Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Pueblo, CO
NOUS45 KPUB 231322
Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Pueblo CO
600 AM MDT THU JUN 23 2016
Colorado Lightning Safety Awareness Week continues through Saturday.
Today we discuss indoor lightning safety.
Statistics tell us that we are much less likely to become a
lightning strike victim if we are inside a substantial structure
such as a home or office building when thunderstorms are occurring.
In 2015...twenty seven people in the United States were killed by
lightning...and all of these fatalities occurred outdoors. While
nearly all people who are injured or killed by lightning were
outdoors...a small percentage of people are injured by lightning
while indoors. Therefore it is important to discuss lightning
safety while indoors.
The dangerous electrical current associated with a lightning strike
typically enters a structure through wires...cables or pipes that
connect to the building from the outside. Lightning can also
directly enter into a structure through an open window...door or
garage door. Once in a structure...the dangerous current can travel
through the electrical...phone...cable and plumbing systems and
through metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring.
Corded electronic devices are the leading cause of indoor lightning
injuries in the United States. These include personal computer
keyboards...game consoles...and corded phones. Other injuries have
occurred when people were close by to televisions which connect to
an outside cable or satellite system. Open windows...doors and
garage doors allow for a direct strike to enter a home...so make
sure all windows and doors are closed when lightning is occurring.
Never watch a lightning storm from a porch or open garage door.
There are several YouTube videos that show people being injured by
lightning while they were recording lightning from their porch or
open garage door.
It is very important to stay away from any water when lightning is
occurring outside. This includes sinks, bathtubs and showers. When
lightning is occurring...do not wash dishes...do not give kids a
bath...do not take a shower. It is best to wait to do laundry until
after the storm goes by as washers and dryers are connected to both
the electrical and plumbing systems.
People have also been injured while leaning and standing near
concrete in their homes and offices. This is due to metal rebar
which is in the concrete...and this metal acts as a conductor when
lightning hits the building.
A house or other substantial building offers the best protection
from lightning. In contrast...many small open shelters on athletic
fields...golf courses...parks...roadside picnic areas...schoolyards
and elsewhere do not offer any protection from lightning and should
be avoided at all cost. Small wood...vinyl or metal sheds should
also be avoided during thunderstorms. Any type of tent...no matter
how large it is...does not offer any protection from lightning.
Here is a summary of lightning safety tips for inside the home...
1. Avoid corded electronics...electrical equipment and plumbing.
2. Avoid contact with water such as taking a shower...bath...washing
dishes or doing laundry.
3. Stay away from windows...doors...garages and porches.
4. Do not lie on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls.
5. If a substantial building is not nearby...an enclosed automobile
offers excellent protection from lightning.
Below are a couple of web sites that contain additional lightning
NOAAs lightning website which contains abundant information on
lightning safety can be found at...
Lightning information specific for the State of Colorado can be
The lightning topic for tomorrow will be lightning medical issues
NWS Pueblo, CO