Did you know that Florida is the lightning capital of the United States? To be specific, according to the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Science, lightning strikes and storms occur in Florida approximately 100 days out of the year. To put things in prospective, California typically has 5. This is why it is important to learn more about lightning safety and the dangers to your home. When lightning strikes your house, it channels out and uses several paths to eventually ground itself. For instance, it can start at electrical lines, jump to gutters, and finish in your home’s water pipes. A direct lightning strike is rare; however, it’s the spontaneity of the current that will produce significant damage to several elements of a house. The risks include fire, power surge, and shock wave damage.
Here are a few tips to when you first see a storm:
• Unplug high-value electronics. Surge protectors are good to use, but just keep in mind, they will not help in a direct strike and are not fail-proof. In fact, it is recommended not to touch electronics while there is thunder.
• A whole home surge protector adds an additional layer of protection.
• Stay away from plumbing such as sinks and toilets. The fixtures and pipes are natural conductors for electricity.
• Avoid windows and doors.
• Do not lean against concrete walls or lie on concrete floors.
• Stay off the phone. The National Weather Service reports that up to 5 percent of people struck by lightning were talking on their corded phones.
So what should you do if lightning strikes your home? First, make sure everyone evacuates. Then, contact 911. The fire department will be dispatched and they will assess the damage. Through thermal imaging, they will make sure there are no fires within the walls and give the word when it is safe to return. Call your insurance company to report the incident. Lastly, call Small Jobs Electric! We often arrive on the job while the emergency crews are still accessing the situation and we are available 24/7 for emergency situations!
Understanding lightning safety and the dangers to your home will help you stay prepared. For more information, visit the National Weather Service or America Meteorological Society website.
Please contact us today, for further information about how we can assist you.