Saturday, August 15, 2009
Professional Painters Rely on New Lightning Safety Rule to Perform Exterior House Paint Restoration
Earlier this summer, we posted a blog about the 30/30 Rule for lightning safety. It was a rule our staff utilized during outdoor home restoration in our unpredictable Chicago weather. Professional Painters recently received a comment regarding the blog from Donna Franklin of the National Weather Service. Donna was kind enough to let us know that the 30/30 Rule has been updated with a rule that is easier to remember: When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors.
“Too many people got confused about the 30/30 Rule,” Donna told us. “Often they start to seek shelter when there are 30 seconds between lightning and thunder – they should already be IN safe shelter. The new rule, ‘When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors,’ makes it clear that you should seek safe shelter immediately if you hear thunder. Don’t waste time counting!”
According to the National Weather Service, if you can hear thunder, lightning is near enough to strike. Because lightning can strike from as far as 10 miles away from a thunderstorm, most victims wait too long before seeking safety. Many victims are struck on their way to shelter. So do not hesitate!
Once inside, remain there for 30 minutes after hearing the final thunder clap. Trailing storm clouds can carry a lingering charge, which may produce lightning even after the rain has ended. Studies show that most victims of lightning strikes are hit before and after storms have peaked.
Here are a few tips on how to protect yourself in a thunderstorm:
- A house or other enclosed structure provides the best protection. Buildings with plumbing and electricity are the safest, because pipes and wiring conduct lightning’s electrical current better than a human.
- Stay away from windows and avoid talking on a phone – even a cell phone – when lightning is nearby.
- If you are unable to seek shelter in a building, an automobile is the next safest choice (except a soft top convertible).
- Do not seek shelter under a tree, as lighting will strike the tallest object in the area. If it hits a tree, the current can heat the sap to a boiling point and cause the tree to explode.
- If you are caught outside in a storm and there is no shelter nearby, move to the closest, low-lying area and crouch down. Then tuck your head down, cover your ears and keep only your feet on the ground.
So far in 2009, 27 people have been struck by lightning in the U.S. – all of them outside. 82% of the victims were male. Lightning is a serious – yet underrated – danger that kills more people each year than hurricanes or tornadoes. Protect yourself and your loved ones from lightning by remembering this simple rule: When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors.
For more information on lightning safety, visit the National Weather Service web site at: www.nws.noaa.gov.
Posted on 08/15 at 08:07 AM