How to stay safe in a thunderstorm

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Summer in the UK is the most common time of year for thunderstorms to occur, and with thunder inevitably comes lightning.

Summer in the UK is the most common time of year for thunderstorms to occur, and with thunder inevitably comes lightning. Recently the full force of a storm was felt in the south of England when hundreds of homes and business in Oxford and Reading were left without power after lightning strikes hit overhead cables and affected mains connectivity. Storms also affected Gatwick Airport causing electric trips to computer systems, which resulted in delays for hundreds of passengers.

While severe weather is unavoidable, there are ways to stay safe and protect your business against the threat of lightning –one such way is to put a contingency plan in place that involves electric generators.

Standby Power : The effects of power outages suffered by hundreds of people in the south of England could have minimised if businesses were equipped with diesel generator sets. Despite the ongoing threat of thunderstorms during the summer, the chances of a blackout happening are still relatively rare. Because of this, many businesses tend to operate without any sort of backup power plan in place. However, if a building is hit by lightning, a generator is the first thing they will be wishing they had.

Electric generators as a standby solution are designed to detect loss of power and operate immediately; eliminating downtime and ensuring business operations can continue as normal until mains power is reconnected.

Thunderstorm Safety Tips : As well as hiring a diesel generator, there are a number of safety tips that can be put into practice, before, during, and after a thunderstorm.

Before a Storm

- Lightning can strike as far as 10 miles away from the centre of storm, so whenever you hear thunder it is wise to seek shelter immediately.
- When indoors, make sure to turn off all non-essential appliances at the source.
- Secure all loose outdoor items to prevent them being blown away during a storm.

During a Storm

- Keep all exterior doors and windows closed.
- Keep blinds and curtains closed to protect against broken glass.
- Make sure all internal doors and windows are closed and only opened when required.
- Avoid using telephone lines, sinks, and taps – these can conduct electricity.
- If you find yourself in an outdoor location, try to seek shelter immediately. If this is not possible, squat close to the ground, but do not lie down. As little of your body as possible should be touching the floor.

After a Storm

- Try to remain indoors for at least 30 minutes after the last strike of lightning.
- Avoid any downed power lines or cables.
- Keep away from exterior walls and trees in case of damage.
- If damage has occurred, contact your insurance company as soon as possible.

Following these tips will help lessen the threat of a thunderstorm and, combined with a diesel generator, will allow operations to continue unaffected.

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