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Electrical Safety Tips for Thunderstorms


No other part of the country has more thunderstorm activity than Florida, especially during hot summer afternoons and evenings when the air rumbles and lightning flashes across the sky. In fact, Florida is considered the lighting capital of the country. In 2018 alone, Florida (along with Tennessee) had the most lightning deaths of any state.

Staying safe during a thunder and lightning storm should be your top priority. Here are some of our favorite electrical safety tips to help you-and your Jacksonville, FL home-weather any storm.

Avoid Doors and Windows

Did you know that in the U.S. there are an estimated 25 million cloud to ground lightning flashes each year? Or that one-third of lightning injuries happen indoors? It's true, and each one is a potential threat to life and property. Though it's definitely safest inside a house or building, it's important to avoid open windows, doors, and porches as lightning can enter your home through them.

Avoid Plumbing and Water Sources

When it's lightning, stay away from any plumbing fixtures or water sources including sinks, bathtubs, and showers. That means no washing the dishes after dinner, giving the kids a bath, or taking a shower. And wait to do laundry until after the storm passes; washers and dryers are connected to both the plumbing and electrical systems, making them a double risk!

Unplug Electrical Devices Before the Storm

Corded electronic devices are the leading cause of indoor lightning injuries, so when you know a storm is coming, unplug chargers, corded phones, computers and accessories, and any other appliance or device that is plugged into something that leads to an outside line. Unplugging at the power point is the best way to ensure appliances and other devices won't be damaged as a surge of electricity shoots through household wiring, destroying devices and circuits.

Use Surge Protectors

Surge protectors are essential in any room where you keep large, expensive, or essential appliances. Keep in mind that, though helpful, common surge protectors only stop voltage spikes and surges, not the violent burst that accompanies a direct lightning strike. Even disconnects that physically switch off a device's power aren't guaranteed protection.

Install a Whole-Home Surge Protector

One of the best ways to protect your home from lightning damage is to invest in a whole-home surge protector. Not only will it protect you during storms, it handles the small power surges that occur every day and can shorten the life of your electronics. A whole-house surge protector is a smart investment for several reasons:

  • Modern technology means more appliances have circuit boards that can be shorted. And the valuable information stored on computers, tablets, and smart phones also needs to be protected.
  • Small power surges, also referred to as transient surges, don't cause major damage when they happen, but, over time, can degrade appliance performance.
  • It safeguards all outlets, protecting every piece of electrical equipment in the home.

Remember, there's no safe outside place during a thunder and lightning storm! But you can take these steps to protect you and your home indoors.

Talk to a qualified electrician today about installing and layering whole-house surge protection in your home, especially if you have expensive and elaborate set-ups such as entertainment systems. You can contact David Gray Electrical Services online  or call us at (904) 605-8190 to learn more.