Every year, thousands of fires are started by lightning. Many people assume that fire hazards primarily occur during the summer and fall, but winter and spring storms can be equally dangerous. Fires started by lightning often involve outside vegetation or internal electrical faults. Here are some ways to protect yourself from storm-related fire hazards.
Clean Up the Outside
As noted, the most common source of fire during a lightning storm is outside vegetation. By clearing up the outside of your home, you can reduce the chances of an external house fire. External fires can easily spread to your home if there is dry brush, such as plants and bushes, on the ground. Dry grass, leaves, and other plant matter should be raked and disposed of regularly.
Protect Electronics From Overload
Electronics should be plugged into surge protectors to avoid overload, which can lead to sparking or fires. Not only does this protect you from the storm, but it also protects you from regular power surges. Power surges can damage your appliances and electronics beyond repair by melting their components and damaging their interior wiring.
Remove Potentially Flammable Objects
Potentially flammable items should be removed from areas around electrical outlets and objects. Electricity can arc. Avoid placing things such as cardboard boxes or paper around metal window frames and appliances. This also reduces your fire hazard risk overall.
Check Your Fire Alarms
Fire alarms can save your life in a fire, but only if they are working. You can't completely remove the potential for fires in your home, but you can improve the likelihood of noticed and reacting to them quickly.
Check your fire alarms regularly. If they are battery powered, make sure the batteries are replaced when needed. You may also want to make sure there are enough fire alarms to protect your entire home.
Update Your Home's Wiring
Older homes may need upgraded wiring to be safe. Wiring has changed in the past few decades, and older homes may have unsafe wiring that isn't properly grounded or updated. Having an electrician review your wiring can prevent potential problems in the event that your home's circuitry is overloaded. Updating your circuit box can also make it less likely that your home will overload.
Remove Metal Window Frames
Metal window frames are a significant danger during storms, as electricity will often travel through them or arc toward them. If you can, update your window frames to wood or vinyl frame windows to reduce your potential for fire hazards.
If you can't remove your metal window frames, you should avoid standing around windows during a storm, and you should remove any metal objects or flammable objects from around your windows.
Invest in a Lightning Protection System
A lightning protection system, often known as a lightning rod, is one of the best ways to protect your home from all types of lightning damage, including fire damage. Lightning protection systems are designed to capture and redirect lightning, safely directing it to an area where it won't cause any damage.
Lightning protection systems can easily be installed on the roof of a home or business. These systems do not distract from the home's appearance, and they protect the home automatically during storms without any additional expenses. Lightning will prioritize this system, so you won't need to worry about lightning striking either your home or structures on the outside of your home.
By making the above changes to your home, you can reduce the chances that you'll experience a fire or electrical damage throughout your property. If you're concerned about the potential impact of lightning in your home, contact the experts at Michigan Lightning Protection.