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by NFPA's Andrew Holter
From the Fire Service Today blog
Sunday night I was sitting at home by the beach doing some work on my computer. It had been a hot day here in New England with temperatures in the mid 90s and even as clouds crept over shore the beach remained very busy. Suddenly without any notice a brilliant bright flash of light occurred and in the same instant booming crackling thunder which gave way to screams from the beach. The power in my building had gone out and from the sounds outside I expected to see a grim scene when I got to the window. Thankfully no one was hurt and people were running to their cars to escape the now pouring rain.
Lightning is extremely dangerous and too often we choose to ignore the risks which it presents.  Many times a close call with it, such as mine, can quickly remind anyone that lightning is extremely powerful. These same storms that rolled through also caused a slew of lightning strikes and one in Kingston, MA resulted in a two-alarm house fire. The NFPA  reports that between 2004 and 2008 fire departments responded to an average of 24,600 fires started by lightning which caused over 400 million dollars in property loss each year! Click here to see more information on lightning fires in the United States.
The NFPA created a lightning safety sheet which can be seen by clicking here.
To download the latest lightning strike report by NFPA just released last month click here.
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