Lightning’s Impact on Your Home
Lightning can damage many things, from plumbing to landscaping. Here’s how to help protect them.
A lightning strike carries up to 1 billion volts of electricity. That can be a serious shock to your home. The following items are susceptible:
If it’s plugged in, lightning can get it. You can help protect electronics in two ways: Use power strips with a clamping voltage of 400 volts or less (give hard workers like your computer their own strips for better protection) or have a surge protector installed — it redirects any abnormal electricity spikes into the ground. Avoid using plugged-in electronics during or immediately after a thunderstorm. The extra electricity could shock you, too.
Lightning can travel along metal pipes, so remember not to touch exposed plumbing, take a shower or bath, or use the faucet during a storm. To help protect your home’s plumbing, consider a lightning-protection system. It diverts lightning away from the house with lightning rods, conductor cables, and grounding rods.
Metal window or door frames, as well as other metal objects, can conduct electricity when lightning strikes. Be sure to keep your distance during or soon after a thunderstorm.
Not only can lightning strike a tree, it also can jump from the tree to your home. Placing lightning rods in trees helps guide the lightning away from the house.
If lightning damages your home, contact your insurance agent as soon as possible. They can help you determine next steps.