During a lightning strike, the awe-inspiring power of nature can become a terrifying reality for homeowners. While rare, a lightning storm can cause significant damage to properties, leading to fires, electrical system surges, and structural issues. Below, we’ll delve into what you need to know if lightning hits your home, offering essential insights on how to stay safe, assess the damage, and take the necessary steps to mitigate potential risks.
From understanding the immediate actions to take after a direct lightning strike to protecting your home from future lightning damage, we’ll equip you with valuable knowledge to navigate this electrifying experience with confidence and preparedness. Let’s dive into the world of lightning strikes and ensure your home is well-protected, even if struck by lightning.
From lightning rods to surge protectors and a complete lightning protection system, several lightning protection options exist.
Rather than Google searching, “lightning hit house; what now?” Check out our complete guide below with everything you need to know after a lightning bolt hits your home.
- Safety First: If lightning strikes your home, your and your family’s safety should be the top priority. Immediately seek shelter away from windows and exterior walls. Avoid using electrical devices or plumbing during a storm, as lightning can cause power surges and pose electrocution risks.
- Fire Hazard: One of the most significant dangers of lightning strikes is the potential for fires. After a strike, check for any signs of smoke or fire in your home. If you detect a fire, evacuate immediately and call the fire department.
- Electrical Damage: Lightning can cause electrical surges that may damage appliances, electronics, and electrical systems. After the storm passes, unplug sensitive electronic devices and consider turning off your circuit breaker until you can have a professional inspection to discover any power surge damage. The National Weather Service recommends also avoiding corded phones.
- Structural Inspection: Inspect your home’s structure for any signs of damage, such as cracks, holes, or dislodged roofing materials or metal window frames. If you suspect structural damage, contact a qualified professional to assess and repair it.
- Check for Water Damage: Lightning bolts can sometimes cause leaks or damage to your roof or plumbing systems. Inspect ceilings and walls for signs of water damage and address any leaks promptly to prevent further issues.
- Assess Outdoor Areas: Examine your property’s exterior for damage, including fallen trees or branches, damaged outdoor equipment, or signs of fire around lightning strike points.
- Insurance Coverage: Review your homeowner’s insurance policy to understand what is covered in the event of lightning damage. Document any damage with photos and contact your insurance company to begin the claims process.
- Lightning Protection System: Consider installing a lightning protection system for your home. These systems can redirect lightning strikes away from your property, reducing the risk of damage, and can be as simple as starting with a lightning rod.
- Regular Maintenance: Regularly inspect and maintain your home’s electrical and structural systems to reduce the risk of damage from lightning strikes in the future.
- Professional Inspection: If you have any concerns about the extent of damage to your home after a lightning strike, it’s best to seek the expertise of a professional. They can conduct a thorough inspection and guide necessary repairs and safety measures.
Here’s How to Protect Against Future Lightning Strikes
From your phone lines and your home’s electrical system, to the trees in your yard and your home’s exterior, several methods and protection systems help safeguard your entire house from future lightning and fire damage.
Install a Lightning Protection System
Consider installing a lightning protection system that includes lightning rods, grounding, and surge protectors. These systems divert lightning strikes away from your home, reducing the risk of damage.
Unplug Electronic Devices
During a storm, unplug sensitive electronic devices and appliances to prevent damage from electrical surges caused by lightning strikes.
Use surge protection for valuable electronics and appliances that cannot be unplugged. A surge protector can absorb excess voltage and protect your electronics from damage.
Lightning Rods for High Structures
If your home has high structures, such as chimneys or flagpoles, consider installing lightning rods to attract and direct lightning strikes away from your home.
Trim Trees and Branches
Regularly trim trees and branches around your home to reduce the risk of lightning striking them and causing damage.
Roof and Gutter Maintenance
Keep your roof and gutters in good condition, as lightning can be conducted through water. Regular maintenance helps prevent leaks and potential damage from lightning strikes.
Stay Tuned for More Storm Preparation and Remediation Tips
Taking these proactive measures can significantly reduce the risk of damage from lightning strikes and protect your home and loved ones during thunderstorms. Lightning is a powerful force of nature, but with the proper precautions, you can safeguard your property and enjoy greater peace of mind during stormy weather.