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Why would lightning strike your house?

On Behalf of | Jun 15, 2024 | Property Damage

When lightning strikes, it seeks the easiest path to the ground. That often means that it tries to strike tall objects. Some of them, such as trees, actually send sparks up to meet the lightning as it approaches. This establishes a connection, and the electricity is then channeled down through the object into the Earth.

But it’s not a hard and fast rule that the tallest structure will always be hit. For instance, there could be trees around a field and a lightning strike could still happen in the middle of that field. Likewise, there may be trees, telephone poles and other tall buildings around your house, but it could still be struck. When the lightning uses your home as a conduit to the ground, if your house offers the path of least resistance at that moment, you could encounter such a strike.

What damage could this cause? 

Lightning strikes can cause extensive damage. They moved through the wires, pipes and other metal systems within the home. They can even move through telephone lines if someone is using a phone that is wired to the wall, which is very dangerous and can lead to serious injuries. All of these metal systems could be damaged in a split second as the electrical surge passes through. Home devices like computers, entertainment systems, musical equipment and much more could be damaged.

The greatest risk, of course, is that the lightning strike will start a fire. Once sparks catch, an extensive house fire is possible. Not only can this be dangerous, but it could mean that the home is a total loss after the lightning strike. That’s why it’s so important to understand exactly what steps to take while filing an insurance claim, especially if the insurance company disputes that claim.