Lightning Strike Protection | Shelter Insurance®

Tips on How to Protect Your House and Yourself from a Lightning Strike


Did you just buy your first home or you have had it for generations? There are many factors that you should consider and be prepared for as a homeowner. One of them, although rare, is having your home hit by a lightning. It is important to make sure that you are prepared physically and financially if something like that happens. The most common—and very dangerous problem homeowners experience after a lightning strike is fire. In 2019, the fire departments responded to roughly 1.3 million fires. Here are some tips on how to protect yourself and your house from fires caused by a lightning strike.

Check the House for Smoke or Fire
If your home was hit directly by lightning, you should walk around the house and check for fires and smoke. Pay extra attention to the walls of your house. It is possible that a lightning can cause an internal fire in between the walls. If you notice black burns around the outlets or other holes in the walls, contact the fire department immediately. The burns indicate fire in the wall that can spread very fast. A lightning strike’s objective is to find an easy path to ground itself. The perfect connectors for the lightning are the wires and water pipes that run on the inside of walls in your house. That’s why when there is a severe storm, it is smart to unplug any appliances that you are not using or want to protect from possible damage. Although a fire is still possible, you make it harder for the fire to spread and causes less damage. However, do not touch any electric appliances after noticing a fire. Simply leave the house and call for help.

Precautions You Can Take
There are very few ways to fully protect your house from being hit lightning, but one thing you can do is install a lightning protection system that grounds the power from the lightning and reduces the potential resulting hazards. Make sure that you contact an electrician to check your electrical wiring too. This can prevent future fires and electrical damage.

You will not always be 100% prepared to respond to a fire caused by a lightning strike. During the night when you are asleep, you are less aware of what is going on outside the house. This is why it’s important to make  sure all smoke alarms are fully functional. Pay attention when your smoke alarm chirps to indicate the batteries are low—this warning to change the batteries could save your life.

There is no guarantee your house won’t be struck by a lightning. However, being prepared and following simple rules can minimize the chances of being heavily affected of a lightning strike.

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