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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Lightning Strikes Safety Tips in Stark County, Ohio

4/5/2018 (Permalink)

Lightning hit this tree and fell on this home and broke the window during a rain storm last summer.

During the summer months in Ohio the chance of lightning increases during rain storms. If a lightning strike hits your home it can cause it to catch on fire. Lightning presents three main hazards to a house that is hit directly according to Stormhighway.com:

  • Fire danger: The biggest danger lightning poses to a house is fire. Wood and other flammable building materials can easily be ignited anywhere an exposed lightning channel comes in contact with (or passes through) them. It is most common for lightning to start a fire in the attic or roof of a house, as the channel usually has to pass through some of the structural material in the roof before it can reach a more conductive path such as wiring or pipes. When lightning current travels through wires, it will commonly burn them up - presenting a fire ingition hazard anywhere along the affected circuits.
  • Power surge damage: If lightning chooses any of the home's electrical wiring as its primary or secondary path, the explosive surge can damage even non-electronic appliances that are connected. Even if most of the lightning current takes other paths to ground, the home's electrical system will experience enough of a surge to cause potentially significant damage to anything connected to it, electronics in particular.
  • Shock wave damage: Another major source of damage from lightning is produced from the explosive shock wave. The shock waves that lightning create is what produces the thunder that we hear, and at close range, these waves can be destructive. Lightning can easily fracture concrete, brick, cinderblock and stone. Brick and stone chimneys are commonly damaged severely by lightning. Lightning's shock waves can blow out plaster walls, shatter glass, create trenches in soil and crack foundations. Shrapnel is a common secondary damage effect, with objects sometimes found embedded in walls!

If you are in need of fire cleanup and restoration, please contact SERVPRO of S&E Stark County at 330-823-4088.

SERVPRO of S&E Stark County has these three basic tips to keep you safe during the next rain storm:

  1. Have a lightning safety plan and cancel/postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are expected.
  2. If you do get caught outside, avoid high ground, open spaces and all metal objects including  electric wires, fences, etc. Seek shelter in a substantial building or a fully enclosed metal vehicle.
  3. If you are indoors, stay away from doors and windows. Do not use the telephone. Consider in[lugging computers, power tools, & TV sets. Lightning may strike exterior/phone lines, including shocks to inside equipment.

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