Thunderstorms can strike with little to no warning, especially during warmer seasons. While they may seem harmless, lightning strikes can be a significant threat to anyone. Understanding how to react when sudden storms emerge is critical to ensuring your safety. To help you stay safe during the next storm, learn these lightning safety tips from the experts at ServiceMaster Restore®.
Although lightning strikes are most common in the summer, the National Weather Service states that people are at risk of being struck by lightning all year round. Hundreds of people are severely injured and an average of 47 people are killed by lightning throughout the year.
When a thunderstorm is in the area, no place outside is safe. If you are in the middle of a thunderstorm, the best place to be is inside. If you are caught outside with no safe shelter nearby, the next safest place to be is in your car. Bunker down in your car, away from bodies of water and objects that conduct electricity, and wait for the storm to pass.
The metal roof and metal sides are actually the items protecting you from lightning. If lightning strikes your vehicle, it will go through the metal frame and into the ground. That's why it's important to ensure you're not touching your car's doors or anywhere on the metal frame if you’re waiting in your vehicle for the storm to pass.
Lightning can actually strike the same place repeatedly. This happens more often than you might think. Tall, pointy, isolated objects are more likely to be struck more than once. In fact, according to the National Weather Service, the Empire State Building is hit by lightning an average of 23 times per year.
Although being inside is the safest place whenever lightning starts to strike, there are certain risks you should still be aware of in order to remain protected. For example, lightning can enter any structure through open doors or windows. If lightning strikes, dangerous currents can quickly travel through cables, electrical outlets, phones, gaming consoles and metal wires. To ensure that you're protected indoors, follow these tips while you wait for the thunderstorm to pass:
If you're outside when a thunderstorm strikes, seek indoor shelter immediately. Many casualties occur because people stay outside longer than necessary. If you hear thunder, get indoors right away to reduce your risk of injury or death. Once inside, keep all windows shut and remain indoors until at least 30 minutes after the thunderstorm has passed.
If you're unable to find indoor shelter, you could be in danger. Since no place is safe outside during a lightning storm, you should get to the closest building or vehicle and wait out the storm. Try to stay far away from open areas, trees, wires, telephone poles, metal fences and bodies of water, as these can all increase your risk of being severely injured.
When a thunderstorm strikes your area, getting inside and following these safety tips can help protect you from injury. In the event that your home has been impacted by severe storms, call on the experts at ServiceMaster Restore. Our residential weather damage clean-up services can get your home back to normal as quickly as possible. We'll be by your side every step of the way to help you weather the storm.