The National Weather Service estimates lightning strikes the U.S. about 25 million times each year. While the inside of your home is likely one of the safest places to be during a thunderstorm, there are still many dangers to avoid. Brush up on your indoor storm safety with these tips and learn what to do if your house is ever struck.
During a storm practice these rules for indoor storm safety.
- Avoid using landlines and plugged-in electronics. Cell phones are safe to use as long as they are not plugged in.
- Don’t shower or bathe, and avoid going near plumbing, including sinks and faucets.
- Keep clear of windows and doors, and stay off porches.
- Don’t touch concrete walls or floors.
- Wait until 30 minutes have passed since you’ve heard thunder to use any plumbing or electronics.
Invest in lightning rods.
Lightning rods provide a path for electricity to follow and help to safely disperse energy into the ground. This equipment also lowers the risk of fire from a lightning strike to your home. Have a professional install your lighting protection system and contact your insurance company – many insurance companies provide discounts on homeowner’s insurance when you install this technology. The National Weather Service also advises you make sure your system meets national safety standards and requirements of the Lightning Protection Institute, National Fire Protection Association, and Underwriters Laboratories.
Finally, here’s what to do if your home is struck.
- Get yourself and anyone in your home out immediately.
- Call 911 and tell them what has happened. The fire department will come to you and do a detailed check of your property. This is especially important because fires and other potential hazards aren’t always visible. Firefighters can look for fires inside the walls of your home using thermal imaging cameras.
- Call your insurance company to report the lightning strike. Most home insurance policies cover lightning-related damage so learn how to file a claim, and start the process as soon as possible.