Learn how to use common sense tips to avoid tragedy
With the advent of summer, thunderstorms and lightning are sure to follow. Unstable weather in the St. Louis area has almost become commonplace this year and during the latest round of thunderstorms, lightning was suspected to start a hotel fire in O’Fallon, Illinois.
May is designated National Electrical Safety month by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and gives us the opportunity to offer suggestions to keep you, your family and home safer this season. When a storm approaches…
- Unplug all appliances and electrical devices, including computers, and turn off the air conditioning. The fewer electrical connections active can mean less damage should your home be struck. And, you can avert harming your computer system.
- Don’t talk on a corded phone while a storm is in process. That small electrical current running through the phone line puts you in contact with a potential strike zone.
- During a storm is not the time to wash dishes, decided to take a shower or do laundry. Water is an excellent electrical conductor and again puts you and your family at risk.
- Stay away from windows and doors to avoid potential flying glass.
The NFPA estimates that lightning fires in the United States caused more than $213 million in direct property damage during the past seven years, more than half of that in residential homes. Since a single lightning bolt can register 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit, the likelihood of fire is high.
Don’t underestimate the power of lightning–the National Weather Service School For Weather notes that lightning kills more people each year in the United States than tornadoes or hurricanes. Only floods claim more lives. To learn more about how to keep you and your family safe from lightning, check out these tips and enjoy a more carefree summer.
Written by Myra Vandersall