Staying Safe When Lightning Is Near | SERVPRO® of Henderson/Boulder City
Lightning is one of the most dramatic aspects of a thunderstorm—and also one of the most dangerous. Lightning strikes can start fires, ruin electronics and cause structural damage, in addition to all the safety hazards they pose to those who are outside during a storm.
Being aware of what lightning is and how it causes damage are important components of staying safe.
Thunderstorms all form an electrical charge, which is what causes thunder and lightning. In technical terms, a lightning bolt is the storm dispelling some of this energy, either into another cloud or to the ground.
When lightning does strike toward the ground, it will usually select an object to pass through, as the atmosphere is a poor conductor. Because of the power and charge behind lightning, this is what can lead to damages.
As lightning travels through a home, it will mainly fuel its energy into the electrical wiring and water pipes, as those make for the best conductors. That is why there are three main types of damages associated with lightning:
1. Fires can break out. Lightning, at around 500,000 degrees, is hot enough to ignite most buildings on impact. Additionally, the damage it causes to wires within the home can lead to electrical fires either right away or later on. If your home has been struck, an electrician or the fire department will typically be able to assess the damage and make you aware of any risks.
2. Electronics may get overloaded. As lightning transfers its charge to the home’s electrical grid, it also channels that energy up any cables connected. This intense burst of power can cause a surge, ruining some electronics. Using surge protectors can prevent this from happening.
3. Shock waves can damage foundations. A shock wave in the clouds is heard as thunder, but a shock wave when lightning strikes the ground can cause serious damage. The force of these waves is strong enough to compromise masonry and shatter windows, so after the storm passes, a thorough home inspection is recommended.
If your home has been affected by storm damages or lightning-related fires, give us a call today! We are experts in damage cleanup and can restore your damage quickly.