The odds of getting struck by lightning are low, but the damages are very severe. You should know the saying, “When thunder roars, go indoors.” But how can you be sure you are safe indoors? Can you get struck by lightning through a window?
While you are safer from lightning indoors, staying a few feet from the window is best. This is because you can be struck through the window if it is opened. Even when the window is closed, it is still possible to be struck by lightning, although it would have to strike twice.
In this article, I will discuss whether lightning can strike through a window, whether closed or open and some preventive measures to take indoors during thunderstorms.
How does lightning enter a building?
1. By hitting utility infrastructures
Lightening can hit the utility infrastructure for your home and travel through pipes or wires. This may result in an electrical surge and can cause a power outage in your home. It can also cause significant electrical discharges from appliances in the home, mostly from phones still connected to the cord, TV or laptop connected to the power cable, etc.
2. Through concrete floor
I bet you weren’t aware that it is also possible for lightning to travel through the wires or metal bars in the concrete flooring. This is mainly for homes with concrete floors in their basement. However, for this to be harmful to you, you will have to be standing directly on the concrete floor.
3. Via direct strike
It is also entirely possible for lightning to get into your home through a direct strike. This happens when the lightning hits the building directly. It can enter through the attic window, house window, shingles, roof, etc. So, can you get struck by lightning through a window? Read on to find out.
Can you get struck by lightning through an open window?
On average, 28 people die yearly from a lightning strike in the United States. Though a majority of them happened outdoors, some still happen indoors.
To answer the question, lightning can strike you through an open window. An open window doesn’t increase the odds of getting struck, as this happens rarely. But the fact is that if it does happen, an open window allows the lightning to get to you easily.
Can you get struck by lightning through a closed window?
During a thunderstorm, you are likely safer with a closed window. This is because even if the lightning were to strike the window, it would only shatter the window. The lightning would have to strike the same spot again to get to you. I’m not saying this is impossible, but it is extremely rare.
The best practice is to stay a few feet away from your windows during thunderstorms. This way, if the lightning hits the window, you won’t get hit by the shattered glass. And even if it were to strike the same window the second time, you’d still maintain a safe distance.
Safety tips when indoors during a thunderstorm
Staying indoors during a thunderstorm is the best thing to do. However, there are preventive measures you must take during this period as your home is not 100% safe. There are things you can do and things you shouldn’t do.
Things you shouldn’t do
All of the actions that should be avoided relate to the potential entry points for lightning into the house.
- The first thing to do is to ensure your windows are shut and stay a few feet away. As I mentioned earlier, even though the window is closed, lightning can shatter the glass. Leaving you exposed to all types of injuries, it is best to keep a safe distance.
- The second thing is to avoid using any electrical appliance or gadget connected to a power source. During thunderstorms, you are exposed to electrical discharges, so it is best to stay away from things that are plugged in.
- Next, avoid any water source. Lightning can travel through pipes, so avoiding taking a bath or washing the dishes during thunderstorms is best
- Lastly, stay away from concrete floors. Lightning can also travel through the metal bars or wires in concrete, making it unsafe. Do not head down to your basement during a thunderstorm if a concrete floor is used.
What you should do
The good news is that you and your family can engage in many fun activities. They include;
- Telling stories together
- Play a family game together
- Play games with your phones, tablets, and laptops (but must not be connected to a power supply)
- Talk with your friends on your cell phone as long as they are not plugged in
How often does lightning hit houses?
Surprisingly, only 1 in 200 houses are struck by lightning each year.
What happens if lightning touches your house?
A lightning strike can wreak havoc if it touches your house. It can split stones, concrete, and cinderblock easily. The sheer force can even decimate an entire structure.
What attracts lightning to the house?
Generally, objects that are tall or good for conducting electricity.
Lightning strikes 40 million times a year in the United States. Surprisingly, not all happens outdoors. Although they don’t happen too often, lightning can strike a house. The most common places are the windows and utility infrastructure in the home. It is best to err on the safe side than to ask, “How did it happen?”.
Always ensure that during a thunderstorm, you are a few feet away from the windows. This is because it is not ideal to stand so close to them, whether closed or open. Also, ensure all electrical outlets are shut off, and you refrain from water sources.
I hope this article was helpful. If it was, do visit Samkinsconstruction for more useful content.