062  
NOUS41 KBGM 231238  
PNSBGM  
NYZ009-015>018-022>025-036-037-044>046-055>057-062-240400-  
 
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT  
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BINGHAMTON NY  
840 AM EDT FRI JUN 23 2017  
 
THIS WEEK, JUNE 18TH THROUGH 24TH, IS NEW YORK STATE'S LIGHTNING  
SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK. THIS IS THE LAST IN A SERIES OF FIN DAILY  
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENTS ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE  
IN BINGHAMTON CONTAINING INFORMATION ON LIGHTNING AND LIGHTNING  
SAFETY.  
 
LIGHTNING SAFETY AROUND THE HOME  
 
WHILE 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 DOLLARS 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, 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.  
 
MYTH OF THE DAY- IF YOU ARE IN A HOUSE, YOU ARE 100% SAFE FROM  
LIGHTNING.  
 
A HOUSE IS A SAFE PLACE TO BE DURING A THUNDERSTORM AS LONG AS YOU  
AVOID ANYTHING THAT CONDUCTS ELECTRICITY. THIS MEANS STAYING OFF  
CORDED PHONES, ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES, WIRES, TV CABLES, COMPUTERS,  
PLUMBING, METAL DOORS AND WINDOWS. WINDOWS ARE HAZARDOUS FOR TWO  
REASONS: WIND GENERATED DURING A THUNDERSTORM CAN BLOW OBJECTS INTO  
THE WINDOW, BREAKING IT AND CAUSING GLASS TO SHATTER AND SECOND, IN  
OLDER HOMES, IN RARE INSTANCES, LIGHTNING CAN COME IN CRACKS IN THE  
SIDES OF WINDOWS.  
 
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 FIRE  
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.  
 
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT LIGHTNING OR LIGHTNING SAFETY,  
VISIT NOAA'S LIGHTNING SAFETY AWARENESS WEB SITE AT:  
 
HTTP://WWW.LIGHTNINGSAFETY.NOAA.GOV/ (ALL LOWER CASE).  
 
YOU CAN ALSO CONTACT DAVID NICOSIA, WARNING COORDINATION  
METEOROLOGIST, FOR NOAA'S NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BINGHAMTON AT  
607-770-9531 X 223 OR VIA EMAIL AT DAVID.NICOSIA@NOAA.GOV  
 
OR  
 
KAT HAWLEY, METEOROLOGIST, FOR NOAA'S NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN  
BINGHAMTON AT (607) 729-1597 X 4 OR VIA EMAIL AT  
KATHERINE.HAWLEY@NOAA.GOV  
 

 
 
KAH  
 
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