Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Portland, ME

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MEZ007>009-012>014-018>028-NHZ001>010-013-014-281200

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAY ME
0700 AM EDT FRI JUN 27 2014


THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS DECLARED THE WEEK OF
JUNE 22ND THROUGH 28TH, LIGHTNING SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK.
THIS IS THE LAST IN A SERIES OF FIVE PUBLIC INFORMATION
STATEMENTS TO BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
OFFICE IN GRAY, ME CONTAINING INFORMATION ON LIGHTNING
AND LIGHTNING SAFETY.

LIGHTNING SAFETY AROUND THE HOME

ALTHOUGH HOUSES AND OTHER SUBSTANTIAL BUILDING 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.

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
GRAY...MAINE
NNNN








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