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Last Updated: Friday June 23 2006 07:07 GMT

What to do when lightning strikes

Lightning above Iraq

Lightning can be dangerous but if you follow some simple steps you should be okay, and remember, being struck by lightning is very, very rare indeed.

What should I do if there's lightning?
Plan ahead. When you first see lightning or hear thunder, head for a building or vehicle. Lightning often comes before rain - don't wait for the rain to start before taking action.

What should I do if I'm outdoors?
Avoid water, high ground and open spaces. Avoid all metal objects, such as electric wires, fences and machinery. Unsafe places include under canopies, rain shelters and near trees.

What should I do if lightning is striking nearby?
Crouch down and put your feet together. Place your hands over your ears so they don't get damaged by the thunder. Keep away from other people.

What should I do if someone gets struck by lightning?
Injured people do not carry an electric charge. Apply First Aid if you are qualified to do so. Call an ambulance and send for help immediately.

What if I'm indoors?
Avoid using the phone. Take off headsets. Turn off and unplug electrical appliances.

Information from the US's National Lightning Safety Institute

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