What to Check before Summer Electrical Storm Hits

An electrical storm, also known as a lightning storm, a thunderstorm or a thundershower, is a storm characterized by lightning and thunder. Although lightning deaths decreased in the last 30 years, it has been estimated that on average, lightning has killed 51 people and injured hundreds. Also, even though, most victims of lightning survive, they often report a variety of long-term debilitating symptoms.

Other hazards associated with the electrical storms include cyclones, tornadoes, strong winds, hail and flooding. 

Most summer electrical storms are short and come suddenly. Experts are of the opinion that you should count the seconds between seeing lightning and hearing thunder - if it is less than 30 seconds, there is a threat of an incoming thunderstorm/ electrical storm.

Thunderstorms, especially in summer, can be threatening, as the torrential downpours that accompany it can cause flooding and hazardous driving conditions.

To be prepared before the summer electric storm season hits, here are some tips to follow:

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan. 
  • If it is forecast that there will be a thunderstorm, you should cancel or postpone any outdoor activities.
  • Get inside a house or building.
  • Water conducts electricity so swimmers and boaters are advised to get to shore as quickly as possible.
  • Tie down any loose items or secure them inside. 

Lightning can cause electrical power surges, so you should unplug all electrical appliances and electronic devices including the television before the storm comes. Algester Electrical offers services for prevention of power surges and protection of electrical appliances from the effects of electrical storms. 

Metal pipes and phone lines also conduct electricity, so you should put off washing dishes, baths and showers, in the case of lightning strikes your house and sends a jolt of electricity through the metal plumbing. We also offer plumbing and services which include metal pipe protection for situations such as electrical storms.

Secure outdoor objects that could become airborne or cause damage. Remember that rubber-soled shoes and rubber do not provide protection from lightning. However, the steel frame of a hardcover vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching metal.

Shut windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not installed on your house, close window shades, blinds or curtains.

If you are caught outside and a storm is approaching, you can follow these tips in order to reduce the risk of external lightning and resulting injury:

  • Take cover in a hard top car (not a convertible), with the windows wound up if a storm is approaching while you are driving. Although you may be injured if lightning strikes the car, you are much safer in a vehicle than outside.
  • Look for shelter in the woods in an area of reduced growth and take cover under thick and small trees.
  • When in an open space, try to find shelter immediately.

If you experience storm damage and need a qualified electrician to attend to your issues, contact Algester Electrical today to schedule an appointment.