14 tips and advice to stay safe in thunderstorms and lightning

News Shopper: 14 tips to stay safe in thunderstorms and lightning 14 tips to stay safe in thunderstorms and lightning

Thunderstorms struck across the south east London and Kent last night and there are more on the way, according to forecasters.

News Shopper: Thunder Bromley

Everyone knows how dangerous lightning can be – last year our cousins over the Atlantic lost 23 people as a direct result of being struck, and that was their lowest ever – but not everyone knows how to stay safe in a storm.

In England, up to 60 people are struck each year and between five and 10 per cent are fatal.

CLICK HERE TO SEE READERS' STUNNING PICTURES OF LAST NIGHT'S THUNDERSTORMS

Here are some tips, based on advice from the Met Office and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents:

News Shopper: Barnehurst lightning
Picture by Bradley Bird

  • Head inside (a large, enclosed building is best)
  • A car is quite safe as the lightning will spread over the metal and ground through the tyres.
  • If you can hear thunder, you are already in range of where lightning can strike as the bolts can land as far as 10 miles from the centre of a storm
  • If the flash to bang is less than three seconds the storm is within a kilometre and you really should be inside
  • Stay inside for 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder
  • Lightning can strike in the same place twice
  • Lightning does not always strike the tallest object
  • Unplug non-essential electrical items. You don’t want a power surge
  • Avoid using the landline phone – the lines can conduct electricity
  • Try not to use taps or the sink
  • If you are outside, steer clear of water or activities like golf or fishing
  • Find somewhere low-lying, AWAY from trees, poles or metal objects
  • If you find yourself exposed: squat to the ground with your hands on your knees and head tucked between them so you are as small as possible. Try to touch as little of the ground as possible – definitely don’t lie down
  • If you feel your hair stand on end, drop to the position immediately – lightning may be about to strike

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:11pm Sat 19 Jul 14

kumpta says...

"A car is quite safe as the lightning will spread over the metal and ground through the tyres." - PARDON?……...
Tyres are made of rubber and are non-conductive. They prevent the 'grounding' of electricity (lightning) which makes a car a safe refuge.
If the lightning WAS grounded as to the author's statement the car and its passengers would be incinerated!
Basic schoolboy physics.
"A car is quite safe as the lightning will spread over the metal and ground through the tyres." - PARDON?……... Tyres are made of rubber and are non-conductive. They prevent the 'grounding' of electricity (lightning) which makes a car a safe refuge. If the lightning WAS grounded as to the author's statement the car and its passengers would be incinerated! Basic schoolboy physics. kumpta
  • Score: 4
Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree