Skip to main content

Summer safety: Lightning facts and safety tips

Aug 11, 2014 02:22PM ● Published by Dia

Each year, lightning causes dozens of deaths, thousands of fires, and billions of dollars in property damage. It’s smart to learn as much as you can about lightning so you can take steps to protect yourself, your loved ones and your property against one of nature’s most dangerous phenomena. 

Most lightning deaths and injuries in the United States occur during the summer months, when lightning strikes are more frequent and outdoor activities are at their peak, so when enjoying outdoor activities it’s important to pay attention to the weather and take appropriate actions in a timely manner when thunderstorms approach.

Did you know that:

  • When it comes to lightning, rubber shoes do nothing to protect you?
  • In the home, talking on a wired landline telephone is the leading cause of lightning injuries? Cordless phones are safe to use.
  • You should not seek shelter in a lightning storm under a tall tree? That’s one of the most dangerous places to be.

Flash facts
Here are some facts about lightning excerpted from National Geographic News, Flash Facts About Lightning:

  • Lightning is a giant discharge of electricity accompanied by a brilliant flash of light and a loud crack of thunder. The spark can reach over five miles, raise the temperature of the air by as much as 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit and contain a hundred million electrical volts.
  • The Fourth of July is historically one of the most deadly times of the year for lightning in the U.S. In summer, especially on a holiday, more people are on the beach, golf course, mountains, or ball fields. Outdoor chores such as lawn mowing or house painting are at their peak.
  • If you can hear thunder, you can be struck by lightning — seek shelter.
  • Use the 30-30 rule. When you see lightning, count the time until you hear thunder. If it’s 30 seconds or less, you are within six miles of the storm and should seek shelter immediately.
  • Don’t be fooled by sunshine or blue sky! Wait at least 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder before leaving shelter. 
  • Swimming is particularly dangerous. Water conducts electricity and swimmers protrude from the water, offering a potential channel for electrical discharge.
  • At home, avoid contact with anything that conducts electricity:
    • Stay away from windows and doors
    • Don’t use wired landline telephones
    • Don’t lie on a concrete floor (it likely contains a wire mesh)
    • Avoid contact with concrete walls (they may contain metal reinforcing bars)
    • Avoid washers and dryers
    • Unplug electronic equipment
    • Don’t wash dishes or your hands
    • Don’t shower, bathe or do laundry
  • Always avoid being the highest object or taking shelter near or under the highest object, including tall trees and umbrellas. Lightning is “lazy,” and usually takes the shortest path to earth, striking the tallest object. Don’t let that be you.
  • If someone is struck by lightning, call 911 immediately. Lightning often causes cardiac arrest. Check for respiration and a heartbeat. If the victim isn’t breathing and doesn’t have a heartbeat, immediately begin CPR and continue until emergency medical help arrives.

Flash fiction
Here are some misconceptions about lightning excerpted from National Geographic News, Flash Facts About Lightning3:

  • Surge protectors offer protection against direct lightning strikes. False. They don’t! Unplug equipment such as computers and televisions.
  • Don’t touch a lightning victim — you could get electrocuted. False. People who’ve been electrocuted don’t retain the charge and are not “electrified.” It’s safe to help them.
  • Rubber shoes provide meaningful protection from lightning. False. They don’t.
  • Lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice. False. It can — and often does. Tall buildings and monuments are frequently hit by lightning. 

If the worst occurs
While your chances of being struck by lightning are rare, it does happen. Should the worst happen to you, would your family be able to maintain their standard of living? Make sure the answer is yes. Whether you’re just getting started with life insurance or have had insurance for years, there’s a lot to learn. I want to help you understand the basics and feel confident that you’re making informed choices.


Image title

 The Kevin Hendricks Agency of Farmers Insurance is a group of experts     who focus on you, and help you select the best insurance for your individual needs. Whatever your situation may be, we will create a custom solution for your complete protection.

We're authorities on insurance, and will assist you in determining what fits your needs best. We'll quote any type of insurance you need — large or small, we can handle it for you.

As your personal Farmers agent, my staff and I are always ready come to your assistance quickly and personally. We provide superior personalized, professional service, and, of course, you can depend on the insurance coverage we provide.

Life+Leisure, Today the kevin hendricks agency of farmers insurance
  • Exhibit: Seeing is a Nervous Habit

    09/28/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    A retrospective of Kenda North’s work. The exhibit will be accompanied by a group exhibition of f...


  • Dallas Decorators Showhouse in Southlake

    09/28/2017
    10:30AM — 05:00PM

    We are in need of volunteer tour guides for morning and afternoon shifts beginning Tuesday, Septe...


  • SusieCakes Grand Opening Happy Hour

    09/28/2017
    03:00PM — 07:30PM

    Enjoy the grand opening of SusieCakes in Fort Worth with a week of happy hour deals! Monday 9...


  • Dragon Pride 2017 Preview Party

    09/28/2017
    05:30PM — 07:30PM

    You're invited to attend our annual Dragon Pride Preview Party! Join the free festivities as we u...


  • Mama Won't Fly

    09/28/2017
    07:00PM

    On September 28th and 30th Carroll Senior High School theatre will present the outrageously hilar...


Read This Month's Digital Issue
STAY CONNECTED
FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM