Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Caribou, ME

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Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Caribou ME
527 AM EDT Fri Jun 23 2017

The National Weather Service has declared the week of June 19th
through 23rd, LIGHTNING SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK in Maine.  This is the
fifth in a series of five public information statements to be issued
by the National Weather Service Office in Caribou, ME containing
information on lightning and lightning safety.


 Although 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 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 and 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

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 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:

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