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Staying safe from lightning inside your home

Lightning strikes millions of times each year. It is simply not safe to be outdoors during a thunderstorm. That is why the National Weather Service advises, “When thunder roars, go indoors.” However once inside a safe shelter, there are additional and important safety steps to take.

While staying inside reduces the risk for lightning strikes, lightning strike injuries do still occur indoors. Safe Electricity recommends the following tips to help keep you safe inside the home during a thunderstorm.

Plan to stay safely inside during a storm. Lightning can strike up to 10 miles from the area in which it is raining. Preparation is important to safety. Listen to, watch, or download an app on a handheld device that provides weather forecasts so that you know if there is a chance of severe weather. If there is a chance, reschedule the activity or make sure you can get to a safe location if a thunderstorm develops.

  • During a storm, stay away from anything that conducts electricity inside of the home. This includes corded phones, plumbing, or running water. Cellular or cordless phones are safe to use during a storm.
  • Never use your computer, gaming systems, washer, dryer, or any other appliance that connects to an electrical outlet.
  • Stay at least a few feet away from electrical appliances that are plugged into the wall.
  • Do not lie or lean on concrete floors or walls, which can conduct electricity.
  • Lightning can enter inside through wiring, such as cables or pipes or through an open window or door. Do not watch a storm from a porch or through a garage door.
  • Stay away from all water. Do not take a bath, shower, or wash dishes during a lightning storm.

Also, check weather forecasts so you can plan to be in a safe shelter during a storm. After the storm, make sure that you stay inside and follow the safety rules for at least 30 minutes after you have last heard thunder. Remember that lightning can strike up to 10 miles away from the storm.

For more electrical safety tips, go to SafeElectricity.org.

Article and image courtesy of SafeElectricity.org.

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