Don't shower during a thunderstorm. Here's why

| 23.09,22. 01:38 PM |

Don't shower during a thunderstorm. Here's why

Since lightning can travel through plumbing, it's best to avoid all water during a thunderstorm. (9News)

Trees begin to sway, the sky darkens and suddenly you hear it – the distant sound of thunder. That's your cue that potential danger is on the way. In fact, it's likely within 10 kilometres of you, according to the National Weather Service.

Don't ignore that sound, because where there is thunder there is lightning, and lightning can kill or maim in ways you would least expect it. That includes when you are in the shower, tub or even washing dishes.

Since lightning can travel through plumbing, "it is best to avoid all water during a thunderstorm. Do not shower, bathe, wash dishes, or wash your hands," the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention noted.
"The risk of lightning traveling through plumbing might be less with plastic pipes than with metal pipes. However, it is best to avoid any contact with plumbing and running water during a lightning storm to reduce your risk of being struck," the CDC added.
That's not the only danger when you're inside. Stay off porches and balconies, don't go near windows and doors, and do "NOT lie down on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls," the agency said.
Also, do "NOT use anything connected to an electrical outlet, such as computers or other electronic equipment," the CDC said. "Stay off corded phones. Cell phones and cordless phones are safe … if they are not connected to an outlet through a charger."

Hotter than the surface of the sun

A thunderclap happens when lightning strikes, heating the air around the bolt to as high "as 27,000C, five times hotter than the surface of the sun," the National Weather Service said.
"Immediately after the flash, the air cools and contracts quickly. This rapid expansion and contraction (create) the sound wave that we hear as thunder."
February - Window to the sky
That's not the only danger when you're inside. Stay off porches and balconies, don't go near windows and doors. (Mal Brewitt)
Lightning can kill in many ways.
A direct strike is most often fatal, the CDC said, but injuries such as blunt trauma, skin lesions and burns as well as brain, muscle and eye injuries can occur from touching a car or metal object struck by lightning. The current can also travel through the ground, bounce off a person or object, or even stream up from objects near the ground.
You can calculate the distance between you and the lightning, but do it from a safe place so you won't be struck, the weather service advised.
"Count the number of seconds between the flash of lightning and the sound of thunder, and then divide by five," with five seconds equalling 1 mile (1.8km), 15 seconds equalling three miles (4.8km), and zero seconds very close, the service said.
Most deaths and injuries occur when people are outside, especially during summer months in the afternoon and evening, according to the CDC.
About 180 people per year are injured by lightning, and 10 per cent of people struck by lightning die each year. Those who work outside are at highest risk.
If you are caught outside, do "not lie on the ground. Lightning causes electric currents along the top of the ground that can be deadly more than 100 metres away. Get inside a safe location; no place outside is safe," the CDC said.
"Avoid anything that will increase your risk of being struck by lightning, such as being near or under tall trees. If there are no safe shelters in sight, crouch down in a ball-like position: put your feet together, squat low, tuck your head, and cover your ears. But remember, this is a last resort. Seek safe shelter first."

(Votes: 0)

Other News

Man dies in head-on semi-trailer and car crash at Woomargama, NSW Northern NSW on high alert for flash flooding following 150mm of rain in two hours Boeing agrees to pay $301 million for misleading the public about the 737 Max Body of man found in river after desperate search for missing swimmer NSW opposition leader sacks frontbench MP on radio NSW Police officer braves surging floodwaters to rescue three people including a toddler Dire warning for future NSW flooding events as state smashed by rain School bus recovered as police investigate horror collision with truck Sydney woman awarded $1m after falling between train and platform Sydney identity Fadi Ibrahim changes plea ahead of trial Melbourne Love Machine nightclub drive-by killers jailed for life Where double demerits will be in force for Australia's National Day of Mourning 'Someone knows something': Police hunting for Queensland hit-run driver Men jailed for stabbing dying Victorian teen Australia's oldest man, Frank Mawer, dies aged 110 after contracting COVID-19 Rapist who dragged woman from Melbourne bus stop jailed Man on the run from police after armed robbery at NSW service station More than 600,000 nib members to receive $40 million back in claims savings NSW drivers warned of major traffic delays ahead of National Day of Mourning and school holidays Petrol prices won't jump after end of fuel discount, Treasurer says Anthony Albanese among world leaders at Queen's funeral Qantas' three-hour warning to travellers Four homes inundated in Gunnedah as Namoi River recedes from higher than expected peak More than two years after NSW ice report, cabinet infighting blocks significant change Millions of Aussies to get welfare payment boost tomorrow in cost of living crunch Rail union backs down, cancels plan to switch off Opal card machines across Sydney network Prime Minister Anthony Albanese lays flowers for the Queen Hundreds farewell 15-year-old girl who died in Buxton crash Two killed in crash in NSW Central West Police search for man after 16-year-old girl reports sexual assault