Did you know that each year in the US, there are approximately 25 million lightning flashes? Although being struck by lightning is a very real threat (see Part 1), it is often underrated, because a lightning strike typically doesn’t claim major property destruction and only affects one or two victims. In addition to approximately 60 deaths, lightning strikes account for 300 documented injuries a year, in addition to many undocumented ones.
What puts people most at risk for being struck by lightning is misinformation about what truly provides safety from this very real threat.
The Safest Place To Be
Whenever you see cumulus clouds beginning to form or if you hear thunder, it’s time to get out of the pool and seek shelter. If you’re outdoors, it’s best to go inside the house; while retreating to a shed or partially enclosed shelter is better than remaining fully exposed, a fully enclosed structure is a safer choice. If for some reason, you can’t get to such a shelter, an enclosed metal vehicle would be the next-best choice. However, an open-topped vehicle or one with a soft top will not provide safety. If you end up stranded, with no shelter available, at least steer clear of any tall, isolated objects.
Proactive Measures You Can Take
You can plan ahead to reduce the chances of damage in the case of a lightning strike. Such protective measures include buying surge protectors or suppressors for significant equipment, such as your pool’s filtration system and installing ground fault protectors on any circuits near your backyard swimming pool.
You should also make sure your pool meets the requirements for grounding and bonding. While these safeguards cannot prevent a lightning strike, they can help protect swimmers from potential shock hazards that are due to lightning and other causes. Essentially, bonding means that all metal parts in and around pools are interconnected, along with electrical support equipment; this bonded metal is also required to be grounded, which is accomplished through wiring to either a rod driven into the earth or a grounding electrode.
Comparing Outdoor Pools with Indoor Pools
We have been assuming that your pool is an outdoor one, as most private pools are. However, it’s important to note that indoor pools do not pose the same safety hazards as do outdoor pools. Because of the lack of shelter over outdoor pools, even with proper bonding and grounding, a swimmer is still susceptible to a lightning strike. Many people believe indoor pools to carry the same risk, but that assumption is unfounded. In fact, clearing an indoor pool can actually put people at greater risk. Unlike outdoor pools, indoor pools have the benefit of being legally required to include a lightning protection system. In fact, for public pools, a pool closure policy actually violates the National Electric Code! The reason for that law is that swimmers will become more susceptible to a potential lightning strike, especially when they exit the building. Interestingly, no reported lightning strikes have resulted in deaths to swimmers in indoor pools.
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Since 1979 Lyon Financial has made the backyard resort dream come true for over 400,000 families across the U.S. Through our solid relationships with more than 3,000 pool contractors and our continued commitment to putting our clients first, we have built a reputation as the first choice in providing pool financing solutions. For more information, visit lyonfinancial.net or call (877) 754-5966 today.
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