You may hear that the safest place to be during a thunderstorm is inside your home, but that’s not always the case. You may absorb more electricity by being near things like plumbing or metal door frames than you would from being outside and the shower is no exception.
When it comes to showering during a thunderstorm, in general, according to the National Weather Service, the chances of injury are extremely small. Yet, there are relatively specific risk points attached to being in the shower if your home is struck by lightning. If possible avoid showering during a thunderstorm, but know that the chances of injury are very low.
Facts Of Showering During A Thunderstorm
Lightning can strike three to 10 miles away from a storm. Lightning is unlikely to occur if it rains less than 4 inches per hour. If you hear thunder, you should get into a sturdy building or a hard-to-reach place to avoid risks from lightning.
Generally, you should wait 30 minutes after the last lightning strike before getting in the water, but this depends on a few other factors like the time of day and how close you are to the storm. It’s best to play it safe.
Lightning is the most common cause of natural causes of human death. The best thing to do for lightning safety is to wait till you have stopped hearing thunder to take your shower or bath; that way, you will be in the clear.
The Damage Lightning Can Cause
Even though it is rare, people get hurt or killed by lightning strikes annually.
Although potentially fatal, lightning does not always cause immediate death. Lightning can kill people in several ways. They cause heart failure on impact or blunt impact trauma from getting thrown to the ground. Also, impalement from a tree branch or other object delayed death due to burn-related injuries, anoxia (lack of oxygen to the brain), or neurological damage. (1, 2)
When lightning strikes the earth, it releases a large amount of energy. This charge often feels like an electrical shock when it rides along the skin and into the body. According to the National Weather Service, lightning injuries depend on the intensity of electricity that passes into the body.
Can Lightning Travel Across Water?
According to the National Weather Service, a lightning strike near your home could send a surge of electricity into anything with metal in it—including your pipes. While this is rare, it’s always safest to unplug any appliances or electronics.
Water is generally an excellent conductor of electricity. It can carry electrical currents from lightning, as well experts say. Hence, it turns out that showering in a thunderstorm isn’t just sketchy. It’s incredibly dangerous for several reasons.
Some Lightning Safety Tips About Shower Lightning Storm
While it is generally accepted that showering during a thunderstorm carries more risk than necessary, both for you and your plumbing, the reasoning isn’t all the same. There are multiple different opinions and lightning safety tips on how best to keep yourself safe while in the shower during a storm.
- Lightning may strike only once, but it seems to have hit the same place twice in the past, mainly if the point of striking is high, pointed, and metallic. Some properties suffer strikes more than a dozen times a year. Simply put, your safest move during a thunderstorm should not be to run to the spot of the most recent impact, as it could strike again at or near the same area.
- It’s important to remember that you are safest in the interior of a building. A person standing in an open space is putting themselves at risk for a direct lightning strike. When lightning strikes, it always seeks out the path of least resistance.
- The metal pipes, air conditioning equipment, and electrical components near your home’s roof are all vulnerable. Even if you’re in a house or building with lightning rods, they may not offer complete protection because many strikes occur between the ground and rooftops.
- Let’s talk about the worst-case scenario. Even if your car’s rubber tires and exterior have a negative charge, this means that you’re less likely to attract lightning. It doesn’t mean that you’ve muffled the punch of a thunderstorm. Though rubber is not an excellent conduit for electricity, it can provide some protection from lightning strikes.
(1) anoxia – https://www.healthline.com/health/anoxia
(2) neurological damage – https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/neurological-disorders