Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Portland, ME

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NOUS41 KGYX 231058

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Gray ME
0700 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
and New Hampshire.  This is the fourth 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.


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

  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

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