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Lighting can cause significant damage to your home and belongings.

Reducing the Shock of a Home Lightning Strike

As a long-time Florida resident, I am very familiar with lightning. However, I was shocked (no pun intended) to return to my neighborhood recently to find five fire trucks parked in front of my neighbor’s two-story home. The thunderstorm I followed home from the beach apparently had wreaked havoc. Firefighters had hacked their way through the side of her house to get into the smoky attic where thick framing members were smoldering due to a lightning strike. They quickly doused the smoldering wood, and cut out the worst section to ensure it wouldn’t reignite. While my neighbor’s home was now safe from fire, she still had a lot of damage to her walls, roof, and 2nd floor interior. Fortunately, there are steps you can take toward avoiding my neighbor’s experience. First, you can have a Lightning Protection System installed. These systems provide a direct path for lightning to follow to the ground rather than through the house and its wiring. Of course, consult a qualified contractor for installation. Because a Lightning Protection System won’t protect your home from fire or electrical damage if lightning enters through the telephone, cable, or electrical lines, you should also install a Whole House Surge Protection device. Contact you local electric company for installation information. If they don’t offer the service, a qualified electrician can install the device at your electrical panel.

Western forests have become tinder in raging wildfires Western forests have become tinder in raging wildfires

Wildfire Alert Level on High

The wildfire alert has been raised to its highest level this week as more than 1,000 wildfires have been sparked throughout the western U.S. Under current tinderbox conditions, dry lightning strikes, which happen without benefit of rain or storms, are igniting acreage and pushing firefighters beyond their limits. There is even talk of bringing firefighters from neighboring nations to help combat the blazes. Please review your property with a critical eye. Remove foliage and tinder from around the perimeter of your home. Adhere to guidelines for creating a defensible perimeter around your property to give firefighters room to work and protect against spread. Plan for this emergency. If the wildfire threat level has been raised this high, precautions and preparations must be undertaken now to keep property and loved ones safe.

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