Photo: j_arred, Flickr Creative Commons
Lightning is beautiful, but also dangerous and potentially deadly. Strikes have killed an average of 67 people a year for the last 30 years in the United States alone. While most people are struck by lightning outside, you are still at risk when indoors during a thunderstorm.
How Lightning Can Enter Your Home
There are three main ways lightning can enter a home: through a direct strike, through the electrical wiring, or through the water pipes. No matter how it enters, once lightning breaches your structure it can travel through your appliances and plumbing.
Here are some tips for staying safe inside your home during a thunderstorm from our experienced electricians:
- Stay away from the windows – Windows provide a direct path for lightning to travel. Keep windows closed and stay in interior rooms away from windows.
- Don’t use corded or charging phones – Although most households have ditched the corded phone, they are still a significant danger during a lightning storm. Lightning can enter your home through your phone lines, striking anyone using the phone. Landline phone use, especially in rural areas, is still the leading cause of indoor lightning injuries in the U.S. Since lightning can also travel through your electrical wiring, do not use a cell phone during a storm if it is plugged in.
- Avoid contact with concrete floors and walls – Concrete flooring and walls – such as those that make up garages and basements – contain metal reinforcers which can then conduct a lightning strike to anyone in contact with the concrete.
- Washing dishes can wait – Water is an excellent conductor of electricity. It is advised you refrain from contact with your plumbing, which means no hand washing, no laundry, and no showers.
- Protect your appliances – Despite popular belief, surge protectors cannot protect your appliances from lightning damage. Unplug easy-to-access, high priced appliances (computer, TV, etc.) BEFORE the storm arrives: you should not touch any electrical outlets while a storm is nearby. Lightning can travel miles through power lines, meaning a strike miles away could reach your house, your property, and you.
- Stay inside – Even if the weather seems to have cleared, you could still be at risk. Wait at least 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder before venturing outside.
For more information on how to protect yourself from lightning, both inside and outdoors, there is a list of helpful tips on the CDC website.
Keep Your Home Safe with the Most Trusted Electrician at Farryn Electric
If your home has suffered a direct lightning strike or has been damaged by residual electricity from a nearby strike, call Farryn Electric today. We can inspect your electrical system for damage such as melted wires and make any necessary repairs.
If you are worried that your electrical system is out of date or in need of repair, we can give you a free estimate on a system upgrade. We also offer generators so that you never have to worry about power outages from severe storms.
For all your electrical needs, call Farryn Electric at 484-316-0449.
When people think of exterior lighting, they often assume the terms “safety lighting” and “security lighting” are interchangeable, but they have separate – though complementary – goals. The goal of safety lighting is to prevent injury by unseen hazards, while security lighting is meant to deter crime.
As exterior lighting experts, Farryn Electric assesses the individual needs of your home and combine safety and security features as needed.
Exterior lighting can add safety to your outdoor space in a variety of ways:
- Brighten walkways so people can navigate the area safely without worrying about stairs or tripping hazards.
- Zone lighting is useful for illuminating specific areas of your yard and landscape for safe nighttime use (such as a patio, deck, garden, pool area or outdoor seating area).
- You can also light driveways, garages and other entryways so your family and guests feel safe coming and going at night.
A well-lit home and yard gives a feeling of security and vigilance. It also shows your property is cared for and well maintained. This discourages trespassers and thieves, who prefer homes that can be approached under cover of darkness. Illuminating entrance points – such as door and windows – makes it difficult for a potential burglar to break in unnoticed.
If you don’t want your exterior to be constantly illuminated, you can opt for:
- Lights with motion detectors – A dark yard can be instantly filled with light when someone enters, both keeping family and friends safe and deterring criminals.
- Lighting systems that run on a timer – You’ll never have to worry about coming home to a dark house, or forgetting to turn the lights on or off before bed.
- Lights that can be turned on by remote – Even if you have your lights on a timer, your lighting system can be overridden by remote control. Keep the remote on your nightstand, and you can turn on the lights without leaving your bed, scaring off prowlers or animals.
Choose Farryn Electric for All Your Exterior Lighting Needs
When it comes to service and quality, Farryn Electric is #1. We offer competitive pricing and promise to treat your home as though it was our own. If you’re considering an exterior lighting project, you can call us for a free estimate.
Call us today at 484-316-0449 to experience the Farryn Electric difference on your next exterior lighting project.
Severe weather of any kind can cause problems for a homeowner; especially in winter. Aside from the obvious clearing snow from rooftops and driveways, you should make sure the rest of your home is secure when winter weather arrives. Farryn Electric has 5 Electrical Safety tips you should know about winter electrical maintenance.
TIP #1 – Home generator systems should have routine maintenance to ensure functionality. No it will not maintain itself, hopefully one day! The area around the generator should be clear of any debris, the oil needs to be changed as recommended on the manufacturer’s manual. Proper maintenance is encouraged to include having a skilled electrician out annually to professionally calibrate and maintain your generator. If you need a recommendation, I know a FABULOUS ONE 😉
TIP #2 – Before and after a winter storm, be sure to check outdoor outlets and cords for exposure and damage. Any fixture for example security lighting and landscape lighting should be checked for any signs of rust or frayed wiring. If you perceive any damage – promptly have it fixed.
TIP #3 – Light fixtures ought to have the correct bulb type with the proper wattage. I used to think… bulb lamp aha finally lights on and kids aren’t screaming they are afraid of the dark! Little did I (Stephanie) know using the correct bulb extends the life of both fixtures and bulbs as well as prevents fire. (Dan was ever so delighted to explain)
TIP#4 – Older electrical systems can have many issues mainly outdated code standards and over or undersized breakers. We at Farryn Electric provide free safety inspections and comprehensive estimates for our customers. Realtors maybe interested in making this information known to their clients buying an older home.
TIP #5 – Fire Alarm safety, I cannot stress this enough = DO NOT WAIT UNTIL IT BEEPS CONTINUOUSLY AT 3AM; It’s annoying for one, and NOT the safest way to ensure your smoke detectors are functioning properly. Test them monthly to ensure they work properly! Replace the batteries every 6 months. Check the expiration dates… yes they do expire usually a 10 year life expectancy, however, older models expire in 2-3 years.
If you have recently purchased a home with an older panel or your current panel cannot supply the amount of power you need, then you might need to upgrade the panel or install a new one. The minimum requirement for an electric breaker panel is 100 amps. Panels come in 100, 150, 200 and 400 amp capacities. Old panels, especially those with the old glass fuses, are prone to tripping and can pose a fire hazard. Remember to choose a panel that exceeds your electricity needs so you won’t tax your electrical system, which can cause outages, or worse, a fire. Your electrician can advise you on whether your panel can be upgraded or needs to be replaced. Keep in mind that an old style fuse box cannot be upgraded and must be replaced with a new panel.