Michigan lightning

How is lightning damage caused

Lightning brightens the sky and provides a spectacular display of Mother Nature’s power. This awesome phenomenon also causes more deaths and property destruction in a typical year than floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes combined.

Don’t underestimate the dangers of lightning to your Michigan home

The threat of lightning danger can occur anytime, but the most likely time for damaging thunderstorms is June through August. The early spring is also a vulnerable period. Scientifically speaking, lightning is the visible discharge of electrical energy. You will always hear thunder afterward, which is a sonic boom created by the same electrical discharge. This electrical energy seeks a path to ground which could be your home, a tree, or even you! The key to your protection is diverting that discharge to a grounding path away from people and property. A lightning protection system has two objectives: Provide a direct path for the lightning to follow to the ground and prevent damage, injury, or death as it travels that path.

Preventative measures:

Buying a lightning rod will not prevent it from striking your home. Rods can provide a safe path to the ground for the electrical current. Rods are just one part of an effective protection system. If lightning occurs frequently near your home contact a qualified contractor. They can evaluate your home and explain the many parts of the system and perform the installation.

While lightning’s first target may be your house, there’s also a need to protect the property inside your home from the electrical surges that accompany a lightning strike. Surge protection devices installed at the main electrical panel or meter and outlets serving electronics can often prevent these sudden spikes in electrical current from damaging TVs, VCRs, computers and other expensive electronic devices.

Protect yourself against lightning put personal safety first

Most importantly, protect yourself. When lightning is present, seek shelter inside an enclosed building or vehicle, stay away from electrical appliances, and avoid using the telephone. If you cannot find shelter, stay close to the ground in a low-lying area, avoiding isolated trees, high ground, bodies of water or large open areas. If someone is injured, administer first aid if you are qualified to do so and call for emergency help. You cannot be “shocked” by someone who has been hit by lighting.

Finally, for more information on what to do if lightning strikes a tree on your property,  click on the highlighted link to learn how trees are covered under Michigan Insurance.