Thunderstorms are always accompanied by lightning. With lightning comes potential power surges, structural damage, hail, flash floods, powerful winds and even destructive fires. Learn the risks associated with thunderstorms and how you can keep yourself, your staff and your business safe.
Lightning starting a fire
According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), lightning causes an average of 22,600 fires every year. If lightning causes a fire near your facility, call emergency services immediately.
Lightning causing power surge damage
Another risk of thunderstorms is power surges. If lightning strikes a power line, telephone wire or your office itself, it can create a strong burst of electricity that travels through the wires and harms your electrical devices. Power surges can damage or even permanently destroy your computers, telephone systems and any other plugged-in appliances inside your business. To stay safe during a thunderstorm, do not let employees operate electrical equipment. Instead, have staff shut off computers and stay away from items that put them in direct contact with electricity.
Lightning causing structural damage
Structural damage from a thunderstorm comes in various forms. If lightning strikes a tree and it falls on your business, you could be dealing with shattered windows, a damaged roof or even injuries and fatalities. You may also face structural damage from direct lightning hits or lightning-related fires
How to prevent lightning damage to your business
Use these tips to help keep your business safe from thunder and lightning:
- If you know a thunderstorm is approaching, unplug all of your office’s electronic devices beforehand to prevent power surges.
- If you suspect that your building was hit with lightning, call the fire department immediately to avoid significant damage.
- Install surge protection devices or grounding systems at your office.
- Consider installing a lightning rod on your building to direct lightning strikes to one safe space.
- Trim any trees or large branches that risk falling on your business during a storm.
- Train your staff about the threats of thunderstorms and what they need to do if one approaches.