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When lightning strikes: How to stay safe

lightning striking on sky

Although your chances of being struck by lightning in a given year are only around 1 in 500,0001, 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 (UL) 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.


This document is advisory in nature and is offered as a resource to be used together with your professional insurance advisors in maintaining a loss prevention program. It is an overview only and is not intended as a substitute for consultation with your insurance broker, or for legal, engineering or other professional advice.

Chubb is the marketing name used to refer to subsidiaries of Chubb Limited providing insurance and related services. For a list of these subsidiaries, please visit our website at Insurance provided by ACE American Insurance Company and its U.S. based Chubb underwriting company affiliates. All products may not be available in all states. This communication contains product summaries only. Coverage is subject to the language of the policies as actually issued. Surplus lines insurance sold only through licensed surplus lines producers. Chubb, 202 Hall's Mill Road, Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889-1600.

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