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Lightning safety tips

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ATLANTA -

In light of recent lightning strikes in the news and in recognition of Lightning Safety Awareness Week (June 23 - June 30), the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)® offers the following tips to keep families reduce their risk of lightning injuries:

Before the Storm

  • Stay alert and listen carefully for the first signs of lightning or thunder. Remember, "If Thunder Roars, Go Indoors™."
  • Seek shelter. Lightning often hits before the rain begins, so don't wait for the rain to start before leaving.

If Outdoors

  • Avoid water, high ground and open spaces.
  • Stay away from metal objects including wires, fences and motors.
  • Find shelter in a sizable building or in a fully enclosed metal vehicle like a car or truck. Completely close the windows and don't lean on the doors.
  • Don't get under a small canopy, small picnic shelter or near trees.
  • If you cannot take shelter indoors, crouch down with your feet together and place your hands over your ears to minimize hearing damage from the thunder.
  • Stay at least 15 feet away from other people.

If Indoors

  • Avoid water and stay away from doors and windows.
  • Do not use landline telephone or headsets. Cell phones are safe.
  • Turn off, unplug and stay away from appliances, computers, power tools and televisions sets as lightning may strike exterior electric and phone lines inducing shocks to equipment inside.

After the Storm

  • Don't resume activities until at least 30 minutes after the last lightning strike or thunderclap.
  • Call 911 immediately if anyone is injured and use first aid procedures.

Lightning victims do not carry an electrical charge, so it is safe to administer medical treatment.

For more information on protecting your home and family from dangerous lightning strikes, visit www.flash.org.

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