National Lightning Safety Council

Protecting Yourself and Your Family - Indoors

Understanding the dangers of lightning is important so you know what to do if a thunderstorm threatens. If you hear thunder…even a distant rumble or a crackling aloft…you are already in danger and need to get inside a safe place immediately. Substantial buildings and hard-topped vehicles are the safest options. Rain shelters, small sheds, balconies, porches, and open vehicles are not safe.

When lightning strikes a home or building, it often follows the wiring or plumbing to ground. Consequently, you don’t want to be in contact with anything connected to the home’s wiring or plumbing. In addition, the metal components of windows or doors could provide a path for the lightning to enter the home.

Many lightning injuries occur inside. While inside:

  1. Do not touch anything that is plugged into an electrical outlet.

  2. Avoid all plumbing including sinks, showers, and tubs.

  3. Stay off corded phones. Cell phones and cordless phones are safe.

  4. Keep away from outside doors and windows.

  5. Do not lie on a garage floor.

If someone is struck by lightning, they may need immediate medical attention. Lightning victims do not carry an electrical charge and are safe to touch. Call 911 and monitor the victim. Start CPR or use an Automated External Defibrillator, if needed.

More information: NWS's Lightning Safety for You and Your Family brochure