When Lightning Strikes: 3 Main Hazards To A House When Hit
A lightning strike is one of the most common causes of property damage and fire-related property insurance claims in America.
The professionals at SERVPRO of South Cobb have developed the reputation of being the go-to company for property damage restoration throughout the greater Atlanta region. On rare occasions, we have received calls regarding fire damage to a home after being hit by lightning.
Lightning strikes are one of the most dangerous hazards that a house can face, and in the following blog post, we will learn more about what happens when lightning strikes a house and how all house members can stay safe. Make sure you read to the end, where you will find out the three main hazards to a house that has been struck by lightning and how the professionals at SERVPRO can help.
How do lightning strikes occur?
Lightning strikes are caused by the buildup of electrical discharges in the atmosphere. Most of the time, lightning begins to form in clouds or other storm fronts and will travel for miles before hitting anything on the ground.
3 common hazards from lightning striking a house
Fire Damage: The most severe hazard to your house when struck by lightning is fire damage. Lightning can cause fire damage in two ways: a direct hit to the roof or siding, causing it to ignite. The other fire damage to look out for is an electrical fire that starts in the wiring of a house.
Shock Waves: When lightning strikes a home directly or near, an explosive shock wave will follow. In the past, we have seen lightning shock waves shatter glass windows and damaged siding.
Power Surge: As you already learned, an electrical fire may occur when lightning comes in contact with the home electrical wiring. Something that can also occur is a power surge. A power surge is an unusually high amount of voltage that comes through the electrical system and into devices.
In the past, we have seen many electronics damaged after the home is hit by lightning. Surges come in different sizes and will occur when the wiring in your home absorbs all of the electricity from one bolt and then has to release it into another wire or appliance which is not equipped for this type of surge.
It is best to invest in a quality surge protector to avoid damaged electronics caused by a power surge. Surge protectors can be bought at most hardware and electrical supply stores for around $20-$30, depending on the quality and how many outlets you need to cover.
What to do when your home is struck by lightning?
If your home is struck by lightning, you must find out if any fires have started. You will want to check all areas of the house, including the attic because the attic is the most common area for a fire to break out after a lightning strike. You must call the local fire department at first sight or smell of fire.
Safety always must be a homeowner's top priority. Therefore, after the storm has passed, you should contact the professionals at SERVPRO to come and inspect your property whether a fire broke out or not.
As you can see, when lightning directly strikes a house, it can cause all sorts of severe damages. Unfortunately, lightning strikes to a home are nearly impossible to prevent, but you can develop an emergency disaster recovery plan to prevent the damages from becoming worse.
Please contact the professionals at SERVPRO of South Cobb after lightning strikes your property. SERVPRO of South Cobb is an IICRC certified firm that specializes in fire damage restoration.