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Lightning Safety

Summer is the peak season for lightning-related deaths and injuries, though people are struck by lightning year-round.

The National Weather Service provides a wide range of information about lightning, including these facts and tips:

General Tips

  • No outdoor area is safe when you hear thunder.
  • If you hear thunder, find a safe indoor shelter (a substantial building or enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with the windows up).

Indoor Safety Tips

  • Stay off corded phones, computers, and other electrical equipment.
  • Avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths, and faucets.
  • Stay away from porches, windows, and doors.
  • Never lie on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls.

Outdoor Safety Tips

No outdoor area is safe during a thunderstorm, but if you're caught outside with no safe shelter options, take these steps to reduce your risk of being struck by lightning:

  • Come down from elevated areas.
  • Never lie flat on the ground.
  • Never shelter under an isolated tree.
  • Never use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter.
  • Immediately get out and away from ponds, lakes, and other bodies of water.
  • Stay away from objects that conduct electricity, such as wire fences.

Read some interesting myths and facts about lightning.

Revised March 23, 2015


Revised April 6, 2016        

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