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Texas Department of Insurance
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May 5, 2022

How to stay safe from lightning

Texas had more lightning strikes than any other state in 2021. Each year in the U.S., there are about 70,000 insurance claims and $2 billion of damage from lightning.

What are my chances of getting struck by lightning?

The odds are low, but your chances go down if you’re not being safe around thunder. Your chances of getting struck in any given year are about one in 1.5 million. If you live until about 80, that number drops to one in 18,000. For every 10 people, there’s a one in 1,800 chance one of them will get struck.

How can I protect myself from lightning?

The best tip is to monitor the weather. If you’re headed outside for the day, check to see if a storm is forecast. If you get caught outside and hear thunder, get inside a building or a car with a hard top as soon as you can. Don’t take cover under a tree.

If you’re inside, stay away from water or electronics. Lightning can go into your plumbing and electric systems.

How do you help someone if they’re struck by lightning?

If someone is struck, the top concern is that they’ll go into cardiac arrest. If this happens to someone around you, call 9-1-1 and start CPR until help arrives.

How can I protect my house from lightning?

Homeowners can invest in a lightning protection system, which has three parts:

  1. Lightning rod: Intercepts the lightning.
  2. Down conductor: Takes energy from the lightning down the side of the building.
  3. Ground terminals or grounding rods: Takes the energy from the down conductor and puts it deep into the ground.

If you want to install a lightning protection system, hire a professional certified by the Lightning Protection Institute.

What is a fact about lightning that people don’t know?

Lightning can strike up to 10 miles from where it’s raining. And you can hear thunder only about 10 miles from a storm. So, if you hear thunder, you’re within striking distance of lightning.

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