Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Binghamton, NY

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NOUS41 KBGM 171202


Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Binghamton NY
800 AM EDT Fri Jun 17 2016

The National Weather Service has declared the week of June
13th through 17th Pennsylvania lightning safety awareness week.
This is the fifth in a series of five public information
statements to be issued by the National Weather Service office
in Binghamton, NY containing information on lightning and
lightning safety.

Today`s Topic: lightning safety around the home

Houses and other substantial buildings are the best forms of
protection from lightning, but are not bullet proof. Each year
several homes and structures across the United States are struck
by lightning. On average, lightning causes about 4400 house
fires and 1800 other structural fires each year, some of which
are deadly. Totaled, lightning causes nearly 1 billion dollars
in damages each year.

There are three main ways lightning enters homes and
 1. By a direct strike
 2. Through wires or pipes that extend outside the structure
 3. Through the ground.
Regardless of the method of entrance, once in a structure, the
lightningcan travel through the electrical and phone wires,
plumbing, and/or radio and television reception systems.

Indoor safety depends on avoiding contact with items that could
conduct lightning within the home. The following are safety

 1. Don`t touch electrical equipment or cords.  If you plan to
unplug any electronic equipment, do so well before the storm
 2. Stay off corded phones.
 3. Avoid contact with plumbing. Do not wash your hands, take a
shower, wash dishes or do laundry.
 4. Stay away from windows, doors, and stay off porches.

In case your home is struck by lightning, do the following:

 1. Evacuate your home immediately if you smell smoke and
call 911.
 2. Call your local fire department and, if possible, have them
check for hot spots in your walls with thermal imaging equipment.
 3. If needed, have a licensed electrician check the wiring in
your home.

Lightning rods protect homes from a direct lightning strike, but
they do notprevent a home from being struck. They are designed to
intercept lightning, to provide a conductive path for the harmful
electrical discharge to followand to disperse the energy safely
into the ground. While lightning rods help protect a structure
from a direct lightning strike, a complete lightning protection
system is needed to help prevent harmful electrical surges and
possible fire caused by lightning entering a structure via wires
and pipes. Lightning protection systems should be purchased from
and installed by a certified lightning protection specialist.

For additional information about lightning or lightning safety,
visit NOAA`s lightning safety awareness web site at:

Or contact David Nicosia, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for
NOAA`s National Weather Service (NWS) in Binghamton, NY at
607-770-9531 x 223or via email at Or you
may contact Kat Hawley,Meteorologist at NOAA`s NWS at


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