Tips for protecting your home from a lightning strike

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GREENWOOD – The couple whose home was believed to have been struck by lightning returned home Thursday afternoon.

The fire happened Wednesday evening in the 2700 block of Night Hawk Road.

They were joined by a fabric restoration company Thursday. Two employees walked into the home with the homeowners and they removed a few items that were salvageable.

The couple told FOX59 their insurance company will be in town Thursday night. They are staying at a hotel in the meantime.

“I heard the hail, the lightning, the thunder, everything. It just sounded like everything broke loose,” said neighbor Pat Waldo.

Waldo and another neighbor, Signe Clausing, said the home is the second one to be struck by lightning within two years. Clausing is thinking about purchasing equipment to protect her home because of it.

“So yeah, maybe. It’s something to consider at this point,” Clausing said.

Waldo disagrees.

“If it happens, we’ll just have to handle it. I’m not going to continue paying out money all the time for flood insurance, tornado insurance, earthquake insurance, all this stuff,” Waldo said.

James Beavers with Joe Schmo Electrical Services said people should consider doing two important things: make sure grounding is done properly in their home and invest in surge protectors.

“So, when that extra power comes into your house it redirects it and sends it to the ground and out, instead of letting it come in through your breaker box and all your wiring,” Beavers said.

He said most of the damage from a lightning strike is not because of a direct hit.

“Ninety percent of the time when we have lightning damage, it’s not from a house that’s actually been struck by lightning. So these (surge protectors) protect you from close proximity strikes,” Beavers said.

Beavers said it is not as common for people to buy lightning rods, which are typically installed on top of radio towers, farm houses and barns in rural areas.

“Unfortunately nothing is 100 percent. Lightning is so powerful and sporadic in the way it behaves. You can’t protect yourself completely from it, but you can take steps that will increase your chances of not having any damage and increase it by a lot over not having any protection at all,” Beavers said.