Electrical Safety Tips You Need to Stay Safe During a Thunderstorm

July 21, 2020


As you likely know, thunderstorms and lightning strikes can create various electrical safety hazards in your home. Knowing what to do in order to protect yourself and your electronics during a thunderstorm can help minimize the risk of not only serious injury but even death. Today, Right Electrical Services, LLC has some electrical safety tips that you can use to keep you, your family, and your electronics safe during a storm. 

What To Do If You’re Caught Outside During a Thunderstorm

If you could choose, it would obviously be best to be indoors when a thunderstorm strikes. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible and it is for this reason that you know what you should do if you’re caught outside when a storm hits. Remember, lightning always hits the tallest objects in its path. For this reason, you’ll want to take care to move to a low point if possible. If you find yourself exposed, crouch down low, keep your head tucked and cover your ears. 

It is also a good idea to stay away from trees and avoid contact with any form of metal object at all costs. Everything from fences to metal poles and benches should be avoided at all costs during a thunderstorm. If you find yourself in a group of people, you should take care to spread out rather than huddle together and stay away from any type of water, including pools, flooded pavement, or even puddles. Seek shelter in a car or non-concrete structure as quickly as possible to keep yourself safe. 

How to Treat Downed Power Lines

Unfortunately, downed power lines are far from uncommon when a storm strikes. Downed power lines carry a huge risk for bodily harm due to electrocution if any part of your body makes contact with it. For this reason, you should NEVER drive over or touch a downed power line. If you happen to see one, take care to remain at least 10 feet away from it and never touch it. NEVER try to move it. Instead, use small steps to shuffle away from it and keep your feet together, planted firmly on the ground. 

If you happen to see someone lying near a downed power line, you should never take it upon yourself to help the person. Instead, always call 911. You should also be careful not to make contact with any water, such as a puddle, when near a downed power line. Finally, if a downed power line were to come down on your car, you shouldn’t leave the car itself. Stay inside of the car and immediately contact 911. 

How to Stay Safe Indoors During a Thunderstorm

While the indoors is by far the safest place to be during a thunderstorm as it is less exposed to the elements, there are still various ways that lightning can enter your home during a storm. For this reason, there are several safety precautions that you should remember so that you can keep you and your family safe. 

First, always be sure to bring any outdoor pets inside. Contrary to popular belief, dog houses are not lightning-proof and pets that may be chained up outside are especially vulnerable to lightning strikes. Next, always be sure to stay away from windows and doors. This is because heavy winds can cause trees to fall, shattering windows and damaging doors.

You should also take it upon yourself to avoid using water. This means staying away from showers, faucets, tubs, and sinks as lightning has been known to travel through plumbing. Finally, don’t walk around in any areas of your home that may be flooded and avoid contact with any metal just as you would if you were outdoors. Always avoid metal windows, ladders, door frames, and fences.

Protecting Electronic Devices and Preventing Electrical Hazards During a Thunderstorm

If you have ever found yourself with a “fried” computer during a thunderstorm, you know how devastating of a loss it can be. For this reason, it’s always good to practice good electrical safety when a storm happens. There are various steps you can take to protect your electronic devices in the event of a thunderstorm. Firstly, as a precaution, you should always backup computer content regularly to prevent a catastrophic loss of data or damage during a storm. You can also take the extra step of connecting computers, routers, printers, and other electronic devices to a surge protector strip as this will work to prevent damage during a storm-related power surge.

As the best rule of thumb, if there’s time, you should always unplug your computer as well as all electronic household appliances and cords from electrical outlets during a thunderstorm. Also, always avoid the direct use of any electronic equipment, electrical appliances, or electrical cords during a thunderstorm. While it is okay to use cordless phones and cell phones during a thunderstorm, you should always avoid the use of a corded phone and should either completely unplug or avoid the direct usage of a docking station until the storm has passed. 

Finally, if you find that any of your electrical appliances get wet during a thunderstorm, do not attempt to use them or turn them on until you have had them checked by a qualified service technician. 

The Power of a Whole-House Surge Protector During a Storm

While our electricians highly recommend unplugging all possible electrical appliances during a thunderstorm, it is understandable that many homeowners are reluctant to unplug electrical appliances such as their refrigerators or freezers. After all, nobody wants their food to spoil. Luckily, there is a wonderful solution to this problem: a whole-house surge protector.

By installing a whole-house surge protector in your home, which is a much more effective measure than the use of a wall outlet surge protector, you could potentially save thousands of dollars in damages. A whole-house surge protector is specially designed to protect your home from lightning damage by redirecting excess current safely to the ground. Best of all, most units fit easily inside your home’s main breaker box. 

A whole-house surge protector offers you peace of mind in the event that you’re away from your home when a storm hits. Never again will you have to worry about the loss of your high-end electrical appliances. Whole-house surge protectors also reduce the risk of an electrical fire caused by a lightning strike. 

If you find yourself in need of a whole-house surge protector, call our qualified electricians today! We offer quick and easy whole-house surge protector installation in Raleigh and surrounding areas in order for you to protect your home, electrical appliances, and most importantly, your family. 

Give us a call at (919) 359-1017 or contact us online to book your appointment today!

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