Lightning strike in a house - what happens?
A lightning strike in the house can lead to severe destruction. But what exactly happens and how can one protect oneself from the consequences?
Although the likelihood of a house being struck by lightning is very low, lightning damage is common. An impact within a radius of two kilometers is sufficient to cause damage to electrical appliances. Many people have completely misconceptions about lightning and their consequences.
Lightning knows no rules
Statistically, lightning strikes the highest point of a terrain. Even so, it can happen that a small house stands next to a skyscraper. Even a house with a lightning rod can sustain a lightning strike next to the arrester and burn if it is not expertly installed. Only a lightning protection from the professional protects against these consequences. A lightning protection system from the hardware store is not enough.
What happens when the lightning strikes
The danger of lightning stems from the unimaginable amount of energy. When lightning strikes, thousands of amps of electricity flow in fractions of a second, the voltage is several million volts. The flash is 30,000 degrees Celsius. Only the fact that the lightning current flows only for a short time, protects against major damage.
If the lightning strikes a house where there is no lightning conductor, the current flows through reinforcements, water and power lines to earth. The walls can burst in the area of the cables. People who are near the affected parts are in mortal danger. Nevertheless, there are rarely any persons who are fatally injured in the house by lightning.
As the energy of lightning flows through the house, fires often occur. Mostly the wood of the roof truss burns. If the house has a well-designed lightning conductor, the lightning current flows from the outside and the building is hardly damaged.
Voltage damage prevents internal lightning protection. These are protective shutdowns that automatically operate when the voltage suddenly rises. Nevertheless, the pulling of power and antenna plugs during thunderstorms is still the best protection. This should already be done when the storm is raging three kilometers away.
Tip: If there are less than ten seconds between the lightning and the thunder, pull out all the plugs.
People tend to do little in the house
A lightning strike into the house is a disaster for those affected. The damage caused by overvoltage or by the magenta field built up by the lightning system is a problem for insurance companies. In the large amount of fires caused by arson or negligence, the cause of the fire is lightning.
Deaths in the house due to lightning are usually due to fire an unfortunate chain. In July 2014, for example, lightning struck a house in Bodenkirchen. The landlord was thrown against a wall by the blast and died on the spot. In Schleswig-Holstein, a man died of a heartbeat when the lightning struck his house.
Lightning Protection Receives Values
Only a lightning protection system by a specialist, together with a protective circuit in the fuse box, protects house and inventory from damage.
Installing lightning rods: what does it cost?
These and many other questions we answer in our price radar around the subject of lightning protection.