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Lightning Safety Tips

Lyndsay Morrison, staff writer

July 19, 2010 — Lightning storms can be fascinating, but they can also be extremely dangerous. Here are some safety tips from The Weather Network and the Red Cross.

'Tis the season for severe thunderstorms, which means the risk of lightning is increased significantly. And while bolts of electricity lighting up the night sky can be captivating, they can also be deadly.

This past weekend, a 25 year-old Brantford, Ontario man was electrocuted and killed on Saturday. He was riding an inner tube with two friends on Saturday afternoon on Grand River, when lightning struck the water. A Montreal couple was struck by lightning on Saturday night. They took shelter under a tree during a heavy downpour. They are both in hospital. On Sunday night, a firefighter was hurt while trying to put out a fire caused by lightning at a home in Markham, Ontario.

To ensure that you stay safe in a lightning storm this summer, The Weather Network has compiled a list of lightning safety tips with the help of the Red Cross.

INDOOR LIGHTNING SAFETY TIPS

  • stay away from windows
  • unplug appliances
  • do not use the telephone
  • Avoid running tap water

OUTDOOR LIGHTNING SAFETY TIPS

  • try to reach a safe building or vehicle (Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are NOT safe)
  • Avoid high ground; water; tall, isolated trees; and metal objects such as fences or bleachers.
  • If you are boating or swimming, get to land and find shelter immediately!

IF SOMEONE IS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING

  • Call for help / dial 911
  • The injured person has received an electrical shock and may be burned or have other injuries.
  • People who have been struck by lightning do not retain an electrical charge and can be handled safely.
  • Give first aid. If the heart has stopped beating, a trained person should give CPR.

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