How to Survive a Lightning Strike

Lightning is one of natures fiercest forces & it quite unpredictable. On many occasions I’ve seen it strike many miles from the storm front, especially close to the ocean or water. That being said, there are a number of things that you can do to protect yourself during a lightning storm.

Do not stand Under a Tree

Trees are perhaps one of the worst places to be during a lightning storm, the reasons for this is that Lightning is attracted to high objects that will conduct the electrical charge. When a lightning strike hits a tree it can travel down the trunk, split it. If you’re standing next to the tree it may also decide to use you as a conductor & a secondary bolt may jump & travel through your body.

If you’re out in the Open adopt the Lightning Crouch

The lightning crouch is a method of getting as low to the ground as possible whilst also contacting the ground as little as possible. This means that you a much less of a conductor as normal & the lightning is more likely to discharge through another target. The position also reduces the risk should you get hit by a strike by diverting the discharge away from your vital organs (such as brain & heart).

In the car

Cars are one of the safer places to be during a lightning storm. If lightning strikes, the body of the car will discharge the blast. It’s important to remember that the shell of the car will still be electrically charged after a strike so keep all body parts away from anything metal. It’s normally a good idea to remove all watches, rings & other metal objects & put them in the glove box.

Lightning Strikes – Tips To Keep Your Family and House Safe

Lightning is Mother Nature’s electrical power. It is responsible for more deaths per year than tornadoes. Know when there is severe weather approaching your area. Even if that storm is not right over you lightning bolts travel miles out from the base of the storm. You will not be able to dodge a lightning strike but you should know what to avoid, and how to be prepared, when there is bad weather.

Lightning strikes show how vulnerable we are to Mother Nature’s power. Spring, and into summer, is peak season for the nation’s deadliest weather phenomena. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration lightning safety information indicates that ‘an average of 67 people are killed each year by lightning. Knowing how lightning enters a house or building and how to stay safe during a lightning storm may help protect you from injury and your personal property from damage.

There are three main ways lightning enters the home – a direct strike, through wires, or pipes that extend outside the structure and through the ground. Regardless of the method of entrance, once in the structure, the lightning can travel through the electrical, phone, plumbing, and radio/television reception systems. Lightning can also travel through any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring.

To stay safe when you’re inside your home during a lightning storm stay off your ‘land line’ phone, away from windows and doors and avoid doing the wash. Phone use is the leading cause of indoor lightning injuries in the United States. Lightning travels long distances in both phone and electrical wires and can reach you if you’re using or near the appliance. Another direct path for a lightning direct-strike into your home is doors and windows. Concrete garage floors generally have wire mesh running through them so avoiding contact with that surface will also ensure more safety. Washers and dryers have contacts with electrical wires and plumbing pipes, both which can carry the lightning strike surge, but also contain a path from the outside through the dryer vent.

Protect items within your home, also. Remember your pets to ensure their safety. Dog houses, obviously, are not lightning safe and pets that are chained or in a wire kennel can easily become a victim to a lightning strike. Electrical surges produced by lightning can damage any electrical or electronic equipment. A surge protector will not protect this equipment from a lightning strike. Unplug your equipment, before the storm threatens, to ensure protection of this personal property.

Suggested tips from the National Weather Service include:

Outdoor Activities: Minimize the Risk of Being Struck: Most lightning deaths and injuries occur in the summer. Where organized outdoor sports activities take place, coaches, camp counselors and other adults must stop activities at the first roar of thunder to ensure everyone time to get a large building or enclosed vehicle. Leaders of outdoors events should have a written plan that all staff are aware of and enforce.

Helping a Lightning Strike Victim: If a person is struck by lightning, call 911 and get medical care immediately. Cardiac arrest and irregularities, burns, and nerve damage are common in cases where people are struck by lightning. However, with proper treatment, including CPR if necessary, most victims survive a lightning strike. You are in no danger helping a lightning victim. The charge will not affect you.

A little knowledge and some advanced warning of an approaching thunder storm will help protect you from the damaging effects lightning strikes cause and reduce your vulnerability to one of nature’s deadliest hazards.

Protect Your Business From Lightning Strikes With Business Insurance

Big black clouds could be looming over the future of your business. But the dangers will not necessarily come from an unpredictable and gloomy future, but could at anytime come from those dark cumulonimbus thunder clouds that regularly appear in the skies above us.

More to the point the biggest threat to business property is the danger that lies within those storm clouds. Lightning!

Lightning is a visible electric discharge between clouds or clouds and objects on the ground.

Material damage may occur to business property from the high power travelling to earth through a structure, and the release of energy being such that it causes extensive damage to the structure which in some cases leads to the buildings collapse.

A bolt of lightning can strike a building in an all round circle of as much as ten miles beyond the edge of a thunderstorm and anywhere below the mass of turbulent air. Buildings and commercial property can be struck by a bolt from the blue hours before a slow-moving storm reaches the premises.

According to the Office of National Statistics around 1500 properties in the UK are hit by lightning each year of which around a half are commercial properties. The incidence of lightning strikes against commercial property being so high, is due to the fact that blocks of flats and large industrial buildings and towers, have a higher propensity to be struck by a bolt, literally!

Lightning Risk Management

Regardless of any business insurance cover that may be in place, all businesses and enterprises should take the necessary steps to minimise any damage or loss that could be caused by lightning or may occur as a result of a lightning strike.

All commercial buildings should be protected by a lightning conductor system.

The purpose of the installation is to direct the current discharged from the bolt safely to earth thereby protecting the building’s structure and its occupants from the worst effects of the lightning strike.

Burning damage may occur, often within the electrical wiring of a premises, which can lead to a general fire and ignite stock or office equipment. Depending upon what is being stored on the business premises, in particular if hazardous materials are involved, the risk from fire may be greater. For example a hardware shop, a chemical plant or a paper warehouse.

Electrical equipment is particularly at risk from power surges and it is not just office business equipment that is at risk. There has been a spate of recent incidents of lightning inducing high voltages and currents in computer installations and Internet server farms.

Fires arising from lightning strikes and the risks of subsequent losses can be minimised by ensuring that the lightning protection system is always in good working order and all alarms function correctly.

The continuity of the conductors is imperative for functionality and can be broken during building repairs or ground excavations.

If lightning conductors are disturbed by building works they should be repaired straight away.

It is also important for a small business to implement a regular servicing and testing regime and most insurance polices will insist upon this for the cover to be effective.

If you live in an area where the frequency of storms and lightning damage is higher, listening to long range weather forecasts can help a business prepare for storms and give a company time to take necessary steps to protect the business property.

Business Insurance

Nearly all business insurance policies designed to cover commercial property will have a provision for lightning material damage loss and consequential business interruption under the basic perils risk coverage.

The risk of lightning is covered under perils in either the buildings or contents section of a commercial property insurance policy. it is available to property owners, lease-holders or tenants to cover their contents against such loss.