Is there anything you can do to prevent lightning storm fires?
Think back to when you were a kid. What did you do when you heard thunder and saw lightning fill up the sky? Hide under the covers? Run to your parent’s room? Today, as adults we know and respect the power and danger of a lightning storm.
How dangerous is a lightning storm?
Did you know that in recent years, an average of 22,600 fires per year were started by lightning according to US fire departments? That averages to almost 62 fires a day. Sadly, that translates to an average of nine civilian deaths, 53 civilian injuries, and $451 million in direct property damage per year. That doesn’t include all of our brave firefighters that died in the line of duty putting out fires caused by lightning. While the majority of these fires were outdoors, home fires caused the most deaths, injuries, and property damage.
Summertime (June – August) is the worst time for a lightning storm
Think about it. Dry drought conditions could make it easy for a fire to start quickly. In fact, in recent years, an average of 9,000 wildfires/year started by lightning resulting in burning 402 acres, per wild land fire.
What can you do to protect yourself from lightning fires?
While you can’t prevent lightning from directly hitting your home, there are a few practical things you can do to help.
- Add monitored smoke detectors to your existing burglar alarm system. This way, the fire department is notified immediately if you are not home. Every moment counts when you have a fire in your home.
- Have fire extinguishers on hand in case of an emergency.
- Cut down any dead trees that are near your home. Remember: a dead tree that is struck by a lightning bolt could catch your home on fire if it is too close to the house.
- Since dry brush and garbage can catch fire by lightning, keep the area around your house clean of debris.
- If you live in an area with a lot of storms, you might want to invest in a professional lightning protection system. These provide a specific path to safely ground the electrical current of the lightning bolt so that it is harmlessly discharged.
Additional lightning safety tips to protect your family:
- Go inside your home and stay away from doors and windows.
- Get out of the family pool and indoors where it is dry.
- Unplug all electronic equipment to prevent damage.
- Don’t take a shower.
- Keep off the landline phone.
- Put your entire house on a surge-protection system.
We hope you found these lightning facts and fire safety tips helpful. If you have any questions regarding your homeowners insurance or would like help making a lighting strike claim, contact us today.