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Caught in a Storm: Lightning Safety

As the sun heats the air, energy is created with air movement, and lightning typically comes from towering storm clouds. Fortunately, accidents involving lightning are very avoidable. Safe Electricity has the following suggestions to stay safe from the dangers of lightning:

  • There is no safe place from lightning when you are outside. Be aware of weather forecasts and watch for developing thunderstorms, which occur more often in spring and summer.
  • Lightning can strike many miles ahead of a storm front. If you hear thunder, seek shelter immediately, because that indicates lightning is within 10 miles of you. Safe shelters include inside a building or in an enclosed metal-topped vehicle.
  • If you are inside a building, the National Weather Service advises you to stay off corded telephones and away from any electrical device that could carry an electrical surge if lightning entered into your home through wiring. Turn off or unplug such appliances, stay away from television sets, and do not depend on surge protectors to absorb a lightning strike. Conductors can also include the plumbing in your house.
  • Authorities warn against outdoor activities until 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder.
  • If a person is struck by lightning, call 911 and care for the victim immediately. You are not in danger of being shocked by the victim.