Lightning Safety

Lightning Safety: While a house is the safest place you can be during a storm, just going inside isn’t enough. You must avoid any conducting path leading outside, such as electrical appliances, wires, TV cables, plumbing, metal doors or metal window frames. Don’t stand near a window to watch the lightning. Lightning can travel through any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring. Although you should move into a non-concrete structure if possible, being indoors does not automatically protect you from lightningIn fact, about one-third of lightning-strike injuries occur indoors. There is not an increased chance of getting hit by lightning if you are near a window. … A lightning bolt would explode the glass window before it would travel through the glass. Storm lightning is so fast that even if it were to hit a window, the window would shatter from the heat and speed.

Use the 30/30 rule! Go indoors if you see lightning and can’t count to 30 before hearing thunder. Stay inside for 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder to ensure lightning safety for you and your family.

Indoor Lightning Safety
  • Stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity.
  • Avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths and faucets.
  • Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.
  • Do not lie on concrete floors, and do not lean against concrete walls.

Unfortunately, tent lightning safety during a thunderstorm in the back-country can be extremely challenging. If the tent stands higher than nearby objects or is under a tree, you could be at an increased risk of being struck by lightning or suffering exposure to side-flash or ground current—all which can be deadly.

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