OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As severe thunderstorms move into the state, lightning will often illuminate the night sky.
However, lightning can be dangerous.
It can spark a house fire and fry electronics, causing serious damage.
Batt. Chief Benny Fulkerson, with the Oklahoma City Fire Department, has a few tips for protecting yourself and your property during a lightning storm.
Lightning strikes your home
When you see lightning outside, you should always go indoors. But what should you do if lightning strikes your home?
“That happens more than you think. I can think of several times where we’ve had three, four, five lightning strike calls to structures all working at the same time. Sometimes that results in fires, sometimes it does not. If you’re the homeowner and you hear something that you think could have been a lightning strike, just know that that could have started a fire and it may be one that starts in the attic. That’s very common, it hits the roof, that starts some of that roofing material on fire and then it starts to smolder in the attic and it may be a while before you notice that. So it’s a good idea to get up and investigate, see if you can detect any smoke in your home. If you smell anything at all, go ahead and call 911. Go ahead and wait outside or in a safe spot somewhere. Let us come out, check it out for you. Oftentimes, it just may be a little bit of debris,” said Fulkerson.
He says that lightning strikes can also cause structural damage to a home, like destroying a chimney.
Someone is struck by lightning
If someone is struck by lightning and goes into cardiac arrest, Fulkerson says you should begin performing CPR while calling for help.
“The body does not retain that electrical charge. So the electricity has already passed through them. It has done its damage and you should go ahead and perform CPR on that person if they are in cardiac arrest,” he said.