Summer is the peak season for one of the nation’s deadliest weather phenomena–lightning. Though lightning strikes peak in summer, people are struck year round.
In the United States, an average of 51 people are killed each year by lightning, and hundreds more are severely injured. Each year lightning is responsible for 200,000 insurance claims and causes $1 billion in damages. Your home’s plumbing and electrical system are helpful in keeping you safe because if lightning strikes, these systems disperse the energy so you are safer. Of course, this isn’t good news for your electronics and plumbing.
How Lightning Damages Equipment
Any device that connects to a metallic wire can suffer damage at the hand of lightning. This is true whether the strike is direct to the cable itself or indirect by virtue of inductance. Sometimes no matter what you do, lightning will do irreparable harm.
Concerning a direct hit to equipment, lightning can enter through multiple paths from outside the structure. A good example is a campus environment where there are many buildings.
Lightning also can enter the structure through the public electric bus via outside power lines or one of the many paid subscription services now available. Examples include conventional telephone, cable television networks and satellite dish systems.