Fall Lightning Storms in Massillon, Ohio
Did you know that insurance companies report that 6.5% of all property damage and casualty claims are related to lighting strikes? Lightning is a giant spark of electricity accompanied by a bright flash of light and thunder in the atmosphere between clouds, the air, or the ground. Every year, lightning detection systems in the United States monitor an average of twenty-five million strikes of lightning from clouds to ground during almost 100,000 thunderstorms.
Even though lightning is attracted to tall objects such as skyscrapers, trees, and lightning poles, it can and does hit the ground, cars, and parking lots. Lightning can strike anywhere indiscriminately. A tall, pointed object is a magnet for lightning. Therefore, lightning will often strike such a structure repeatedly. The Empire State Building is known to have been hit by lightning up to a dozen times during a single storm.
Its important not to take shelter underneath a tree during a lightning storm. It is one of the biggest causes of getting hurt. When lightning strikes a tree, the “ground charge” is likely to spread out from the tree in all directions. When lightning hits the ground, it spreads out potentially deadly electrical currents along the ground in all directions. Lying down offers more contact points for electrocution.
If thunder can be heard, lightning is not far. Lightning can strike more than three miles from the thunderstorm and beyond the rain or the thunderstorm cloud. Lightning has been known to strike areas as distant as ten miles from its thunderstorm origins, where the skies seem blue and safe. If you begin to hear thunder, take shelter. A house or building is one of the safest shelters during a storm, but one must take certain precautions inside a home as well to avoid being electrocuted. One must avoid any conducting path leading outside, such as electrical appliances, wires, TV cables, plumbing, metal doors, or metal window frames. Standing near windows must be avoided.
It is always a good idea to unplug computers and appliances during a storm. If your home is struck by lightning, first get out and take shelter at a neighbor’s. Call the fire department to inspect for fire, then call an electrician to assess the damage to your wiring and appliances before using them again.
If you experience a fire, call the professional crews at SERVPRO of Northwest Stark County to help cleanup and restore your home. Our crews are available 24 hours a day. Call us at 330-497-4600 or visit www.SERVPROnorthweststarkcounty.com for more information.