Summer is prime thunderstorm season here on the East Coast. We’re used to big booming storms and lightning strikes that illuminate the sky. But the problem with familiarity is that sometimes it can lead to indifference, and that is when lightning is most deadly, when you stop paying attention to it.
There is a lot of misinformation out there about lightning, so we thought we’d take the opportunity to straighten a few things out for you. After all, the better informed you are now, the safer you’ll be later!
Debunking 5 lightning myths
Myth 1: Lightning is attracted to metal.
Lightning is not actually attracted to metal; it is attracted to tall, pointy, isolated objects. Metal gets a bad rap because it is a conduit for electricity, which really just means that it transfers energy. That is why you shouldn’t ride your bike or golf during a thunder storm.
Myth 2: Lightning never strikes the same place twice.
Ok, this is just completely false. Lightning will strike the same place repeatedly, especially if it means the tall, pointy, isolated criteria. The Empire State building for example gets struck an average of 100 times per year!
Myth 3: Rubber tires are the reason you are safe in your car during a thunderstorm.
It isn’t the rubber that protects you from lightning in your car; it is actually the metal shell. When a car is hit by lightning it transmits electricity down the body of the vehicle and into the ground. Remember, this only hold true for cars that are made entirely of metal, not convertibles, motorcycles or any other vehicle composed of a fiberglass frame.
Myth 4: If I am trapped outside during a thunderstorm I should lie flat on the ground to avoid being struck by lightning.
You are actually more likely to be affected by deadly ground current when lying flat on the ground. Instead, seek the nearest shelter.
Myth 5: When someone is struck by lightning, you cannot touch them because they transmit electricity.
This is not true! You can, and should immediately begin CPR on any person that is incapacitated by a lightning strike!
Remember, lightning can be dangerous to your home as well as your person. So talk to your Home Insurance agent today to ensure that your home is protected against lightning losses.
Source – Lightning safety myths and facts
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