The Daily Feed

Don’t get shocked

Photo courtesy of
‘Crecent Lightning’
courtesy of ‘Cazimiro’

It looks cool but it’s less pleasant to get hit by it. According to Pepco lightning strikes kill 400 people in the US every year – most of them in June, July, and August. So they’ve offered up this selection of tips for how to stay safer in a storm.

They don’t offer any tips for keeping your stuff safe, so let me drop some knowledge on you here: there is no consumer protection gadget out there that will protect your computer/DVD/tv/whatever safe against a close lightning strike. So-called “surge protectors” are typically one-use components (an MOV, to be precise) that may marginally protect against dirty power – but probably not. Lightning travels through the air so I assure you: it will have no problem jumping a nanometer distance or even across a power switch on a strip if the strike was close enough.

For 100% protection in an ugly storm, unplug.

[edit: accidentally left in ‘kill’ from a previous edit – Pepco claims approximately 60 fatalities out of those 400 who are struck]