Why you should ALWAYS unplug your computer in a thunderstorm…and five other things you should do to stay safe

BRITS have been battling some fairly unpredictable weather lately – from glorious sunshine to horrendous thunderstorms.

Weather warnings have been issued and thunder and lightning are being predicted across the country for the next 24 hours. So here are some important dos and don'ts for the stormy weather.

Should you unplug your computer in a thunderstorm?

If a thunderstorm hits your area the first thing you should do is unplug your computer – or you could risk losing everything on it.

Lightning strikes can cause power surges that burn out home computers and monitors leaving them completely worthless.

The problem occurs when the lightning hits a power line, sending a charge which can exceed 100,000 volts down the line.

Even an indirect hit, near a power line, can send extra voltage into your home and inflict serious damage on your PC.

But it’s not just computers at risk – TVs, games consoles, phones and all electrical equipment could also be damaged in a strike.

So apart from unplugging everything in the house, here are five other ways to stay safe in a storm.

Other top tips for during a thunderstorm…

Don’t use your phone

Like the power surge to computers, high voltage surges can be sent through your phone line.

If you happen to be chatting you could get a very nasty electric shock.

Even a mobile phone used outside could attract a lightning bolt, so don't try to take pictures of the storm.

Don’t have a bath

Water conducts electricity and metal piping can be struck by lightning so being in water in a lightning storm is not a good idea.

Similarly, swimming outside is a dangerous pursuit.

Cancel the golf game

Golfing and fishing are the two most dangerous activities in a storm as clubs and rods can act as conductors.

Similarly umbrellas can also attract lightning so don’t be tempted to put your brolly up.

Don’t shelter under trees

If you’re caught in a downpour the first instinct is to run under the nearest tree to stay dry.

But tall trees act as a lightning rod and standing underneath one makes it more likely you will get hit.

Get in your car

Although they are mostly metal, cars are a safe haven in a thunderstorm because of the design.

If they are struck, the electricity will travel through the metal and safely to the ground.

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