What to do if your house gets struck by lightning
What to Do If Your House Gets Struck by Lightning
by Shawn Hedrick
What happens when lightning strikes a house?
If your home ever gets struck by lightning, you will hear a very loud, powerful boom that might shake your entire house. Many homes are built to withstand lightning strikes without succumbing to major damage. While staying inside your home, away from doors and windows, is the safest place to be during a storm, a couple of dangers exist inside the home when lightning is involved, regardless of whether you have lightning protection in place.
- Power Surges: When lightning strikes a house, the electricity often surges through a home’s wiring or plumbing system, searching for the quickest possible route to the ground. Make sure to unplug any electronics (especially valuable ones like TVs or computers), or they could be destroyed. Avoid running water during a lightning storm. You could get electrocuted if you are touching or standing near water or any electronics that are plugged into walls.
- Fire: When lightning shoots through a home, there’s a risk for fire. The most common place for a fire to ignite is in the attic, when a lightning bolt comes through the roof or top of the house. However, the heat from the electricity of a lightning bolt that runs through the walls inside your plumbing or wiring could start a fire as well. You may notice it immediately, or it may burn slowly inside the walls without your realizing it for some time.
What to do if your house gets struck by lightning?
- First, make sure everyone is okay. If you see fire or smell smoke, evacuate your home immediately.
- Call 911, and tell them your home was struck by lightning. Do this regardless of whether or not you detect a fire hazard.
- The fire department will come out to your property and assess the area for damage, including using thermal imaging cameras to search inside walls for heat that could or already has started a fire.
- Once your home is assessed and found to be safe, you will be able to return inside.
- Call your insurance company and explain what has happened.
- If there is damage to your home call us at SERVPRO of North Oakland County. We are always here to help – 24/7. Our experts are standing by - 248.439.1160