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
- 1 What are the hazards of lightning?
- 2 What is the first rule of lightning safety?
- 3 Can lightning strike through a roof?
- 4 Should you turn off lights during thunderstorm?
- 5 What is the lightning 5 second rule?
- 6 Can you leave windows open in lightning?
- 7 Can you shower during a lightning?
- 8 How do you prevent lightning strikes on a building?
What are three safety precautions during lightning and thunderstorms?
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 are the hazards of lightning?
When we think of how lightning can hurt us, we often think of a direct strike injuring or killing a person. However, a direct hit from lightning is responsible for only a small percentage of lightning-related injuries compared to other causes. Lightning injuries are also be caused by:
ground current side flash contact (with an object struck by lightning) upward leaders direct strike blunt trauma
Fig.1 – This chart shows the six ways a lightning strike can kill or injure a person.
|Cause of lightning injury||Percentage of total lightning injuries|
|Blunt trauma||unknown percentage|
Here’s how it works: a lightning strike heading for the ground typically hits an object, like a tree or a tall pole. Then the current disperses through the ground until it dissipates. Research shows that a lightning strike that makes contact with the ground can travel up to 10 metres.
What is the first rule of lightning safety?
Follow these safety rules: Immediately move to safe shelter : a substantial building with electricity or plumbing or an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with windows up. Stay in safe shelter at least 30 minutes after the last sound of thunder. Stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment.
Why wait 30 minutes after lightning?
When should activities be resumed? – Because electrical charges can linger in clouds after a thunderstorm has seemingly passed, experts agree that people should wait at least 30 minutes after the last thunder before resuming outdoor activities.
Can lightning strike through a roof?
Lightning Strikes Cause Roof and Home Damage – Regardless of its path, lightning is damaging to every surface of the house it touches. This especially goes for your roof. A direct bolt of lightning to the roof can cause severe damage to the structure. Not only can it puncture the shingles, but it can also tear through the entire roofing system and even destroy the attic.
- If your roof gets struck by a more powerful bolt, it can come apart almost entirely.
- Shingles and gutters can be completely torn, and the surrounding materials heavily damaged.
- What’s more concerning is that a direct hit that also catches the wiring in your house can cause an electrical fire on your roof or in your attic.
Although your roof bears the brunt of the damage, the shockwave of the lightning impact can cause damage to your entire house. This wave can sometimes be powerful enough to dislodge even chimney bricks. Falling bricks and other materials from your roof can extend the destruction to the vents, pipes, and other household components.
Should you turn off lights during thunderstorm?
Unplug appliances. Avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. If lightning strikes, telephone lines and metal pipes can conduct electricity. Leaving electric lights on, however, does not increase the chances of your home being struck by lightning.
What are the 3 effects of lightning?
Visual effects (flash): caused by the Townsend avalanche mechanism. acoustic effects: caused by the propagation of a shock wave (rise in pressure) originating in the discharge path; this effect is perceptible up to a range of around 10 km. thermal effect: heat generated by the Joule effect in the ionised channel.
What is the lightning 5 second rule?
Understanding Lightning: Thunder Thunder is the sound caused by a nearby flash of lightning and can be heard for a distance of only about 10 miles from the lightning strike. The sound of thunder should serve as a warning to anyone outside that they are within striking distance of the storm and need to get to a safe place immediately! Thunder is created when lightning passes through the air.
The lightning discharge heats the air rapidly and causes it to expand. The temperature of the air in the lightning channel may reach as high as 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit, 5 times hotter than the surface of the sun. Immediately after the flash, the air cools and contracts quickly. This rapid expansion and contraction creates the sound wave that we hear as thunder.
Although a lightning discharge usually strikes just one spot on the ground, it travels many miles through the air. When you listen to thunder, you’ll first hear the thunder created by that portion of the lightning channel that is nearest you. As you continue to listen, you’ll hear the sound created from the portions of the channel farther and farther away.
Typically, a sharp crack or click will indicate that the lightning channel passed nearby. If the thunder sounds more like a rumble, the lightning was at least several miles away. The loud boom that you sometimes hear is created by the main lightning channel as it reaches the ground. Since you see lightning immediately and it takes the sound of thunder about 5 seconds to travel a mile, you can calculate the distance between you and the lightning.
If you count the number of seconds between the flash of lightning and the sound of thunder, and then divide by 5, you’ll get the distance in miles to the lightning: 5 seconds = 1 mile, 15 seconds = 3 miles, 0 seconds = very close. Keep in mind that you should be in a safe place while counting.
Can you leave windows open in lightning?
‘Open windows do not increase the chance of lightning striking a house; however, leaving them open does allow lightning to more easily strike an object inside the house,’ said WOI meteorologist Dave Downey.
Can you shower during a lightning?
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Lightning Be prepared. Check the weather before participating in outdoor activities. If thunderstorms are forecast, change plans or ensure that a safe shelter is nearby. If inside during a thunderstorm, do the following:
Stay off corded phones. Cell phones and cordless phones are okay. Do NOT use anything connected to an electrical outlet, such as computers or other electronic equipment. Stay out of the shower and away from other plumbing. This includes washing dishes. Stay away from windows and doors.
If outside during a thunderstorm, do the following:
Seek shelter immediately. Do NOT lie on the ground or shelter under a tree. If no shelter is nearby, crouch down into a ball-like position with your head tucked and hands over your ears and your feet closely together
For more information about lightning safety, visit the, A safe shelter is a fully enclosed vehicle or a shelter that has four walls and a roof. Examples of safe shelters include homes, offices, shopping centers, and hard-top vehicles with the windows rolled up.
Open vehicles (such as convertibles, golf carts, and motorcycles) and open structures (such as porches, gazebos, baseball dugouts, and sports arenas) are NOT safe during a storm. Yes. Even if you don’t see rain, you could still be at risk for a lightning strike. Lightning often strikes outside areas of heavy rain and can strike as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall.
Many lightning deaths occur ahead of storms or after storms seemingly have passed. Remember, if you can hear thunder, you might be in danger of a lightning strike. Yes. Lightning can strike the same place twice. In fact, lightning often strikes the same place repeatedly, especially a tall, pointy, isolated object.
Stay away from electrical equipment or cords, including corded phones. Avoid plumbing; do NOT wash your hands, take a shower, or wash dishes. Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches and balconies. Do NOT lie down on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls.
No. Lightning can travel through plumbing. It is best to avoid all water during a thunderstorm. Do not shower, bathe, wash dishes, or wash your hands. The risk of lightning travelling through plumbing might be less with plastic pipes than with metal pipes.
However, it is best to avoid any contact with plumbing and running water during a lightning storm to reduce your risk of being struck. Yes. Cell phones and cordless phones are safe to use during a thunderstorm if they are not connected to an outlet through a charger. Do not use corded phones. Do NOT lie on the ground.
Lightning causes electric currents along the top of the ground that can be deadly more than 100 feet away. Get inside a safe location; no place outside is safe. Avoid anything that will increase your risk of being struck by lightning, such as being near or under tall trees.
If there are no safe shelters in sight, crouch down in a ball-like position: put your feet together, squat low, tuck your head, and cover your ears. But remember, this is a last resort. Seek safe shelter first. No. Being underneath trees is the second leading cause for lightning deaths. For more information on safe shelters, visit our page.
The odds of being struck by lightning in a given year is less than one in a million. You might have a higher risk if you work outside or live in certain parts of the country, such as Florida or Texas. Males are four times more likely than females to be struck by lightning.
- Most lightning strike victims are people who regularly participate in outdoor recreation activities or work outside.
- Construction and farming are the two most common occupations for victims of lightning strikes.
- Regional and seasonal differences and time of day and year affect the risk of lightning injury (see ).
For instance, most lightning strikes occur in the summer months, especially July, during the afternoon and evening. Also, southeastern states are particularly at risk, with Florida and Texas having the largest number of lightning-related deaths. Yes. Lightning victims DO NOT carry an electrical charge and you will NOT be electrocuted by touching someone who has been struck.
It is safe to touch a lightning victim and administer first aid immediately. For more information, visit the webpage. Immediately call 911 for help. It is safe to touch a lightning victim and administer first aid immediately. For more information, visit the webpage. Lightning strike injuries are not well documented.
However, it is that about 180 people are injured each year due to lightning. About 10% of people struck by lightning die. From 2006 through 2021, lightning caused an average of 28 deaths per year. About 10% of people struck by lightning die, most commonly because of a heart attack.
Direct strike : A direct strike is often fatal. Contact injury : Lightning strikes an object, such as a car or metal pole, that the victim is touching. Side flash : Lightning splashes or bounces off an object, such as a tree or person, onto the victim. Ground current : Lightning strikes the ground near a victim and the ground current passes from the strike point through the ground and into the victim. Streamer : When the air is charged with electricity during a lightning storm, bursts of energy, or streamers, can come upward from objects near the ground. Sometimes these streamers travel upwards through people, causing harm. Blast injury : The lightning’s blast effect and sound might directly cause injury, such as ruptured eardrums, or might cause the person to fall or be thrown against an object.: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Lightning
How do you prevent lightning strikes on a building?
Lightning Rods Lightning rods (and the accompanying protection system) are designed to protect a house or building from a direct lightning strike and, in particular, a lightning-initiated fire. Note that lightning protection systems do not prevent lightning from striking the structure, but rather intercept a lightning strike, provide a conductive path for the harmful electrical discharge to follow (the appropriate UL-listed copper or aluminum cable), and disperse the energy safely into the ground (grounding network).
- It’s very important that these components be properly connected (bonded) to minimize the chances for any sparks or side flashes.
- While lightning rods help protect a structure from a direct lightning strike, a complete lightning protection system is needed to help prevent harmful electrical surges and possible fires caused by lightning entering a structure via wires and pipes.
A complete system also includes electrical surge protection devices for incoming power, data, and communication lines; and surge protection devices for vulnerable appliances. Lightning protection may also be needed for gas piping. Any lightning protection system should follow the national safety standards and requirements of the Lightning Protection Institute, National Fire Protection Association, and Underwriters Laboratories.