How to Stay Safe From Lightning
Summer days are here! Along with the sunny, fun-filled days (relaxing outdoors enjoying a tall glass of cool lemonade; barbecuing; going swimming or fishing), come thunderstorms. While we can appreciate the moisture and coolness brought by the change in weather, thunderstorms can be dangerous – at times – deadly. Don’t let thunderstorms ruin your summer. You must learn how to stay safe from lightning.
Facts about lightning
Thunderstorms bring with them the ominous sound of thunder; but they also bring the dangerous power of a lightning bolt. Here are a few things the average person doesn’t know about lightning:
- A single lightning bolt is around 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit which is 5 times hotter than the surface of the sun
- A lightning bolt can carry one million to one billion volts and can be between 10,000 and 20,000 amps.
- There are two types of lightning:
- Positive strikes
- Negative strikes
Positive strikes are more dangerous in that they are 5 times stronger than negative strikes. The speed of lightning is 93,000 miles per second; while the light produced by it travels at the speed of light (186,282 miles per second).
Lightning kills approximately 47 people in the U.S. each year. This is not including the hundreds that are severely injured. The odds of being struck by lightning in the U.S. are 1 in 700,000 in a year. The odds of being struck in your lifetime are 1 in 5,000.
Precautions for personal safety
There are ways to protect yourself from lightning. Postpone any trips or outdoor activities if thunderstorms are in the forecast. If you are outdoors and you see lightning, count to 30; when you hear thunder before the 30 seconds are up you should find shelter. If you can’t find shelter, crouch as low as possible and with as little of your body touching the ground (deadly electrical currents can travel through the earth). Stay away from trees or towers as lightning tends to strike taller objects. Do not seek shelter near anything that conducts electricity such as wires or fences; lightning can travel through any metal even those in concrete.
If you are inside during a thunderstorm; stay away from water and electrical equipment (lightning can travel through plumbing as well as electrical systems). If someone is struck, move the victim to a safer place and call 9-1-1. If you or someone is trained; start CPR while waiting for help.
Dealing with property damage from lightning strike
Thunderstorms are unpredictable. No one can be sure when they’ll strike or where. Save yourself and your family! If your New Hampshire home has suffered fire or water damage, know that Soil-Away will be there to help you recover from property disaster. Soil-Away Cleaning and Restoration has over 25 years of experience in dealing with repairing properties after fire and water damage from thunderstorms. Not only can they handle the fire damage from the lightning strike, but they can also help with water damage caused by heavy rains. They offer fast, friendly service when you need it most. They are available 24/7 at 603-641-6555.
Written by E. Aceves