Everyday Lightning Safety
Everyday Lightning Safety
August 31, 2018
When you think of electrical safety, outlet receptacles, lights, and plugs might come to mind. But there is a major source of outdoor electricity that requires serious safety precautions too: lightning.
Here are some tips for everyday lightning safety from our team of expert electricians at 24/7 Electric.
Facts About Lightning
To help you stay safe from lightning, it helps to understand a little bit more about it. Here are some facts about lightning you might have never learned:
- All thunderstorms produce lightning.
Even if you can’t see it right away, the danger is hidden in the clouds. Take extra precautions during thunderstorms.
- Lightning tends to strike away from areas of heavy rainfall.
Heavier downpour doesn’t necessarily indicate the most dangerous part of a storm, as far as lightning is concerned. Just because rain has not yet reached you or rain has stopped, don’t assume you are automatically safe from lightning. If you can hear thunder at all, you are safer inside.
- Lightning strikes can cause power surges even from miles away.
Lightning does not have to strike on your property to cause your electrical current to spike suddenly. Strikes close to power lines, which are often targets due to their height, can cause massive power surges strong enough to fry your electronics.
Lightning Safety Outdoors
It is always better to stay safely inside your home during a thunderstorm. If you do find yourself stuck outdoors, here are some tips to help you stay safe.
- Avoid plains or other flat, open areas.
If you become the tallest thing around for a few yards, you can also become a target for a strike.
- Avoid isolated tall structures.
Using the same logic, it is best to stay away from typical lightning targets like trees, power lines, or towers.
- Avoid metal conductors.
Lightning can travel along metal for long distances. Stay away from exposed wires or metal fences.
- Find a safe place.
Go inside the nearest enclosed building. If there are none nearby, get into the nearest car and close all of the windows. Sheds, porches, parabolas, and tents will not protect you from a lightning strike.
Protecting Your Electronics
Since power surges can happen even when lightning strikes miles away, you might not realize what has burned out your computer, phone, or appliance until it is too late. If at all possible, leave devices unplugged during a thunderstorm. Small surge protection devices are not usually powerful enough to protect your home from a lightning strike.
If you have an older home with outdated wiring, or you have numerous electrical appliances, consider purchasing a whole-home surge protector. Learn more about whole home surge protection here.
We hope these everyday lightning safety tips help you weather the storms this season!
We consider our customers’ safety to be our number one priority. For more information on lightning safety, visit the National Weather Service online. For assistance with any electrical problems caused by lightning strikes or surges, call 24/7 Electric!
If you need a licensed and qualified electrician in Calgary or Victoria, call 24/7 Electric! 587-315-1361 for a Calgary Electrician or 778-557-1519 for a Victoria Electrician, or complete our online request form.