The National Electrical Safety Authority (NESA) has published guidance on how to protect yourself and your family from lightning strikes in the UK.
The guidance, issued by NESA’s Electricity Safety Unit (ESU), states: If you are in a house that is not well protected, you should take precautions to minimise your risk of electricity shock.
“If your house is damaged in the event of lightning, you may need to take steps to protect it from further damage, such as removing or reducing electrical outlets and lighting sources, and installing electric shutters, so that the house is less likely to be struck by lightning,” said the ESU.
“You may also need to consider whether your house or household is connected to a power plant, and make sure the equipment in your home is well maintained.”
This means protecting electrical appliances, such that they are not exposed to electricity surges, while also protecting them from the elements.
The NESR guidance states that in the absence of a storm surge or any other external shock, there is a “reasonable probability” that a lightning strike will occur.
The ESU advises people to have extra electrical protection, including, for example, lighting and door-mounted solar panels.
They also recommend that people should consider having more children in the house, because it is a risk of lightning strikes that could result in electrocution.
“It is not recommended that children be in the household at the same time as other household members,” said NESU.
The National Electric Safety Advisory Group (NESAG) also issued a warning.
“Electricity is an important part of life in the home and any electrical fault or fault hazard will cause an electrical shock,” said NESAG director, Caroline Boddington.
“There are no absolute rules for safe electricity, but these guidance notes help ensure that people understand what is expected and the potential consequences of a problem that may arise.”
The NESAG recommends that people consider how they can be more resilient to lightning strikes.
The advice states that people who are not familiar with how to operate their electric appliances and have not read and understood the safety advice of the ESMSA should consider how to install extra protective devices such as lighting and/or solar panels, which are not as susceptible to lightning as conventional electric outlets and electric shut-off devices.