Sam Houston Electric Blog

Lightning Safety

Friday, September 01, 2017

Lightning Safety

It only takes one strike of lightning to change a person’s life forever. Lightning can cause serious injuries and death. Unfortunately, lightning can be unpredictable. It does not have to be raining for lightning to strike, and you can be injured even if you are inside.

Lightning can strike up to 10 miles away from a thunderstorm. If you can hear thunder, you are within striking distance.

It is best to plan ahead so you are not caught outside in a storm. However, if you cannot take shelter in a building, you can follow these tips to lessen the chances of a lightning accident:

  • Take shelter in a vehicle with a solid metal roof. Close windows and avoid contact with electrical-conducting paths, such as the steering wheel, gearshift or radio.
  • Avoid water, high ground and open spaces.
  • Do not seek safety in open-frame shelters or vehicles, such as golf carts.
  • Do not stand near poles, metal fences or bleachers, trees or even other people. Groups of people should spread out at least 20 feet apart.
  • Wait until 30 minutes has passed without lightning or thunder until you return outside.

Even indoors, lightning requires safety precautions. If lightning strikes your home, it can travel through electronics and plumbing. It is safest to stay away from electronics, outlets and plumbing during storms.

Posted by Communications Specialist Rachel Frey, CCC

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