Lightning Safety

Lightning Safety

Thunder and lightning storms happen all the time. But did you know that lightning strikes and lightning fires occur most often in the summer? Know what to do to keep you and your family safe when it does strike!

Outdoor Safety:

  • If you can hear thunder, you are within striking distance of lightning. Look for shelter inside a home, large building, or a hard-topped vehicle right away. Do not go under tall tress for shelter. There is no place outside that is safe during a thunderstorm. Wait at least 30 minutes after the last thunder before leaving your shelter.
  • Stay away from windows and doors.
  • If you are in or on open water, go to land and seek shelter immediately.
  • If you feel your hair stand on end, that means lightning is about to strike, squat low to the ground on the balls of your feet. Place your hands over your ears and your head between your knees. Make yourself the smallest target possible and minimize your contact with the ground. Do not lie flat on the ground. This is a last resort when a building or hard-topped vehicle is not available.
  • If a person is struck by lightning, call 9-1-1 and get medical care immediately. Lightning strike victims carry no electrical charge; attend to them immediately. Check their breathing, heartbeat, and pulse. CPR may be needed.

Indoor Safety:

  • Unplug appliances and other electrical items, like computers, and turn off air conditioners. If you are unable to unplug them, turn them off.
  • Stay off corded phones, computers, and other electronic equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity or plumbing.
  • Avoid washing your hands, bathing, doing laundry, or washing dishes.

Fast Facts:

  • Outside and other fires accounted for three-quarters of the lightning fires reported to local fire departments.
  • Lightning often strikes outside of heavy rain and may occur as far as 10 miles from any rainfall.

Source: Copyright 2011, National Fire Protection Association