Lightning

Lightning and resulting fires account for more than one-quarter billion dollars in property damage every year. If you live in a lightning-prone area, here are some tips to help reduce the likelihood of loss or damage to your property:

Property Protection

A number of specialty firms in your area can help you to design a protective system to safeguard your home. Any system you choose should be in accordance with guidelines set forth by groups such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and may include:

  • Installation of lightning rods on your roof and on the trees surrounding your home by an UL-listed company. This helps control and redirect the lightning's damaging effects.
  • Installation of voltage surge suppressors to limit the exposure of electronic equipment to excessive voltage spurts.
  • Installation of surge arrestors to help divert power surges along utility lines away from source equipment.

Life Safety

Your chances of getting struck by lightning during a thunderstorm are extremely small. Nevertheless, these precautions can reduce your risk even further:

  • Get off high ground and away from tall trees.
  • Avoid contact with metal fences and other metal objects.
  • If you are swimming or in a boat, head for the shore at once.
  • Never ride a horse or a bicycle in a thunderstorm. If you are driving, stay in your car. It is one of the safest places to be in a thunderstorm.
  • Lightning may enter a house through anything that conducts electricity. Do not handle electrical appliances during a storm, and stay away from the plumbing system. It is also not advisable to use the telephone during a thunderstorm.

Next: Severe Weather