Staying Safe in a Lightning Storm

Accompanied by a familiar boom-crash of thunder, lighting lights up the sky in a dazzling display of power-and in the summer months, when the type of clouds from which lightning is formed appear more frequently, the chances of your home being struck increase. In fact, those who purchase homeowners insurance in New Jersey may want to consider another form of protection, in the form of equipment that can help offer their dwelling some safety when the skies light up with 100 million to 1 billion volts of lighting, which is essentially an electrostatic discharge that is accompanied by displays of visible light and other types of electromagnetic radiation – especially considering that it strikes the ground about 25 million times each year in the United States, according to the National Weather Service, and about 100 people are killed each year (and hundreds more are injured) by lightning.

Redirect and deflect, plug in and play on

You can redirect the devastating power of lightning by adding a lightning rod to your roof, or planting large trees around your property. Contact a professional company, recognized by Underwriter’s Laboratory or the National Fire Protection Association, to perform the installation in accordance with guidelines established by these organizations.

Take a good look around inside your home and what are you likely to see? Typically a wealth of electronic equipment in place (one homeowner proudly reveals his man cave alone has nearly $6,000 in flatscreens and gaming consoles) that could be damaged or destroyed by a major spike in voltage due to lightning. Protect your television, peripheral players, computer, stereo components, and other such devices by plugging them into voltage surge suppressors. You can further divert power surges along the power lines and away from source equipment by having surge arresters installed in your home.

Protection while you’re out and about

While getting struck by lightning remains a pretty unlikely event (odds are one in 240,000 of being hurt or killed), nevertheless you don’t want to court disaster. Here’s what you can do if a storm approaches:

  • Retreat from tall trees and high ground
  • Stay away from crowds of people
  • If driving, stay inside your vehicle
  • Unplug electrical appliances and don’t touch them
  • Steer clear of metal objects, including vehicles, golf carts, chain-link fences, and machinery
  • If you’re in the water (either on a boat or swimming), head for the shore immediately

Talk to a professional

For more information on how to safeguard yourself-including purchasing homeowners insurance in New Jersey -contact a professional insurance agent today.