When storms come, we all know to take shelter. What happens, though, if that shelter becomes unsafe? Here’s everything you need to know about protecting your home from the rare – but possible – occurrence of a lightning strike, and what to do if it happens to you.
How lightning enters homes
Lightning may enter your home either through a direct strike or through pipes and wires connected to your house. Once this happens, the lightning can travel through electronics such as your phone, radio, TV, or plumbing system. This is why experts recommend avoiding using electronics, taking baths or showers, and taking shelter during storms.
Ways to protect your house from lightning
There are a few things you can do to decrease your chances of having lightning strike your house. These methods, while worthwhile, are not foolproof, so we strongly recommend becoming familiar with the details of lightning coverage in your homeowners policy.
- Lightning Rods: The best way to prevent lightning damage to your home is to install a lightning rod, which reduced your risk of these damages by 90%. These are smaller and more inconspicuous today than they were many years ago and are typically less than one foot in height. Make sure you are working with a legitimate company that is certified by Underwriters Laboratories or the Lightning Protection Institute.
- Tree Maintenance: Another precaution you should take is making sure there are no large, low-hanging branches that could fall and damage your home if struck by lightning. This protects your home against damage from other natural disasters that may cause a tree to fall as well.
- Surge Protectors: Investing in a surge protector can prevent lightning from entering your home and traveling through your devices. These devices absorb large surges that come in contact with your home and can be installed by a trusted electrician or your utility company.
What to do if your house gets struck by lightning
First and foremost, evacuate immediately. Lightning can spark fires, and you may not be aware of the full extent of the strike’s damage right away. Once you are in a safe location, call 911 and let them know what has occurred. They will send the fire department to assess damage and risk on your property.
Next, reach out to your electrician to make sure the wiring in your home is still functional and secure. This is an important step, because a potential future fire hazard the last thing you’ll want to be dealing with after getting everything settles. Finally, once you’ve taken care of the most urgent need – your family’s safety – you can begin the daunting task of sorting everything out with the insurance company. If you have your home insurance through Zander, you can give us a call and we’ll handle talking to your insurance company to save you some time (and stress)! Get a free, instant quote below to get in touch with an agent you can trust.