Lightning Strikes | Electricians Huntsville, AL
When a storm occurs, the safest place to be from lightning strikes is indoors. However, there are precautions you need to observe indoors. Lightning can enter the home through a direct strike, the electrical system, communication lines, by plumbing (including gas lines), and through the ground. If your home has received a direct strike, contact Mister Sparky’s electricians in Huntsville, AL for an electrical inspection to ensure your home’s safety.
Use the 30-30 Rule to know when you are no longer at risk for a lightning strike. When you see lightning and hear thunder within 30 seconds, it is safe to assume a storm is less than 6 miles away, which is close enough for lightening to strike. Move indoors and observe lightening precautions for at least 30 minutes after the thunder stops.
However, if a storm is developing over you and dark clouds are building, take immediate indoor shelter. A storm developing over your head may not provide any warning and the first lightning strike could be a threat to your safety.
If you are swimming, boating, camping, or participating in activities near water, seek a substantial shelter.
Tips for Staying Safe in an Electrical Storm
Use the following guidelines to protect yourself and your home from lightening during a storm:
- The installation of whole-house surge protection will help to protect your appliances from lightning. It takes only a fraction of a second for lightening to cause potentially serious damage to a home’s appliances, and the electrical system. Whole-house surge protection will protect your most important electrical appliances from lightening. Mister Sparky’s electricians in Huntsville, AL can provide installation for you.
- Stay away from windows and doors. Both can provide a path for a direct lightning strike into the house, and can result in injury or fatalities.
- Do not touch electrical outlets, appliances, or the telephone during, or for 30 minutes after a storm. Until the storm is over, only use battery powered appliances. When lightning damages your home’s electrical system, contact Mister Sparky’s electricians in Huntsville, AL for an inspection and repair.
- If you need to use the phone during a storm, use a cell phone or cordless phone. The use of a corded phone during a storm is a common cause of injury in the U.S.
- Stay away from faucets, bathtubs, showers, pools, and any appliances connected to plumbing. Washers and dryers also pose a hazard during a storm, as they connect to both the electrical and plumbing systems.
- If your home receives a direct strike by lightning, call 911 or the fire department right away. After lightning strike your home, have the electrical system inspected by Mister Sparky’s electricians in Huntsville, AL as soon as possible.
On average, 60 people die from lightning strikes in the U.S. each year. It is estimated more than 1,000 people are injured annually. On average, 67% of lightning fatalities and injuries occur outdoors at recreational events, and under or near trees.
The economic impact of lightning strikes is approximately $5 Billion each year in the U.S. It is a leading cause of forest fires.
The odds of being the victim of lightning are about 280,000-to-one.
When Lightning Strikes a House
The three main hazards of a house directly struck by lightning are fire, power surge damage, and shock wave damage. Two of the three can affect the electrical system and have the potential to cause fire. If you smell wire or wood burning, call 911, and Mister Sparky’s electricians in Huntsville, AL for an inspection of the home’s electrical system.
- The greatest danger lightning poses to a home is fire. The most common place for fire to start after a direct lightning strike is in the attic, or on the roof. When lightning travels through wire it is common for them to ignite, and may start a fire anywhere along the wiring route. This is the reason it is vitally important to have Mister Sparky’s electricians in Huntsville, AL to inspect your wiring after a lightning strike. Even if the fire burns itself out, damage is likely to be present, posing additional fire hazards.
- Damage from the power surge that lightning may cause is a potential source of damage to the electrical system. Even power surges from utility providers can cause burnt wires if the voltage is adequate. Severe power surges call for Mister Sparky’s electricians in Huntsville, AL to provide an electrical inspection.
- Lightning causes a shock wave heard as thunder. At close range, the shock wave can fracture concrete, brick, stone, and cinderblock. It is capable of blowing out walls, glass, damage foundations and can create secondary shrapnel that may cause injury as it flies through the air.
For victims of a lightning strike, immediate medical attention can mean the difference between life and death. Most fatalities are due to cardiac arrest. If the victim does not have a pulse, and is not breathing, immediate CPR and advanced medical attention may save their life.
Long-term effects of a lightning strike can affect the victim’s life, and those of their family. Some of the long-term effects are:
- Memory loss
- Victims can experience personality changes resulting in irritability and anger.
- The victim may be unable to work, carry on a conversation, perform more than one task at a time, or perform previous activities.
- Irreversible nervous system damage is a common injury, and may affect any part of the nervous system including the brain.
- Chronic pain and/or headaches
- Sleeping disorders
Furthermore, symptoms may not appear until several months after the incident. These guidelines can help to protect both you and your home during a thunderstorm. Prevention is the best policy, and sharing them often with your family will ensure they know what to do when lightening threatens.
Mister Sparky’s licensed electricians in Huntsville, AL have the expertise to provide the electrical services you need, including the installation of surge protection devices, and electrical emergency services. If your home has received direct lightning strikes, contact our electricians in Huntsville, AL for an electrical inspection. We serve Huntsville, Guntersville, Decatur, Athens, New Market, and the surrounding areas.