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Science Forum

Science Forum

  1. Standard member Traveling Again
    I'm 1/4 Ninja
    29 Mar '10 21:06 / 1 edit
    Lightning storms were common where I grew up. My parents told us not to take a shower or bathe during a lightning storm.

    Today I overheard someone (much older than me) saying the same thing and it reminded me of all the times I heard it growing up. It made me wonder how much truth was to this. I figured it must be some archaic safety tip that's been passed on over the decades and that with today's modern homes it must be very safe to take a shower during a storm.

    I did a quick search and found that the National Weather Service's lightning safety page reiterates the don't take a bath tip: http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/indoors.htm

    Some surprising (to me) tips from the page:
    -Avoid plumbing. Do not wash your hands, take a shower or wash dishes.
    -Stay off corded phones. You can use cellular or cordless phones
    -Don't touch electrical equipment or cords. Unplug electronic equipment before the storm arrives.

    These tips seem pretty extreme. Unplug electronic equipment? (even with surge protectors?) Don't wash hands? Really??

    How unsafe are we talking here?
  2. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    29 Mar '10 21:54
    Originally posted by Traveling Again
    Lightning storms were common where I grew up. My parents told us not to take a shower or bathe during a lightning storm.

    Today I overheard someone (much older than me) saying the same thing and it reminded me of all the times I heard it growing up. It made me wonder how much truth was to this. I figured it must be some archaic safety tip that's ...[text shortened]... ven with surge protectors?) Don't wash hands? Really??

    How unsafe are we talking here?
    There is a risk, pretty small actually, and you can protect yourself to a great extent with lightning rods, most of the homes around Allentown, Pa have them, we get violent lightning storms in September and October.