According to the National Weather Service, the USA has approximately 54 reported fatal lightning strikes per year averaged over the last 30 years. About 10% of people who are struck by lightning are killed, 90% are left with varying degrees of serious injuries. Because our swimming pool products and supplies are sold to be used outside, PcPools will provide a few tips to help protect our customers from severe weather.
- Stay indoors. Houses and enclosed buildings are the safest shelters because they have an abundance of grounding paths that electrical currents can follow to reach the ground. Such paths may include a steel framework, plumbing, able or telephone lines.
- Avoid using wired appliances during a storm. Stay away from showers, tubs toilets, sinks and electrical boxes since lightning can jump through the air to reach a better grounding path.
- Avoid damp basement floors or other areas with excessive moisture, which are ground current danger zones.
- Hardtop vehicles offer better protection than being out in the open. Roll up the windows, do not use electronics that are plugged in, and do not touch the metal frame including the steering wheel.
- Stay away from metal fences, railroad tracks, and shorelines which can carry current for long distances.
- Crackling or popping sounds on an AM radio mean lighting is nearby.
- If you can not reach shelter, never lie flat on the ground. Instead, crouch on the ground low and keep your feet close together.
- If you witness a lighting strike, remember lightning victims are safe to touch-they don’t retain any electrical charge from a strike.
- To calculate your distance from approaching lightning, count the seconds between a flash of lightning and the accompanying crack of thunder, then divide by five. For example 10 seconds between lighting and the thunder means two miles.
For more information on lightning safety go to www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov.