Although your chances of being struck by lightning in a given year are only around 1 in 500,000, it's always a good idea to use caution when the forecast calls for thunderstorms. Here's how to keep your home and your family safe.
Protect your family
- Get off high ground, away from tall trees, and don't stand in a crowd of people.
- Stay away from all golf carts, all metal fences, machinery and other metal objects.
- Avoid bodies of water, and if you are swimming or in a boat, head to shore.
- If you are driving, remain in your car. It is one of the safest places to stay. Never ride a horse or bicycle in a thunderstorm.
- Avoid using corded landline phones during a storm.
- Lightning may enter a house through anything that conducts electricity. Unplug and do not handle electrical appliances during a storm, and stay away from all parts of the plumbing system.
Protect your property
For additional protection against lightning, you may choose to design a protective system to safeguard your home. Any system you choose should be in accordance with guidelines set forth by groups such as Underwriter's Laboratory of Canada (ULC) and the National Fire Protection Association. Components of the system can include:
- Lightning rods on the roof of your home and large trees around your home to control and redirect the damaging effects of lightening. The lightning rod system should be installed by a UL-listed company.
- Voltage surge suppressors to limit the exposure of electronic equipment, such as computers, stereo systems and televisions, to excessive voltage spikes.
- Surge arresters to help divert power surges along the utility lines away from source equipment.