State Fire Marshal Brian Geraci reminded residents of basic lightning safety tips in a press release Aug. 8 as Maryland continues to experience thunderstorms with damaging lightning strikes.
“Deputy State Fire Marshals have reported to three fires as a result of lightning strikes this month alone,” Geraci said in the release. “It is important that Marylanders remember these simple safety tips when storms travels across our state.”
• If you can hear thunder, you are in striking distance of lightning. Look for shelter inside a home, large building or hard-topped vehicle.
• Wait at least 30 minutes before hearing the last thunder clap before leaving your shelter.
• Stay away from windows and doors. Stay off porches.
• There is no safe place outside. Places with only a roof on golf courses, sports fields and picnic areas are not safe during a lightning storm. Small sheds should not be used as a source of shelter.
• Turn off computers and other sensitive electronics plugged into a wall outlet.
• Stay off any devices or appliances that put you in direct contact with plumbing and electricity.
• You can use cordless and cellular phones.
• Do not wash your hands, bathe or shower or wash clothes or dishes.
Lightning can strike as far as 10 miles from any precipitation. If your home is struck, evacuate to a safe location immediately and call 911.