Daily Dupaco

Monday, July 26, 2010

Protection from the unexpected: lighting strikes

We often compare our chances of getting struck by lightning with the odds of winning the lottery. But the reality is that more than 100,000 thunderstorms occur in the U.S. each year, with lightning striking more than 30 million points on the ground during that same period.

Many homes are equipped to withstand and even absorb a lightning strike. What happens after the strike is typically cause for concern, including the potential for fire (a typical bolt of lightning can result in heat of up to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit), damage from power surges, and exterior structural damage.

Take care to protect yourself physically and financially from a storm. Avoid contact with electrical appliances, water, and doors and windows, and make sure your homeowners insurance provides adequate coverage in case you fall victim to an unexpected strike.

If your home is struck by lightning, follow these precautions:
  • Get out of the house.
  • Call the fire department immediately.
  • After firefighters complete their task, call a qualified electrician for an emergency evaluation, even if fire is minimal or not found. (Firefighters only will assess the present existence of fire. An electrician will assess and prevent future potential fire.)
  • Call your insurance agent who will begin the process of damage assessment and claim filing
For more information on hazards posed by a lightning strike and how to reduce the risk visit the Home & Family Finance Resource Center.
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