Lightning safety indoors: What you need to know

Reporter: Nicole Lauren
Published: Updated:
lightning generic
Lightning.

Florida weather can change in a minute, and it is important to adhere to safety rules especially when it comes to storms and lightning.

When thunder roars, go indoors.

But what about when you are inside?

Electricians say it is best to have a safety plan for your pricey appliances and electronics. It is also important to watch out for yourself.

There are three main ways lightning enters structures: a direct strike, through wires or pipes that extend outside the structure, and through the ground, according to the National Weather Service.

Once inside a structure, you are still at risk. Lightning can travel through electrical, phone , plumbing and radio and television reception systems. And according to the NWS, lightning can also travel through metal wires or bars in concrete walls and flooring.

A safe shelter is, “a¬†building with electricity and/or plumbing or a metal-topped vehicle with windows closed.”

Once indoors, here are ways to stay safe according to the NWS:

  • Stay off corded phones. You can use cellular or cordless phones.
  • Don’t touch electrical equipment such as computers, TVs, or cords. You can remote controls safety.
  • Avoid plumbing. Do not wash your hands, take a shower or wash dishes.
  • Stay away from windows and doors that might have small leaks around the sides to let in lightning, and stay off porches.
  • Do not lie on concrete floors or lean againt concrete walls.
  • Protect your pets: Dog houses are not safe shelters. Dogs that are chained to trees or on metal runners are particularly vulnerable to lightning strikes.
  • Protect your property: Lightning generates electric surges that can damage electronic equipment some distance from the actual strike. Typical surge protectors will not protect equipment from a lightning strike.¬†Do not¬†unplug equipment during a thunderstorm as there is a risk you could be struck.

To learn more about lightning safety, visit the National Weather Service website.

MORE: RSW lightning victim’s father wonders why son was outside during storm

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