Lightning doesn't need conductive objects to reach ground, however - it's just forged its way through miles of air, so conductive objects in a house are a mere 'convenience' that it will use if they are available. Strikes can cause fires directly on contact, while additional materials can ignite when current passes through them and heats them to the point of ignition. These fires inside enclosed spaces may not be visible in their beginning stages. If you have a traditional asphalt shingle or wood roof, installing a lightning rod and grounding system can help direct the charge and safely dissipate the current. Once the visible bolt of lightning has connected the charged air from the clouds to the ground, the current associated with the lightning discharge can travel along the ground for some way before it dissipates enough to be harmless. You can mitigate that risk by performing frequent offsite backups and/or storing data on an external hard drive that you can unplug when needed. Lightning can travel long distances in both phone and electrical wires, particularly in rural areas. Wireless devices are safe to use (cell phones, cordless phones, remotes, etc). In general, very dry basements are a safe place to go during thunderstorms; however, avoid contact with concrete foundation walls, which may contain metal reinforcing bars. Call emergency services immediately if you see a fire or smell smoke. If you know your house has just been hit directly by lightning, call the fire department. What to Do If Your House Gets Struck by Lightning. If your home has gas piping, lightning strikes may damage valves, regulators, or appliance connectors, causing leakage of flammable gas and subsequent explosions. In fact, telephone use is the leading cause of indoor lightning injuries in the United States. The most common indoor lightning injuries involve a person talking on a corded phone or resting on/looking out of a metal-framed window. The surge can also damage any appliances (particularly electronics like computers and entertainment centers) that are plugged into to the electrical system. You breakdown of everything so we could see what’s what is the best”, “Thank you so much. Very happy with everything. Once the storm has passed, assess the damage to your home. It can also jump through the air from one conductive path to another in what is called a side flash. "Side flashes" (discussed above) that jump across rooms can also cause injuries, but are very rare. The surge of power through the wiring can destroy computers, televisions, and other electronics. Because of the high temperatures, any flammable material in and outside of your home puts you at higher risk of fire. Much of that energy is generated as heat: lightning strikes are almost 36,000 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are located in a zone if frequent lightning activity (such as Florida and the Gulf Coast regions of the USA), a protection system may offer more of a benefit. Lightning current will produce significant damage to a house that is not equipped with a good protection system. Do not take a bath or shower, wash your hands, do laundry, use an icemaker, or otherwise use running water when there is lightning danger in the area. Burns and electric shock injuries can occur when someone is in direct contact with one of lightning's chosen paths to ground. To prepare your home before another large storm hits, read through our guide to severe weather. And it can also damage electrical appliances such as refrigerators. You’ll need to replace or repair shingles, siding, insulation, or windows that have been damaged. Strikes can cause fires directly on contact, while additional materials can ignite when current passes through them and heats them to the point of ignition. AT RIGHT: Lightning strikes a tree and house in Charleston, West Virginia in 1998. Burns and electric shock injuries can occur when someone is in direct contact with one of lightning's chosen paths to ground. A material that easily conducts electricity is the most attractive path; examples include gas and water pipes, electric lines, phone lines, cable TV or internet lines, gutters, downspouts, and metal window frames. It is safest to wait at least 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder before leaving a protected area. Read more about lightning protection systems. Your crews are very professional & did a great job. Most lightning is a discharge of static electricity between negatively charged particles in a cloud and positively charged particles on the ground. At this time, we are currently dedicating all of our resources to our local recovery. Anything electronic in your home is susceptible to damage from a lightning strike. The roof looks great! This almost certainly will destroy the wires and may cause a fire, as the wires melt and possible ignite the materials surrounding them. Lightning can cause serious damage if it strikes your home. Use an approved fire extinguisher to put out the flames, if possible, and call the fire department immediately. The most common indoor lightning injuries involve a person talking on a corded phone or resting on/looking out of a metal-framed window. You should also strongly consider contacting an electrician to have your home's electrical system inspected for any damage that might present a future fire hazard. Some could argue that the risk of a direct strike to any given house is too low to justify unplugging everything for every storm that passes overhead. A professionally-installed and well-grounded lightning protection system will reduce or eliminate the fire and injury hazards if your house happens to be struck directly. Since we know the common paths lightning can follow in a house (wiring and pipes), the best thing to do is stay away from those paths as best as possible during a storm. Not only can lightning striking your home travel through your pipes but lightning can travel stealthily into your home through shared pipelines that have sustained strikes some distance away from your home. Brick and stone chimneys are particularly susceptible to this kind of damage, as the vibrations can damage the mortar and shake loose flashing (potentially allowing water to leak in through the gaps). However, consider irreplaceables such as the data saved on your computer (photos, videos, work files, etc). Spring thunderstorms can involve rain, hail, high winds, and lightning, all of which can threaten your roof and home. We would recommend your company to anyone. telephone use is the leading cause of indoor lightning injuries in the United States. Most houses are filled with many potential routes for lightning to follow in its journey. Professionally-installed lightning protection systems are expensive and the risk of a direct strike is low, so most homes do not have them. Fires inside the walls and in the attic spaces can smolder for hours undetected, so consider calling the fire department if your house has been hit even if you don’t see smoke or flames. Your insured expensive electronics can be replaced, after all. The color we picked for the shingles is beautiful. If you can hear thunder, you are within 10 miles of a storm—within the strike zone for dangerous lightning. Thunder shock waves can also fracture objects and create shrapnel, flying debris that can be propelled at a dangerous rate around structures. Did you know that the sound of thunder is actually a shock wave, caused by the rapid expansion of heated air around lightning? Surge protectors can protect against small surges but are unlikely to prevent damage from a direct lightning strike; it is wise to unplug appliances, electronics, and other items during a storm. Recognized by the BBB, Hedrick Construction has a reputation for getting the job done right, on budget, and on time. The crew that was here and worked on the roof was great! Is the Water on Your Ceiling a Roof Leak or Condensation? Wear shoes if walking in a basement, garage or patio. Depending on their intensity and proximity, however, the shock waves we call thunder can be extremely destructive, causing structural degradation and cracking in concrete, brick, cinderblock, and stone. It is nearly impossible to provide 100% protection to sensitive electronics from a direct lightning strike. If lightning has already struck your home or has been observed in your area, however, avoid any contact with electrical wires or cords. All or part of bolts have been seen jumping from wall outlets to sink faucets and even across rooms! Lightning Strikes to Chicago's Skyscrapers, Lightning and Ipods, Walkmans and headphones. If you have a land-line phone, do not use it when there is a threat of lightning strikes. For example, lightning may first connect to electric lines in the attic of a house, then jump to better-grounded water pipes on the first or second floor. Since sound travels more slowly than light, it takes longer for you to hear the noise of lighting than to see the bolt of light. The best thing to do is to unplug any high-value item you wish to protect during storms, as surge protectors and UPS units can't provide direct-strike protection. 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder before leaving a protected area easiest route.! Been damaged threat of lightning strikes a tree and house in Charleston West. 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