210  
NOUS41 KCAR 230927  
PNSCAR  
MEZ001>006-010-011-015>017-029>032-240000-  
 
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT  
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CARIBOU ME  
527 AM EDT FRI JUN 23 2017  
 
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS DECLARED THE WEEK OF JUNE 19TH  
THROUGH 23RD, LIGHTNING SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK IN MAINE. THIS IS THE  
FIFTH IN A SERIES OF FIVE PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENTS TO BE ISSUED  
BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE IN CARIBOU, ME CONTAINING  
INFORMATION ON LIGHTNING AND LIGHTNING SAFETY.  
 
LIGHTNING SAFETY AROUND THE HOME  
 
ALTHOUGH HOUSES AND OTHER SUBSTANTIAL BUILDINGS OFFER THE BEST  
PROTECTION FROM LIGHTNING, EACH YEAR MANY HOMES ACROSS THE UNITED  
STATES ARE STRUCK BY LIGHTNING. IN FACT, ON AVERAGE, LIGHTNING  
CAUSES ABOUT 4400 HOUSE FIRES AND 1800 OTHER STRUCTURAL FIRES EACH  
YEAR, SOME OF WHICH ARE DEADLY. ALL TOTALED, LIGHTNING CAUSES  
NEARLY $1 BILLION IN DAMAGES EACH YEAR.  
 
THERE ARE THREE MAIN WAYS LIGHTNING ENTERS HOMES AND BUILDINGS: (1)  
A DIRECT STRIKE, (2) THROUGH WIRES OR PIPES THAT EXTEND OUTSIDE THE  
STRUCTURE, AND (3) THROUGH THE GROUND. REGARDLESS OF THE METHOD OF  
ENTRANCE, ONCE IN A STRUCTURE, THE LIGHTNING CAN TRAVEL THROUGH THE  
ELECTRICAL AND PHONE WIRES, THE PLUMBING, AND/OR RADIO AND  
TELEVISION RECEPTION SYSTEMS.  
 
INDOOR SAFETY DEPENDS ON AVOIDING CONTACT WITH ITEMS THAT COULD  
CONDUCT LIGHTNING WITHIN THE HOME. HERE ARE SOME INDOOR SAFETY TIPS  
TO FOLLOW WHEN A THUNDERSTORM IS IN THE AREA.  
 
1. DON'T TOUCH ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT OR CORDS. IF YOU PLAN TO  
UNPLUG ANY ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT, DO SO WELL BEFORE THE  
STORM ARRIVES.  
2. STAY OFF CORDED PHONES.  
3. AVOID CONTACT WITH PLUMBING. DO NOT WASH YOUR HANDS, TAKE A  
SHOWER, WASH DISHES, OR DO LAUNDRY.  
4. STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS AND DOORS, AND STAY OFF PORCHES.  
 
IN CASE YOUR HOME IS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING:  
 
* EVACUATE YOUR HOME IMMEDIATELY IF YOU SMELL SMOKE AND CALL 911.  
* CALL YOUR LOCAL FIRE DEPARTMENT AND, IF POSSIBLE, HAVE  
THEM CHECK FOR HOT SPOTS IN YOUR WALLS WITH THERMAL  
IMAGING EQUIPMENT.  
* MAKE SURE ALL SMOKE DETECTORS ARE POWERED AND  
OPERATING PROPERLY.  
* IF NEEDED, HAVE A LICENSED ELECTRICIAN CHECK THE  
WIRING IN YOUR HOME  
 
LIGHTNING QUESTION OF THE DAY: WHAT ARE LIGHTNING RODS AND HOW DO  
THEY WORK?  
 
LIGHTNING RODS PROTECT A HOME FROM A DIRECT LIGHTNING STRIKE, BUT  
THEY DO NOT PREVENT A HOME FROM BEING STRUCK. THEY ARE DESIGNED TO  
INTERCEPT LIGHTNING, TO PROVIDE A CONDUCTIVE PATH FOR THE HARMFUL  
ELECTRICAL DISCHARGE TO FOLLOW, AND TO DISPERSE THE ENERGY SAFELY  
INTO THE GROUND. WHILE LIGHTNING RODS HELP PROTECT A STRUCTURE FROM  
A DIRECT LIGHTNING STRIKE, A COMPLETE LIGHTNING PROTECTION SYSTEM IS  
NEEDED TO HELP PREVENT HARMFUL ELECTRICAL SURGES AND POSSIBLE FIRES  
CAUSED BY LIGHTNING ENTERING A STRUCTURE VIA WIRES AND PIPES.  
LIGHTNING PROTECTION SYSTEMS SHOULD BE PURCHASED FROM AND INSTALLED  
BY A CERTIFIED LIGHTNING PROTECTION SPECIALIST.  
 
HERE'S A LIST OF TOPICS THAT WERE COVERED EARLIER THIS WEEK.  
 
MONDAY - LIGHTNING AND LIGHTNING SAFETY...AN INTRODUCTION  
TUESDAY - LIGHTNING'S MOST DEADLY ACTIVITIES  
WEDNESDAY - LIGHTNING SAFETY AND SPORTS ACTIVITIES  
THURSDAY - LIGHTNING SAFETY AT WORK  
 
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT LIGHTNING OR LIGHTNING SAFETY, VISIT  
NOAA'S LIGHTNING SAFETY AWARENESS WEB SITE AT:  
 
HTTP://WWW.LIGHTNINGSAFETY.NOAA.GOV  
 

 
 
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