The Truth About Lightning
Florida is #2 in the United States when it comes to lightning strikes per year. That means, members of Glades Electric need to be more alert, and informed about this act of nature. Because there are no official warnings or watches, it is the individual’s responsibility to know all the dangers and precautionary measures to be taken. Study these myths and facts, and begin to know the truth about lightning:
Myth: Lightning always strikes the tallest object.
Fact: Lightning strikes the best conductor on the ground, not necessarily the tallest object. In some cases, the best conductor might be a human being.
Myth: A car’s rubber tires give protection from lightning.
Fact: The car itself is very well insulated and offers more protection than being outside.Of course, the exception is the convertible, which offers virtually no protection.
Myth: Lightning never strikes the same place twice.
Fact: False…an example would be the Empire State Building, which is struck by lightning many times every year.
Myth: Lightning cannot strike from very far away.
Fact: Lightning can actually knock you off your feet and cause severe injury from as far as half a mile away. Another important fact to remember is that lightning always accompanies thunderstorms, so always keep your eye to the sky.
Lightning Safety Tips
If you’re inside when a storm is approaching, be sure to unplug all appliances prior to the storm hitting. Lightning causes power surges and can damage your appliances. Call your local GEC office at 863-946-6200 to learn how you can protect your belongings with surge protection devices.
Phone use should be avoided during thunderstorms because telephone lines can conduct electricity. Metal also conducts electricity. Because metal pipes run to our sinks and bathtubs, these areas should also be avoided during thunderstorms.
If you are outside when a storm arrives, immediately take cover. If there is not shelter around, find a low-lying, open place that is a safe distance from trees, poles, or metal objects. Squat low to the ground, in a tucked position, and try to touch as little of your body to the ground as possible.
If you feel your hair stand up on end during a storm, then electric charges are already rushing up your body from the ground toward an electrically charged cloud. Remain in the tucked position and minimize your contact with the ground to minimize injury.