Spokane Fire Department promotes lightning safety - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane Fire Department promotes lightning safety

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The Spokane Fire Department on Monday released eight guidelines and facts about lightning safety.

1. Lightning is the number-one cause of storm-related deaths

2. Lightning is the most dangerous and frequently encountered weather hazard people experience each year.

3. The average lightning strike is six miles long.

4. Voltage in a cloud-to-ground strike is 100 million to 1 billion volts.

5. Remember the 30 -30 rule. If you can see a lightening flash count to 30. If the thunder occurs within thirty seconds you are close enough to the storm to be in danger. Wait another 30 minutes to be considered safe to resume normal outside activities.

6. Do not use hard wired phones, cordless phones are OK, stay away from home appliances and plumbing. Unplug sensitive electrical equipment to protect it from voltage spikes from lightning. Surge protectors can not stop the voltage contained in a lightning strike.

7. Do not stand at a window or open door to watch a lightning event.

8. If you are outside during a lightning event immediately seek shelter in the closest building.

Please remember that lightning while fun to watch is very dangerous and can kill from up to 10 miles from a strom cell. Blue sky above you is not a guarantee of safety.

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