Thunder storms & computers

  Blackhat 16:59 30 May 2012

I was advised a while ago that it is wise to turn off and unplug electrical equipment during thunder storms (just getting one now which prompted this thread).

But do you? You might unplug the PC but what about you’re TV, fridge, radio alarms, microwaves etc.

Has anyone experienced a domestic lightening strike?

I was jogging past a shop when it was hit and I felt a tingle and my digital watch screen was gone for good.

  Belatucadrus 17:37 30 May 2012

I have surge protectors on anything of value and never have a PC or TV on during a thunderstorm. We've never been hit but as we're only a few yards from a pylon which provides one of the biggest lightning conductors in creation, I don't really expect to be.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:40 30 May 2012

It would be wise to unplug PC, telephone and TV aerial

If it hits the phone lines it can take out router ethernet card and rest of PC if connected by cable.

Aerial is usually highest point and if lightning strikes thats the TV gone.

  spuds 17:43 30 May 2012

Lightning strikes can do all sorts of weird things, and I suppose its best to remain cautious when these events take place.

About three years ago, two local Sunday team football player's were struck by lightning during a game. One died instantly and the other survived, but was badly injured. Very little warning had been given, so no one was prepared as to what was going to happen.

Personally, I don't bother so much about these things nowadays, and leave all electrics as they are.

  Blackhat 17:51 30 May 2012

I thought someone would mention surge protectors; they are OK for mains spikes but no use against a lightening strike.

The chances of a direct hit are so very small and if you do get one you will probably loose more in value of property damage than just your PC.

  Condom 19:40 30 May 2012

My house was hit during a thunder storm nearly 5 years ago. It came out of the blue (no pun intended) as it seemed a reasonably nice night but the whole house shook and a shelf which was high on the wall above the patio doors came crashing down despite it being fixed into the bricks and not the plaster joints.

Basically everything which was plugged in to the electrical system was fried, from TV's to PC's and even our electric tooth brushes. Fortunately we didn't have any problems with our contents insurers but the building insurers tried to get out of replacing 6 roof tiles which seemed to be where it hit citing fair wear and tear. I have surge protection for my PC stuff but it made no difference at all.

  Forum Editor 19:50 30 May 2012

I was once working in a home office during a storm when the house opposite was struck by lightning. It was a spectacular affair, the charge followed the TV aerial across the roof, blasting off tiles as it went. It turned out that the occupant of the house was sitting in the toilet at the time, and she thought the house had been hit by an aircraft, the noise was so loud.

Cloud to ground lightning is a killer, and will run to earth via any metallic path available - commonly a house electrical system or plumbing pipes. unplugging appliances is definitely a good idea, as is staying away from taps/showers/baths/land-line telephones while a storm is nearby.

  Aitchbee 21:44 30 May 2012

Everyone..well me anyway, is expecting a big deluge from a lightning thunderstorm as it has not rained much for about a month...and the heat over the last couple of weeks has been quite unusual...for West Scotland.

I always like to count the seconds between a lighnin' flash and then the noise of the thunder....galilelo...galilelo, can you do the fandango?

  finerty 21:53 30 May 2012

I still do unplug my equipment when i look at the weather and any hint of thinder and lightning.

  Chegs ®™ 05:02 31 May 2012

As 99% of the lightning around here is boring sheet lightning,I will sit on the PC with the curtains wide watching the skies as I use the computer because I love watching lightning.Several years ago,we did have some amazing forked lightning on the hillside opposite and I did wonder if any of the buildings up there were hit only to discover from the local paper the following week that a house on the other side of the valley was struck resulting in one shocked householder with minor injuries and requiring a new pair of slippers as the ones he was wearing were melted(I live in the very lowest point of a valley so very low chances of a strike with plenty of other targets nearer the skies)

  Quickbeam 07:16 31 May 2012

Has anyone else tried doing a fandango during a thunderstorm since Galileo last tried it and fell from the leaning tower of Pisa when he lost his balance?

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