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Be aware: these are the hidden dangers of thunderstorms that you can avoid
Home, Safety

17.08.2021

There are thunderstorms in Estonia about 20-25 days a year. Lightning arrows can cause anxiety in the Estonian people from May to September. How can we act to protect ourselves and our homes as securely as possible from flashing lightning arrows?

The basic safety rule is simple - under no circumstances should electrical work be performed during a thunderstorm. When you see the flickering lightning arrows, it's high time you put your tools away. A lightning bolt can charge up to 200,000 amps, which is an insanely high current. A standard light bulb only needs 0.3-0.5 amps to work. Lightning bolt strike would therefore have a charge of up to 500,000 times and it is not very difficult to see how tragic the consequences could be.

Let the home be a fortress

You can also do a lot yourself to be safer at home during a thunderstorm. When lightning approaches, it is advisable to unplug all electrical equipment. Don't forget to plug phone chargers from wall outlets, even when you leave home. In the same way, disconnect the internet data cables and unplug the TV cables on older TVs.

It is wise to install lightning protection systems in buildings. Attach long bars to the house, which are located above the top of the building. It is recommended to use surge arresters in the living quarters, which reduce the huge energy charge associated with a thunderstorm. An external lightning protection system protects the house from fire, while surge arresters protect electrical equipment.

Sometimes accidents happen even when you've done everything you can. In this case, electrical equipment insurance can also provide peace of mind. Electrical equipment insurance covers sudden and unforeseen damage to electrical equipment. With Eesti Energia's insurance, domestic electrical equipment is insured against damage caused by lightning, short circuit, overload or undervoltage in the amount of 2,000 euros.

Remember that during a thunderstorm you must not:

  • take a bath or go outside by a body of water (water is a good conductor of electricity);
  • make a fire in the fireplace or stove (warm air coming out of the chimney and its charged particles act as a lightning rod);
  • create a draft (warm airflow acts as a lightning rod);
  • make calls from a landline (calling connected to a data network is dangerous. In Estonia, there are two cases where a person spoke to a landline during a thunderstorm and after a flash of an arrow flashed a pipe and the person was deaf in one ear);
  • go under trees and masts (tall trees and masts act like traps, lightning finds them more easily and hits them there);
  • move on the open field (lightning makes it much easier for a person to find a flat ground).