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Lightning Safety in Lexington, MA

6/11/2019 (Permalink)

National Lightning Safety Week

The week of June 23 is used to spread awareness of lightning and how to keep yourself safe. Since the week was created in 2001, U.S lightning fatalities have decreased by about 40%. 

Though cases of being struck by lightning are rare, the risk and dangers are always present when lightning is.

The science behind the Storm

In the U.S, lightning strikes the ground around 25 million times each year and causes 28 fatalities per year on average.

Many victims were caught in storms during work and leisure activities while their attention was not focused on the weather change around them. Water-related activities made up 34% of these fatalities. 

From 2006-2017, most lightning fatalities occurred in the month of July due to the frequent occurrence of thunderstorms during the warmer months. 

Keep Your Property Safe

When a thunderstorm is near, it is important to protect yourself and also your property. Lightning rods protect your property from a direct strike, while a complete lightning protection system protects against a lightning-initiated fire.

A complete system offers electrical surge protection devices and surge protection for vulnerable appliances. If your property has gas piping, it should also have lightning protection. 

How to Stay Safe

Lightning can enter structures by either a direct strike, through wires or pipes that extend outside and through the ground. It is important to seek shelter in either a building with electricity and plumbing or a metal-topped vehicle with the windows closed.

Some tips on how to stay safe when you find shelter:

-Don't touch electrical equipment

-Avoid plumbing

-Stay away from exterior doors and windows that might contain metal pieces from outside your home to the inside

-Stay off balconies, porches, and out of open garages

-Protect your pets by bringing them inside. A dog house is not a safe shelter during a storm. If your dog is chained to a tree or on metal runners, it is vulnerable to being struck by lightning. 

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