How to prevent lightning injuries and damage at your organization


It’s summer thunderstorm season for every state of the Union. For this reason, we’re focusing on the potential threat of lightning injuries and damage – and how you can mitigate them.

Every year there are about 25 million cloud-to-ground lightning flashes in the U.S. Each one of those flashes is a potential killer. In fact, in the past 10 years, lightning has claimed the lives of 300 people in the U.S. alone. Of those struck each year, approximately 30 are killed; the others suffer lifelong disabilities, says the Lightning Safety Council.

Here are a few more facts about lighting from the Lightning Safety Council and Zurich:

  • Lightning can strike about 10 miles from a thunderstorm – about the distance that you can hear thunder from a storm. That means if you can hear thunder – even a distant rumble – you’re likely within striking distance.
  • If the sky looks threatening, don’t wait for that first flash of lightning or thunder rumble. That first flash can be just as deadly as any other flash in the storm.
  • In the U.S., two-thirds of the area burned by wildfires is caused by lightning.  The Bootleg Fire in Oregon created its own weather, which included fire clouds capable of spawning lightning to further exacerbate the existing fires.
  • Lightning can heat the air it passes through to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit – five times hotter than the sun’s surface.