when electrical storms strike

Ways to keep your home and family safe

Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative 

While lighting can cause considerable damage and harm if it strikes you or your home, there are a few practical steps you can take at home to reduce the risk that an electrical storm poses to you. Check out these electrical storm safety tips that you can implement today.


Indoors is the safest place you can be during an electrical storm. Stay away from windows, as they can shatter if lightning strikes nearby. In rare instances, the lightning can pass through a chip in the window and strike those inside.


Electricity can travel through the wires in your home during a lightning strike and exit from any electronic devices that you have plugged in and turned on at the time. The lightning can damage or destroy the device and potentially injure those nearby. It’s safe to use your phone or devices that aren’t plugged into your home’s electrical system. Surge protectors can reduce the chance that a lightning strike or electrical surge damages your devices and appliances.


Lightning can move along the metal in your home’s pipes and through any water that comes out of them. If there’s an electrical storm in your area, don’t shower, wash dishes, bathe, or otherwise come into contact with water from your home’s plumbing system. If you do, you place yourself at risk of electric shock. 


Metal is an excellent conductor of electricity, which means you should avoid all contact with it during an electrical storm. While the metal won’t attract lightning on its own, it can conduct electricity much further than other media. Surprisingly, lightning can also be conducted by the rebar inside of reinforced concrete. If any surface of your home is made of concrete, avoid it until the electrical storm passes.

Protecting Your Electronics

4 tips to protect electronics during an electrical storm

  • Unplug appliances and electronic devices such as televisions, computers, and gaming systems. Any lightning or electrical surge can travel through your home’s electrical system and damage devices or appliances that are still plugged into it.
  • Install a whole house surge protector to your home’s electrical panel. Do not rely on an outlet power strip to protect your electronics during a storm.
  • Do not use electronics that are connected to your home’s electrical system.
  • Do not charge any electrical devices during a storm.


While electrical storms pose real dangers, there are many steps that you can take to minimize their potential harm. Keeping your home’s electrical system up to date is one of the best preventative measures that you can take to safely weather a storm. Fixing those flickering lights and tripped breakers now could also improve your everyday quality of life. 

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