To avoid electricity hazard during a lightning storm, it is important to be on the alert for changes in weather conditions. Severe storms and natural disasters can cause a variety of electrical hazards in or around our homes. Lightning, downed power lines, and floods are just a few hazards associated with storms. In this piece, we will talk about how to stay safe during lightning. Most lightning strikes are not very fatal, but it has consequences too. When you get stuck by lightning, there is a possibility it can injure your nervous system, and lead to brain or nerve injuries. It can also lead to cardiac arrest from the electrical shock, this is typically the cause of death in a fatal lightning strike. Sometimes, mild burns may occur. Aside from cardiac arrest, a lightning strike can lead to short-term symptoms such as muscle soreness, dizziness or fogginess. In a dangerous situation, understanding the cause of electric shock will help you to reduce the risk of a potential hazard. Electricity naturally flows to the earth or ground through any materials that will conduct an electrical current. For an example, wood and glass are poor conductors of electricity while materials like metals conduct electricity. The human body is also able to conduct a current largely due to the amount of sodium and water in the body, an electric shock happens when electricity flows through parts of the body. Below are some tips which can keep you safe during a lightning storm.
Staying Safe during Lightning
- Avoid bathing, showering, or using the sink: During a thunderstorm, lightning can travel through water pipes. It is advisable to avoid taking showers or a bath because even showers or bathtubs that are completely enclosed without windows nearby can put you at risk of electrocution.
- Avoid areas with standing water or excessive moisture during a storm.
- Porcelains are good insulators of electricity, toilets are safer to use during a lightning storm as long as you are not touching metal.
- Using electronics devices that are plugged into a wall socket is dangerous during a lightning storm. Wireless electronics, like cell phones, are safer to use as long as they are plugged into a charger.
- Unplug electronic objects during a thunderstorm in case lightning strikes.
- Keep your windows closed during a storm, though it is unlikely lightning to travel through the windows, glass is a good insulator.
- Do not touch doorknobs during a storm, metal conducts electricity.
- Avoid metal objects, like fences or exposed pipes. Metal conducts electricity and you are much more likely to get hit. For instance, if you are riding a bicycle during when lightning strikes, drop the bike and crouch to the ground.
- Don’t stand near trees or tall isolated objects. Avoid standing under trees in a lightning storm, and stay away from tall objects like light posts.
- Umbrellas can increase the risk of getting hit if it is the tallest object in the area.
- Avoid open fields, lightning often strikes the tallest object in the area. It is advisable to couch to the ground with your heels touching and your head between your knees.
Note: Rubber shoes or other rubber objects will not actually protect you from metal’s conducting properties.