Lightning storms can strike fear into anyone out in the elements, but they can be particularly troubling for Atlanta, Georgia homeowners. Because of the housing density and urban heat islands that often spawn changes in thunderstorms, the odds that lightning can strike your home may increase. And what’s the highest, most vulnerable point in your home? The attic.
Although most attic fires are due to electrical malfunction, a lightning strike can wreak havoc in an attic. Electrical systems in attics are so often “out of sight, out of mind” that a frayed wire which could cause a spark to light may not be discovered until it’s too late. What preventive measures can Atlanta homeowners take? Here are three things firefighters suggest:
1. Have your chimney inspected by a professional who will check the interior and exterior of the chimney, including the part running through the attic
2. Check the wiring in your attic, preferably by an electrician, looking for signs of damage, cracked insulation (wire sheathing), and exposed or disconnected wires
3. Look for signs of burning and charring in the insulation and wood
During the summer storm season in Georgia, where two-thirds of all lightning fires occur between June through August, what else can you to prevent attic fires? When lightning is headed your way, stay off of any electrical equipment. Come up with a family plan that makes each family member responsible for unplugging appliances and other equipment—start with computers and landlines, and unplug that expensive HD-TV or stereo equipment. And obviously, don’t go into the attic if you feel or observe a lightning strike near your home. If you smell something burning, get out of your home immediately and call emergency services.
The best preventive step is to add Fire Safety Protection to your EMC Security system. Your monitoring costs will remain the same, but you’ll get an extra layer of protection against home damage or personal injury due to fire. And best of all, EMC Security practices a redundant monitoring system, which means two locations are keeping watch on your safety.
Have you checked the August forecast, fellow Atlantans? Be prepared for those intense summer afternoon storms! If you have any questions, leave them here, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn. We’ve also got more safety tips posted on Pinterest.