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State Farm asks “Are you Prepared to be Shocked by Lightning Damage?”

 

State FarmMurfreesboro, TN – Lightning Safety Awareness Week is June 19-25, which is primetime for electricity in the atmosphere. According to State Farm® Insurance, Tennessee ranked sixth nationwide in lightning claims in 2015.

Policyholders filed 791 claims statewide at a cost of $5.7 million. The good news is that there are some simple things you can do to protect yourself and your property.

Lightning strikes can cause fires. (NOAA)

Lightning strikes can cause fires. (NOAA)

Protect yourself

In fact, 85% of lightning victims are children and young men ages 10-35 engaged in recreation or work. To prevent death or injury, the Lightning Protection Institute advises the following:

  • Treat lightning with proper caution. If you are outside and a thunderstorm approaches, immediately seek shelter inside a fully enclosed building.
  • If a building is not available, take shelter in a car with a metal top and keep doors and windows closed.
  • Certain locations are extremely hazardous during thunderstorms. Avoid lakes, beaches or open water; fishing from a boat or dock; and riding on golf carts, farm equipment, motorcycles or bicycles. Never seek shelter under a tree!
  • If caught outdoors, try to minimize your risk by going to a place of lower elevation.
  • Stay off landline/wired telephones and utilize a cell phone if necessary. In your home, do not stand near open windows, doorways or metal piping. Stay away from the TV, plumbing, sinks, tubs, radiators and stoves. Avoid contact with small electric appliances such as radios, toasters and hairdryers

Protect Your Home or Business

  • For protection from lightning strikes in the general area of your home or an externally produced surge, a whole-house surge protector is the best starting point for reducing the risk of damage or a fire.
  • Install additional protection for important or expensive electronic equipment. This should include localized surge protection for power cords to the electronic equipment and any telephone and cable/satellite TV lines connecting to the equipment.
  • Make sure all equipment is UL-listed and properly labeled.
  • Lightning protection systems are designed to protect a structure and provide a specified path to harness and safely ground the super-charged current of the lightning bolt. The system neither attracts nor repels a strike, but receives the strike and routes it harmlessly into the earth, thus discharging the dangerous electrical event. Be sure the lightning protection system is designed and installed in accordance with accepted industry standards.

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