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Protecting your electronics, home from lightning strikes

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Severe storms the last few weeks have made lightning a major concern for everyone across the metro Atlanta area. But, lightning is unpredictable. So, the question is: "How can you protect yourself and your property?"

It's the phenomenon that we here in Georgia have been seeing a lot of lately.

Joni Thrasher, of Vickery Lightning Protection, said, "Every severe storm has lightning. Whether you can see it or not, it is there."

You can't always predict where lightning will strike, but be assured it will hit somewhere.

Joni said, "A lot of times, the thunder, you start hearing it before the rain gets there and this can be 30 minutes before you think that you're actually in the thunderstorm. But, it's close enough to cause damage to your home and to yourself."

Joni says she knows exactly the type of severe damage a lightning strike can do. One home struck by lightning burned in a matter of minutes. Mounting a lightning road to your home's roof can make all the difference in keeping you and your property safe.

"If you were to be struck by lightning, it gives it that safe path. So, instead of entering your home and possibly striking a gas pipe or electrical systems, it gives it that safe path to the ground," Joni said.

You can also purchase a lightning rated surge protector to be installed on your home or businesses electrical system. But, if you don't have one, then Joni suggests unplugging all of your electronics during a storm. Don't rely on a store-bought surge protector.

Joni also advises avoiding all plumbing, including sinks, baths and faucets. Stay away from windows and, if you're outside, then stay away from water – especially, pools.

"So, if you're in the pool and you hear thunder, get out of the pool and go indoors."

Lightning rods provide nearly 100 percent protection from lightning damage to a structure. It would cost about $300 to install them on the average home.

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