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PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LITTLE ROCK AR
600 AM CDT FRI JUN 27 2014
...LIGHTNING SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK...
The National Weather Service has declared the week of
June 22nd through 28th, LIGHTNING SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK.
This is the last in a series of five public information
statements to be issued by the National Weather Service
office in Little Rock containing information on lightning and
Today's topic is LIGHTNING SAFETY AROUND THE HOME.
Although houses and other substantial buildings offer the
best protection from lightning, each year many homes across
the United States are struck by lightning. In fact, on
average, lightning causes about 4400 house fires and 1800
other structural fires each year, some of which are deadly.
All totaled, lightning causes nearly $1 billion in damages
There are three main ways lightning enters homes and
buildings: (1) a direct strike, (2) through wires or pipes
that extend outside the structure, and (3) through the
ground. Regardless of the method of entrance, once in a
structure, the lightning can travel through the electrical
and phone wires, the plumbing, and/or radio and television
Indoor safety depends on avoiding contact with items that
could conduct lightning within the home. Here are some
indoor safety tips to follow when a thunderstorm is in the
1. Don't touch electrical equipment or cords. If you plan to
unplug any electronic equipment, do so WELL BEFORE the
2. Stay off corded phones.
3. Avoid contact with plumbing. Do not wash your hands, take
a shower, wash dishes, or do laundry.
4. Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.
In case your home is struck by lightning:
* Evacuate your home immediately if you smell smoke and
* Call your local fire department and, if possible, have
them check for hot spots in your walls with thermal
* Make sure all smoke detectors are powered and operating
* If needed, have a licensed electrician check the wiring in
Lightning Question of the Day: What are lightning rods and how
do they work?
Lightning rods protect a home from a direct lightning strike,
but they do not prevent a home from being struck. They are
designed to intercept lightning, to provide a conductive path
for the harmful electrical discharge to follow, and to disperse
the energy safely into the ground. While lightning rods help
protect a structure from a direct lightning strike, a complete
lightning protection system is needed to help prevent harmful
electrical surges and possible fires caused by lightning
entering a structure via wires and pipes. Lightning protection
systems should be purchased from and installed by a certified
lightning protection specialist.
For additional information about lightning or lightning
safety, visit NOAA's Lightning Safety Awareness web site