection for complex structures is provided by topological shielding. This form of protection reduces amounts of voltage and power at each level of a system of successive nested shields. The partial metallic shields are isolated, and the inside surface of each is grounded to the outside surface of the next.
Should you shut your windows in a thunderstorm?
No, keep windows and doors shut during a thunderstorm. High winds, rain and hail can get in the house. Really high winds getting inside the house can even lift Yes, lightning can strike the inside of your home if you leave a window open.
Can lightning strike inside house?
What to Avoid – Lightning follows certain patterns that are easily predictable. You can protect yourself by becoming familiar with these patterns and avoiding surfaces that conduct lightning. Plumbing Lightning can travel through plumbing, so stay away from sinks, faucets, bathtubs and showers while a lightning storm is taking place.
Bodies of Water Never go swimming during a lightning storm. Water is not a very good conductor of electricity, so when lightning strikes water, the charge scatters across its surface. Stay away from your in-ground pool (or the lake if you’ve bought a Lake Las Vegas waterfront home ) during the next thunderstorm.
Landlines Landlines and phone lines are one of the leading causes of lightning strikes indoors. If you have a landline, stay off your phone during a thunderstorm. Windows and Doors Another way that lightning enters the home is through open windows and doors.
- Eep all windows and doors closed during electrical storms.
- Concrete Concrete often contains metal rebar or wire mesh, which makes it an excellent conductor of electricity.
- Concrete can be found many places indoors, including the slab on which your home is built (if you own a slab home) and your concrete foundation.
Electronic Equipment Lightning travels through wires. In the event that lightning strikes your electrical system, anything you own that is connected to your electrical system could be damaged or destroyed by the lightning strike. If you are touching or using that piece of electronic equipment when the lightning strike occurs, you too could be electrocuted.
What are the chances of lightning hitting you?
The odds that one will be struck by lightning in the U.S. during one’s lifetime are 1 in 15,300. On average, 270 people in the U.S. are struck per year, and only about 10 percent of that number die from the event. Around the world, approximately 2,000 people are struck by lightning every year.
Can lightning strike through a house?
Lightning Indoors Lightning Resources Safe shelters are buildings with electricity and plumbing or metal-topped vehicles with the windows closed. Picnic shelters, dugouts and small buildings without plumbing or electricity are not safe. Below are some key safety tips for you, your pets and your home.
Stay off corded phones. You can use cellular or cordless phones. Don’t touch electrical equipment such as computers, TVs, or cords. You can use remote controls safely. Avoid plumbing. Do not wash your hands, take a shower or wash dishes. Stay away from exterior windows and doors doors that might contain metal components leading from outside your home to the inside. Stay off balconies, porches and out of open garages or car ports. Do not lie on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls. Protect your pets: Dog houses are not safe shelters. Dogs that are chained to trees or on metal runners are particularly vulnerable to lightning strikes. Protect your property: Lightning generates electric surges that can damage electronic equipment some distance from the actual strike. Typical surge protectors will not protect equipment from a lightning strike. Do not unplug equipment during a thunderstorm as there is a risk you could be struck.
: Lightning Indoors
Can lightning strike through a window?
How Does Lightning Enter A Building? – The first question most people have when thinking about lightning safety indoors is how lightning gets into a building. There are three main ways lightning can enter your home or business. The first way is by a direct strike. That’s when a lightning bolt directly hits the building you’re in. Lightning can jump through windows, so keep your distance from them during storms! The second way lightning can enter a building is through pipes or wires. If the lightning strikes utility infrastructure, it can travel through those pipes or wires and enter your home that way. The third and final way we see lightning enters buildings is through the ground. Remember, you can always be struck from below.
Where does lightning strike the most?
3. The most lightning-struck location in the world – Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela is the place on Earth that receives the most lightning strikes. Massive thunderstorms occur on 140-160 nights per year with an average of 28 lightning strikes per minute lasting up to 10 hours at a time. That’s as many as 40,000 lightning strikes in one night!
Can you sit on the toilet while it’s lightning?
The old superstition that lightning can strike you standing in the shower is true, but that’s not the worst of it, says NOAA lightning expert John Jensenius. Lightning can also hit you on the toilet, he says. “There have been documented incidents of people injured on toilets,” Jensenius told McClatchy.
- It (lightning) went through the pipes and through the water.
- If lightning strikes your home, it often finds its way into the plumbing.” This matters now in the Carolinas because August is a peak month for lightning strikes and both states rank high nationally for the number of strikes per square mile, he says.
North Carolina averages 426,000 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes a year or nine per square mile, he says. South Carolina averages 360,000 strikes a year, or about 12 strikes per mile, he says. While most lightning strikes occur outdoors, Jensenius says, “all recent indoor lightning incidents in substantial buildings with wiring and plumbing have led to injuries.” That’s because lightning is easily conducted for “long distances in wires or other metal surfaces,” including pipes, says the National Weather Service.
Anyone in contact with anything connected to metal wires, plumbing or metal surfaces that extend outside is at risk,” NOAA says. “This includes anything that plugs into an electrical outlet, water faucets and showers, corded phones, and windows and doors.” And even if the pipes are non-metal, the current can travel through the water, Jensenius says.
As for people who take shelter in a bathtub or shower during a bad storm, you can be struck by lightning even without the water running, he says. A 2009 meteorological study by researcher Ronald L. Holle about indoor lightning injuries revealed people had been hit in the shower, on the toilet, using the sink and while operating a washing machine.
Is it safe to sit on the toilet during a lightning storm?
The lightning-pee connection Hey Matt: On a recent Sunday morning, a thunderstorm woke me up. I thought I would go peepee and return to bed. Once in the bathroom, it occurred to me that I once read you shouldn’t use faucets during thunder storms. I assumed the electricity probably couldn’t travel through porcelain, but who knows.
It would be a horrible way to die. Although kind of cool in a way, to be found dead next to the toilet, like Elvis Presley. I have to assume if this was dangerous, we would’ve heard about it by now. – L.Vess, San Diego Our thunderstorm two weeks ago blew a hole in the wall of a friend’s house and fried their electrical wiring and appliances.
What luck! I figured, just call ’em up and see what happened in the bathroom. Unfortunately, nobody was peeing at the time. But I’ll assume you Alicelanders were taking notes when Mythbusters did their death-by-urination experiments on the Discovery Channel.
- Very hard, perhaps impossible, to kill yourself by peeing on high-voltage things.
- A toilet is probably as safe a place as any in a lightning storm, if you’re not touching metal.
- Porcelain is a great insulator.
- In a lightning storm, don’t stand in the shower clutching onto the shower head.
- Don’t sit in a bathtub while in contact with the metal drain cap or faucet.
If you have metal plumbing instead of PVC, lightning can follow the pipes through your walls and give you a good (perhaps fatal) jolt. Don’t talk on a land-based phone; use your cell phone, which has no wiring for the current to follow. But according to NOAA and the National Severe Storms Lab in very stormy Oklahoma, lightning-strike deaths are generally misunderstood anyway.
Finally, somebody’s come to the rescue of beleaguered trailer park residents. Every year in the U.S., more people die in lightning storms (67 in 2003) than die in tornadoes (64). Most of the people “struck” by lightning are actually affected by the voltage differential that surrounds a direct lightning strike.
Even if the bolt doesn’t hit your bod, you can be injured or killed in the disrupted electrical field created around the strike point, which cause a sort of flashover to adjacent things (like you). And even if you’re hit by a bolt, you have a 75 or 80 percent chance of surviving, since the current tends to go around your body on your skin, not through it, though it can cause heart, nerve, and neurological damage.
What to do if lightning strikes your house?
Within the past few weeks, a series of storms have barraged Louisiana several times and some residents have been impacted by lightning strikes. On Tuesday night, residents of a home in Prairieville found themselves fleeing for their lives after their house caught fire from what was believed to be a lightning strike,
Thanks to their quick action, the residents were able to escape safely. This may lead some to wonder what can be done to prevent a lightning strike and what they should do if lightning hits their home. Experts say when lightning strikes a home it’s often followed a very loud, powerful boom that could shake your entire house.
Fortunately, most homes are built to withstand lightning strikes without succumbing to major damage. This is the purpose of lightning rods; lightning wants to get from the cloud to the ground as quickly as possible, and lightning rods facilitate that journey, providing the fastest route.
- While staying inside your home, away from doors and windows, is the safest place to be during a storm, it’s also a good idea to be aware of possible power surges and fire.
- Power surges may occur because when lightning strikes a house, the electricity often surges through a home’s wiring or plumbing system, searching for the quickest possible route to the ground.
So, make sure to unplug any electronics (especially valuable ones like TVs or computers), or they could be destroyed. It’s also key to avoid running water during a lightning storm. The reason for this is that you could get electrocuted if you’re touching or standing near water (or any electronics) that are plugged into walls.
- Fire is also a concern.
- Some experts say the most common place for a fire to ignite is in the attic, when a lighting bolt comes through the roof or top of the house.
- However, the heat from the electricity of a lightning bolt that runs through the walls inside your plumbing or wiring could start a fire as well.
You may notice it immediately, or it may burn slowly inside the walls without your realizing it for some time. If your home is struck, it may help to follow these six suggestions: -First, make sure everyone is okay. If you see fire or smell smoke, evacuate your home immediately.
- Call 911, and tell them your home was struck by lightning.
- Do this regardless of whether or not you detect a fire hazard.
- The fire department will come out to your property and assess the area for damage, including using thermal imaging cameras to search inside walls for heat that could or already has started a fire.
-Once your home is assessed and found to be safe, you will be able to return inside. -Call your insurance company and explain what has happened. -Call a trustworthy electrician to come out and inspect your home wiring. Additional information on lightning and how to avoid the dangers it can pose are available at The National Weather Service ‘s website.
Where is the safest place to be in a lightning storm?
Lightning striking a power line. Notice it DID NOT strike the towers even though they are taller than the position where lightning struck. Lightning is one of the MOST UNDERRATED weather hazards. It makes every single thunderstorm a potential killer, whether the storm produces one single bolt or one thousand bolts.
Each year in the United States, lightning kills 20-30 people on average and injures 100s more. Tornadoes, hail, and wind gusts get the most attention, but only lightning can strike outside the storm itself. It is the first thunderstorm hazard to arrive and the last to leave. Because lightning is one of the most capricious and unpredictable characteristics of a thunderstorm, no one can guarantee an individual or group absolute protection from it.
However, knowing and following proven lightning safety guidelines can greatly reduce the risk of injury or death. Remember, YOU are ultimately responsible for your personal safety and should take appropriate action when threatened by lightning. Where to Go The safest location during a thunderstorm is inside a large enclosed structure with plumbing and electrical wiring.
These include shopping centers, schools, office buildings, and private residences. If lightning strikes the building, the plumbing and wiring will conduct the electricity more efficiently than a human body. If no buildings are available, then an enclosed metal vehicle such as an automobile, van, or school bus makes a decent alternative.
Where NOT to Go Not all types of buildings or vehicles are safe during thunderstorms. Buildings which are NOT SAFE (even if they are “grounded”) have exposed openings. These include beach shacks, metal sheds, picnic shelters/pavilions, carports, and baseball dugouts.
- Porches are dangerous as well.
- Convertible vehicles offer no safety from lightning, even if the top is “up”.
- Other vehicles which are NOT SAFE during lightning storms are those which have open cabs, such as golf carts, tractors, and construction equipment.
- What to Do Once inside a sturdy building, stay away from electrical appliances and plumbing fixtures.
As an added safety measure, stay in an interior room. If you are inside a vehicle, roll the windows up and avoid contact with any conducting paths leading to the outside of the vehicle (e.g. radios, CB’s, ignition, etc.). What NOT to Do Lightning can travel great distances through power lines, especially in rural areas.
How often does lightning strike a house?
About 1 in 200 houses are struck by lightning every year. Various factors can affect your level of risk, including whether there are higher structures nearby (metal light poles can have a protective effect), the local climate, etc. In areas such as Las Vegas where afternoon thunderstorms are common, the risk is obviously a little higher than in calmer skies.
What is the safest way to protect yourself from lightning __________?
Squat low on ground is safest way to protect yourself from lightning as lighting usually discharges through tall structures on the ground.
What is the lightning 3 second rule?
How far away is a thunderstorm? – When you are out in the great outdoors and have no internet access, you can calculate the distance of a storm using the simple 3-second rule : Just count the seconds between when you see the lightning strike and when you hear the thunder clap and divide this number by three.
This gives you a rough idea of how many kilometres away the thunderstorm is. If you wait a few minutes and do this calculation again, you can check whether the storm is coming closer or moving away from you. The idea behind this is that the sound travels one kilometre in around three seconds. This means that you can do the calculation quite easily by using this simple formula.
There are times when you can see the lightning strikes on the horizon, but there is no sound of thunder. This is a sure sign that you don’t need to worry about the storm yet. But how far away is thunder when you can actually hear it? Sound waves are partially absorbed by the atmosphere.
What are the 3 types of lightning strikes?
Cloud to Cloud: Lightning that occurs between two or more separate clouds. Cloud to Ground: Lightning that occurs between the cloud and the ground. Cloud to Air: Lightning that occurs when the air around a positively charged cloud top reaches out to the negatively charged air around it.
What is the safest way to protect yourself from lightning __________?
Squat low on ground is safest way to protect yourself from lightning as lighting usually discharges through tall structures on the ground.