Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Binghamton, NY

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Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Binghamton NY
840 AM EDT Fri Jun 23 2017

This week, June 18th through 24th, is New York State`s Lightning
Safety Awareness Week.  This is the last in a series of fin daily
public information statements issued by the National Weather Service
in Binghamton containing information on lightning and lightning
safety.

Lightning safety around the home

While houses and other substantial buildings offer the best
protection from lightning, each year many homes across the United
States are struck by lightning.  In fact, on Average, lightning
causes about 4400 house fires and 1800 other structural fires each
year, some of which are deadly. All totaled, lightning causes nearly
1 billion dollars in damages each year.

There are three main ways lightning enters homes and buildings: (1)
a direct strike, (2) through wires or pipes that extend outside the
structure and (3) through the ground.

Regardless of the method of entrance, once in a structure, the
lightning can travel through the electrical and phone wires, the
plumbing, and/or radio and television reception systems.

Indoor safety depends on avoiding contact with items that could
conduct lightning within the home.  Here are some indoor safety tips
to follow when a thunderstorm is in the area.

 1. Don`t touch electrical equipment or cords. If you plan to unplug
any electronic equipment, do so well before the storm arrives.

 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:

* Evacuate your home immediately if you smell smoke and call 911.

* Call your local fire department and, if possible, have them check
  for hot spots in your walls with thermal imaging equipment.

* Make sure all smoke detectors are powered and operating properly.

* If needed, have a licensed electrician check the wiring in your
  home.

Myth of the day- If you are in a house, you are 100% safe from
lightning.

A house is a safe place to be during a thunderstorm as long as you
avoid anything that conducts electricity. This means staying off
corded phones, electrical appliances, wires, TV cables, computers,
plumbing, metal doors and windows. Windows are hazardous for two
reasons: wind generated during a thunderstorm can blow objects into
the window, breaking it and causing glass to shatter and second, in
older homes, in rare instances, lightning can come in cracks in the
sides of windows.

Lightning rods protect a home from a direct lightning strike, but
they do not prevent a home from being struck. They are designed to
intercept lightning, to provide a conductive path for the harmful
electrical discharge to follow and 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:

http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/ (all lower case).

You can also contact David Nicosia, Warning Coordination
Meteorologist, for NOAA`s National Weather Service in Binghamton at
607-770-9531 x 223 or via email at David.Nicosia@noaa.gov

or

Kat Hawley, Meteorologist, for NOAA`s National Weather Service in
Binghamton at (607) 729-1597 x 4 or via email at
Katherine.Hawley@noaa.gov

$$

KAH


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