Lightning, Lottery, or Fire . . . What are the odds?

Blog Post created by meredithhawes Employee on Apr 29, 2020

Salado Creek apartment fire image (KSAT)


According to a recent survey by the American Red Cross, many people overestimate their ability to react to a home fire, and miss critical steps to keep their loved ones safe. In fact, survey findings showed that 40 per cent of people believe they are more likely to win the lottery or get struck by lightning than experience a home fire. So . . . how unlucky is it to be struck by lightning AND have a home fire?


That has been the case recently for families in Louisiana, Florida and Massachusetts. And in Texas, 14 adults and three children were displaced by an apartment fire that was sparked by lightning.  Home fires burn faster than ever before, so if lightning strikes and a fire is sparked, occupants could have as little as two minutes to escape. And while we can’t control storms and weather, we can take steps to safeguard our homes, and prepare our families to respond quickly in the event of a lightning storm or lightning fire.


Remember to:

  •      turn off computers;
  •      stay off corded phones (cell and cordless phones are OK), computers, and other things that put you in direct contact with electricity or plumbing;
  •      refrain from washing your hands, bathing, showering, doing laundry, or washing dishes;
  •      prepare and practice a home escape plan.


A lightning protection system (LPS) that follows the guidelines of the NFPA 780 safety standard, provides a network of low-resistance paths to safely intercept lightning’s destructive electricity and direct it to ground without impact to a structure or its occupants.


Check out the NFPA Lightning Safety Tip Sheet and a short video created by the Lightning Protection Institute (LPI). The video highlights the many ways lightning impacts communities and the economic toll it places on homes, businesses and infrastructure.