The Southeast is well-known for its frequent afternoon thunderstorms during the spring and summer. These electrical storms cost homeowners across the region millions of dollars in property damages and medical costs in part because homeowners do not know how to handle the potential for lightning properly. Based on our years of experience in residential electrical service, we have some tips to help keep you, your family and your valued possessions safe when a storm is brewing.
Remember, Lightning Can Enter Your Home
Your home is attached to the outside world through a series of wires that transmit electrical currents. If a strong electrical current enters the lines, as it would with a power surge or a lightning strike, there is nothing holding that current back from entering your home. When the power lines are struck by lightning, that lightning can and will enter your home.
Corded Phones Are a Bad Idea
Although most of us have cellular phones at this point, some households still have corded phones for emergencies. If you have a corded phone, a lightning storm is not the time to use it as lightning can enter your home through your phone lines. Hang up the phone for your own safety. If you must make a call, use your cell phone ? but make sure it's not plugged in to your charger.
Avoid Concrete Floors and Walls
Concrete flooring and walls must contain a wire mesh or metal reinforcers to be up to code. Unfortunately, this wire mesh makes these surfaces dangerous if lightning strikes because they carry electricity. Our Atlanta technicians recommend moving into a room without concrete flooring and concrete walls to stay safe.
Unplug Easy-to-access Appliances
To keep your belongings safe, unplug anything you can easily access. Be sure to get your computer, flat screen TV and other high-ticket items when you do this. You may believe that your surge protector has these items covered, but your surge protector cannot protect against the damage a lightning strike can cause. Some surge protectors claim they can protect against lightning, but our Atlanta electrical contractors note that these are very expensive.
After You Get Hit
If you believe your home has been hit by lightning or you have been on the receiving end of a residual electricity charge from a nearby lightning strike, you should call us and set up an inspection for your system. Our expert Atlanta technicians will check your electrical system for any melted wires, damage to your electrical panel and other potential issues.