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Old 05-15-2011, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Tampa
1,129 posts, read 2,438,541 times
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Default "Don't stay near the window during a lightning storm" fact or fiction?

Last nights lightning storm at 4 am caused my daughter to come into my bedroom. She was taught in school not to sit in front of the window during a lightning storm. Her bed is right next to a big window in her room. Is this a legit concern or does she have nothing to worry about?

Thanks!
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Old 05-15-2011, 01:34 PM
 
1,468 posts, read 2,669,601 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annaegel View Post
Last nights lightning storm at 4 am caused my daughter to come into my bedroom. She was taught in school not to sit in front of the window during a lightning storm. Her bed is right next to a big window in her room. Is this a legit concern or does she have nothing to worry about?

Thanks!
Myth Busters did some tests on lightning with phones and showers. . They concluded you can in fact be killed if showering during a storm. The same with talking on the phone.
I also see no reason you can not be struck sitting by a window although it would seem more likely the house it'self would be struck.

BBC News - Lightning strike injures Erin Moran, 10, in Merthyr
Experiment 1:



Setup: * 200,000 volts in order to get more damage-wielding amps * 'Chip' the ballistics gel dummy inside the house with a phone attached to his head and a meter to measure the current where the heart would be.
Test 1: There was a nice shot of electricity right into the outside wiring of the house (threw the remote camera out of focus), but there was no current to Chip as the charge travelled out the ground wire.
Test 2: Adam cut some of the grounds to set up a worst case scenario, which delivered the intended result: electricity arced from the phone right into Chip's head, setting of a charge that Jamie had set. It tripped the fuse of the meter (> 40mA), which means that Chip would have died, had he not been made of ballistics gel.
Test 3: Tried with older phone and older fuse box -- still killed Chip.

Experiment 2: The Shower

Setup: * Chip grounded with a wire to mimic standing on a drain * electrical wiring run next to some of the shower plumbing
There were big electrical explosions in the shower. Couldn't get readings off of the meter but it seemed clear that one would not want to have been in the shower.
Confirmed
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Old 05-15-2011, 07:18 PM
 
Location: Deane Hill, Knoxville, Tennessee
21,637 posts, read 31,006,169 times
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Don't watch lightning from windows or doorways. Inner rooms are generally better.

Lightning: The Underated Weather Hazard - National Lightning Safety Institute

When there is a thunderstorm outside do not stand near the windows.

FEMA For Kids: Lightning Safety By Sabrina (http://www.fema.gov/kids/sabrina.htm - broken link)

My mother always told me to stay away from the windows during a storm, I told that to my kids and they will probably say the same to theirs.
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Old 05-15-2011, 08:25 PM
 
Location: Tampa
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So should I try to rearrange her room to get her bed away from the window? He room is very small and I am not sure where I would put it, but if it means she would be safer, I would move it. How far away from the window should she be?
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Old 05-16-2011, 05:09 AM
 
Location: Deane Hill, Knoxville, Tennessee
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You can only do what you can do. I've had five kids and lived in numerous places. Just don't put it under the window and you are probably going to be fairly safe.
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Old 05-16-2011, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Floribama
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Unless there's a tree (or other tall object, power lines, etc) right outside of the window I don't see the harm.
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Old 05-17-2011, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Tampa
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How far away from the window would be considered a safe distance to move her bed?
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Old 05-17-2011, 10:18 PM
 
Location: Seattle, Washington
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I've heard of people being struck by lightning through windows before. Not sure how common it is though. I've also heard of lightning striking a telephone line, which actually caused phones in the nearby houses attached to that line to melt a little!
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Old 05-17-2011, 10:45 PM
 
508 posts, read 485,600 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annaegel View Post
So should I try to rearrange her room to get her bed away from the window? He room is very small and I am not sure where I would put it, but if it means she would be safer, I would move it. How far away from the window should she be?
Think of a person standing outside with a gun, pointing at her window. Where will the bullet go? <this is just my guess> In other words I doubt lighting would bolt into the window and then do a "curveball" on you.

Somebody feel free to correct me, if I'm wrong.
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Old 05-17-2011, 11:01 PM
 
Location: Cold Frozen North
1,924 posts, read 3,136,906 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annaegel View Post
Last nights lightning storm at 4 am caused my daughter to come into my bedroom. She was taught in school not to sit in front of the window during a lightning storm. Her bed is right next to a big window in her room. Is this a legit concern or does she have nothing to worry about?

Thanks!
My mother always insisted that I stay away from windows during a lightning storm also. Even as an adult, I still tend to stay away from windows, especially if the lightning strikes are close by. It's amazing how many things you learn as a child come back to you as a grown adult.
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