Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Huntsville, AL

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NOUS44 KHUN 271351
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ALZ001>010-016-TNZ076-096-097-281200-

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HUNTSVILLE AL
851 AM CDT FRI JUN 27 2014

...LIGHTNING SAFETY AROUND THE HOME...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS DECLARED THE WEEK OF JUNE 22ND
THROUGH 28TH...LIGHTNING SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK. THIS IS THE SIXTH IN
A SERIES OF SIX PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENTS TO BE ISSUED BY THE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE IN HUNTSVILLE ALABAMA...CONTAINING
INFORMATION ON LIGHTNING AND LIGHTNING SAFETY.

LIGHTNING SAFETY AROUND THE HOME

ALTHOUGH HOUSES AND OTHER SUBSTANTIAL BUILDS 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. AL TOTALED...LIGHTNING CAUSES
NEARLY ONE BILLION DOLLARS IN DAMAGE 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 AND DOORS...AND STAY OFF PORCHES.

IN CASE YOUR HOME IS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING:

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. MAKE SURE ALL SMOKE DETECTORS ARE POWERED AND OPERATING PROPERLY.
4. IF NEEDED...HAVE A LICENSED ELECTRICIAN CHECK THE WIRING IN YOUR HOME.

LIGHTNING QUESTION OF THE DAY: WHAT ARE LIGHTNING RODS AND HOW DO THEY
WORK?

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
FIRES 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.

HERE`S A LIST OF TOPICS THAT WERE COVERED EARLIER THIS WEEK.

MONDAY - LIGHTNING AND LIGHTNING SAFETY - AN INTRODUCTION
TUESDAY - LIGHTNING`S MOST DEADLY ACTIVITIES
WEDNESDAY- LIGHTNING SAFETY AND SPORTS ACTIVITIES
THURSDAY- LIGHTNING SAFETY AT WORK

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT LIGHTNING OR LIGHTNING
SAFETY...VISIT NOAA`S LIGHTNING SAFETY AWARENESS WEB SITE AT:

HTTP://WWW.LIGHTNINGSAFETY.NOAA.GOV.

$$

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
HUNTSVILLE ALABAMA

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON LIGHTNING SAFETY...GO TO:
WWW.LIGHTNINGSAFETY.NOAA.GOV/

$$


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