What to do if Your House is Struck by Lightning
Lightning striking your house isn’t likely to happen, but it can in some circumstances. You need to know what to do if that occurs. Lightning attempts to reach the ground by locating the path of least resistance, which can occur through a variety of sources in your home. Always call 911 in case a fire has started due to a strike, but if not there are other things to consider, such as restoration and cleaning from SERVPRO of East Ottawa / Erie County.
Hazards of Lightning
The largest risk of your house being struck is the heat and ignition. When lightning passes through wood or other easily flammable materials it can ignite and cause a fire. It typically occurs on the roof or in the attic of the home. It also affects the wires in your home, which presents another risk of flame. A power surge can occur when lightning hits either the secondary or primary path. The surge can ruin anything plugged in at the time, especially electronics such as computers and televisions. A shock wave can fracture materials such as concrete, stone, and brick. It can also damage walls, shatter glass and create holes or trenches in your yard.
Avoid going near wiring and pipes if your home has been struck since these are the conductive paths. Don’t wash your hands, take a shower, do dishes or use electronics or appliances. Wear shoes to prevent direct contact with the ground if you need to go outdoors, in your garage, basement or on the patio to clean up.
What to do?
It cannot be stressed enough that you need to immediately call 911 for an emergency if you suspect your house has been struck by lightning to check for and rule out a fire. You’ll also want to contact a local electrician to come to your home to inspect the wiring and ensure that there is no lasting damage that could be dangerous to you or your belongings.
Protection from strikes
Surge protectors can help with slight power surges, but they’re no match for lightning. Unplug all devices, electronics, appliances and anything else that could be damaged during a storm. Carry insurance on your expensive electronics so you don’t have to pay to replace them. You’ll also want to check your home or renter’s insurance policy to verify that it covers lightning damage.
Clean up after a strike can be tedious and dangerous. Seek out services from SERVPRO of East Ottawa / Erie County.