Experts advise home safety precautions during National Lightning Awareness Week

Experts advise home safety precautions during National Lightning Awareness Week

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - With recent severe weather around the Capital City, it seems appropriate that this is National Lightning Awareness Week.

On Wednesday, two Denham Springs homes were hit by lightning and went ablaze. Experts say there are precautionary measures people can take in the event their home gets struck by lightning.

The LSU AgCenter's 3,000 square-feet exhibit home "LaHouse" has many protective elements.

"We really show a whole range of solutions to our climate and to our natural hazards," said Dr. Claudette Hanks Reichel, director of LaHouse.

Dr. Reichel calls LaHouse a "showcase of solutions." It's right across the street from Alex Box Stadium.

Weather officials say Louisiana is the second most lightning active state in the country, only behind Florida. In Baton Rouge, thunderstorms happen 20 percent of the year, or every five days.

In case of emergency, LaHouse has fire-resistant roofing and walls made of concrete, metal and brick.

Concrete and metal roofing plus the exhibit house's home sprinkler system are expensive, but Dr. Reichel mentioned other measures that are more affordable.

For example, landscaping rocks against a house. Dr. Reichel said rocks won't catch fire like mulch. Experts also advise having smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

"Those are the first line of defense that every home should have," said Dr. Reichel.

And to avoid losing power, install a surge arrester.

"Surges can shorten the life of your electronics and equipment. So this surge arrester can be a good investment to protect everything you have in your home," said Dr. Reichel.
In terms of protection, there's also the old standby: the lightning rod. A lightning rod can protect a home from lightning's powerful electrical charge.

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