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Boom! Crash! Crack! DC Electrical Storms Love Summer

dc-electrical-storms-safety-wilcox-electric-dcDC Electrical storms are frequent - sometimes daily - summer occurrences in this hot, humid climate. Fire and electrical damage can happen before you know it. If you aren’t prepared, you could lose everything. Informed homeowners know how to protect their homes and possessions best when that lightning starts to flash.

We believe that the more homeowners and family members understand electrical storms, the better equipped they will be to take precautions to protect themselves, household systems, and be prepared to care for other family members and neighbors who may need post-storm assistance.

What Causes Electrical Storms?

Electric storms begin when you combine warm air and cool air and throw in some moisture.  The imbalance causes a static reaction in the clouds. If the storm remains there, there is no need to worry. But as the imbalance between warmer rising air and cooler descending air continues, electrical charges, positive and negative, are created. Lightning is nature dispelling that charge. 

If Mother Nature can get so riled up with that current far above us, imagine what can happen if that current reaches down (lightning) and connects to your electrical possessions on the ground? The sudden surge of power can cause damage and destruction, including fire, in your home if it is not properly grounded.

Lightning causes thousands of fires each year, both in buildings and in outdoor terrains. It’s always so much better to be safe than sorry. Taking precautions is good sense and an act of caring.

What Are Some Safety Precautions We Encourage in an Electrical Storm?

Electrical appliances, computers, TVs, etc., are all susceptible to electrical surges that can wipe them out. Worse yet, they can cause a fire, which could take everything- and everyone. Here’s a list of some standard precautions people should take to keep their homes and family safe. 

Surge Protectors- Surge protectors can make a big difference when you plug into them on the way to the outlet. The grounding wire gives all that power somewhere to go other than into your computer or big screen TV. You can purchase surge protectors anywhere. Remember, although they take the heat from your equipment and appliances, some damage can still occur. Over time, wires can burn, and internal parts can wear down sooner than average. 

Stay Out of the Water- water is a conductor, and lightning CAN travel right through the plumbing. Please. Just stay away from water during a storm.

Leave Electronics Alone- This is not the time to head to the home office and get some work done. It’s smart to leave the big screen turned off, too, if the storm is bad and in your neighborhood. Best yet, unplug until the electricity moves on.

Heat Lightning is Lightning- You know those hot summer evenings when you see all the far-off lightning in the clouds but never hear any thunder. “Oh, it’s just heat lightning,” right? Nope. It’s lightning lightning. You don’t hear the thunder because of the distance. Storms travel very quickly at times. Pay attention. 

Stay Inside- Yes, it’s fascinating to watch a lightning storm. Here’s a safe rule- the 30-30 rule. When you see the lightning, start to count. If the thunder cracks before you count to 30, go inside. Stay in for at least 30 minutes. 

You Can Keep the Whole Home Safe

Did you know whole house surge protectors are a real thing? You can get a whole-home surge protector, which keeps everything grounded. This kind of electrical surge protection can be priceless. Wilcox Electric would be happy to discuss whole house surge protection with you. 

Wilcox Electric encourages you to take care during electrical storms. We want you to be around to enjoy the next one, too. Contact us, today