Lightning safety tips

When persons happen to be overtaken by a thunderstorm, although they may not be terrified by the lightning, yet they naturally wish for shelter from the rain which usually attends it; and, therefore, if no house be at hand, generally take refuge under the nearest tree they can find. But in doing this, they unknowingly expose themselves to a double danger; first, because their clothes being thus kept dry, their bodies are rendered more liable to injury--the lightning often passing harmless over a body whose surface is wet; and secondly, because a tree, or any elevated object, instead of warding off, serves to attract and conduct the lightning, which, in its passage to the ground, frequently rends the trunks or branches, and kills any person or animal who happens to be close to it at the time. Instead of seeking protection, then, by retiring under the shelter of a tree, hay-stack, pillar, wall, or hedge, the person should either pursue his way to the nearest house, or get to a part of the road or field which has no high object that can draw the lightning towards it, and remain there until the storm has subsided.

It is particularly dangerous to stand near leaden spouts, iron gates, or palisades, at such times; metals of all kinds having so strong an attraction for lightning, as frequently to draw it out of the course which it would otherwise have taken.

When in a house, avoid sitting or standing near the window, door, or walls, during a thunderstorm. The nearer a person is to the middle of a room the better.

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