The motto of the Lightning Protection Institute couldn’t be truer. When you are outside during a thunderstorm, you are particularly vulnerable to lightning strikes, which are unpredictable in when and what they hit. The worst places to be outside include:
• Open areas such as soccer fields
• Near water – such as swimming pools
• Under trees
But don’t let the far away grumbles of a storm fool you. Lightning can hit up to 10 miles away from a thunderstorm. So, when you are alerted to an oncoming storm, bring your loved ones indoors and stay put.
While being inside is definitely safer than being outside, don’t be lured by a false sense of security within your four walls. Up to 1/3 of all lightning related injuries occur indoors, including those that result from fire. When inside the home, the Lightning Protection Institute recommends the following safety precautions:
• Do not touch corded phones and wires
• Do not touch electrical cords; unplug your computers and other appliances before a storm arrives
• Do not touch plumbing; including the laundry machine, dishwasher, shower or faucets
Protecting Your Biggest Investment
Protecting your home from lightening is a key message of Lightening Awareness Week, which runs from June 21st to June 27th. A very effective way to do this is to install a Lightning Protection System (LPS), which is a network of components designed to intercept a lightning strike and provide it a path that leads it into the ground, rather than hitting the house. The LPS includes a whole-house surge protector as well as other mechanisms, including lightning rods and individual component surge protectors, designed to ground and discharge the electricity. It can be installed by a licensed professional or Master Installer (a list of Master Installers in your area can be found through the Lightening Protection Institute at: http://lightning.org/).