Seek Shelter from Lightning Strikes

The summer storms in Houston remind us that summer is the peak time of year for lightning strikes. Did you know that lightning is one of the top three storm-related killers in the U.S.? Every year, an average of 54 people are killed by lightning, according to the National Weather Service. Just in 2012, there have been 26 deaths to date.

Protect yourself, your employees and your family by remembering these safety tips:

  • Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords.
  • Unplug any electronic equipment well before a storm arrives.
  • Do not hold onto metal objects. Large metal objects can conduct lightning, while small ones can cause burns.
  • Avoid contact with plumbing by not washing your hands, taking a shower or washing dishes, as lightning can pass through metal pipes.
  • Seek shelter in a safe building or vehicle, either of which should be fully enclosed. Unsafe shelters include: car ports, open garages, tents, sheds, golf carts or convertibles.
  • Avoid tall or high places, such as rooftops, scaffolding, utility poles and ladders.

Lightning can enter your building from a direct strike, via wires or pipes that extend outside the structure and through the ground. From there, it can travel through the electrical, phone, plumbing and radio/television reception systems, so it’s important to not touch such equipment to avoid getting shocked.

At Pieper, our licensed service technicians can help evaluate and protect your electrical system with a maintenance check-up to help you weather the summer storms.