9 Things You Should Never Do at Home During a Thunderstorm

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Lightning above a house during a thunderstorm
Marc Rossmann / Shutterstock.com

When thunder rumbles this summer, there are a few things you should immediately avoid doing in your home.

A clap of thunder means dangerous lightning is within 10 miles of you. And contrary to what you might think, being inside your home does not necessarily keep you safe.

In fact, some seemingly harmless activities put you at risk of being struck by lightning inside the home.

They include:

  • Showering
  • Taking a bath
  • Washing dishes in the sink
  • Washing your hands

The source of danger in all these activities is the same: Plumbing. Lightning can make its way to you via your home’s plumbing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

“The risk of lightning traveling through plumbing might be less with plastic pipes than with metal pipes. However, it is best to avoid any contact with plumbing and running water during a lightning storm to reduce your risk of being struck.”

Talking on a corded phone is another activity you should avoid, as lightning can travel through the cord and phone and zap you.

On the other hand, talking on a cellphone or a cordless phone will keep you safe as long as the phone is not attached to a charger plugged into an outlet.

Other tips that can keep you safe from lightning in your home include:

  • Avoid windows and doors.
  • Stay off porches and balconies.
  • Refrain from lying down on concrete floors or leaning against concrete walls. Lightning can travel through metal bars and wires inside the concrete.
  • Avoid touching electronics or anything plugged into an electrical outlet, including computers, laptops, game systems, washers, dryers and stoves.

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