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Thunderstorms are a result of warm temperatures and high humidity. During these storms, rain and wind are often intense. Still, you should be more worried about lightning as it’s the most dangerous.

The question is, is it dangerous to use electronics during a thunderstorm? 

A lightning strike can carry up to 1 billion volts of electricity. If it strikes your home, it can damage your property and valuables. Read on to learn the dangers of using electronics during a thunderstorm in Richmond. 

Dangers From Thunderstorms

Electronics and Appliance Damage

Some people find the atmosphere a storm creates suitable for watching TV or a movie. Unfortunately, this is dangerous.

If lightning strikes a nearby power line, a power surge may occur. The extra voltage may be too much for your electrical equipment to handle, leaving your items at risk of damage.

It’s advisable to unplug all your electronics and appliances before a storm. Otherwise, even the smallest of surges can affect the electronics’ lifespan.

Lightning striking a power line next to trees

Risk of Electrocution

Chances of electrocution are higher if you fail to unplug your appliances before a storm. 

Once lightning strikes, an electrical current may travel to your home’s electrical circuitry through metal wires or poles. If you touch an electrical cord, like a corded telephone, there is a higher chance of electrocution.

Remember, one lightning strike has up to 15 million volts of electricity.  That’s enough to power hundreds of households in a small community. 

Be Safe: Richmond Thunderstorm Preparation and Prevention

The first sign of a storm that should move you to act is the sound of thunder. Even if the sound is faint, it means the storm isn’t far away. It may be less than 30 miles away. 

The National Weather Service advises unplugging your electronics and appliances before the storm reaches your home area.

Today, you can get storm alerts from the NWS and other weather apps downloadable to your phone. These alerts should help you prepare adequately for the storm in advance. That way, you avoid potential damage to your property.

Whole-House Surge Protector

A white surge protector on a light wood background

A surge protector is a device you plug into wall outlets to protect against the usual small surges that occur in the electrical grid. 

While surge protectors reduce power surge before it hits your appliances, they cannot handle the powerful surge of electricity from lightning strikes. A whole-house surge protector can help with this.

Often, your electrician will install a whole-house surge protector on your home’s main electrical system inside the main breaker box. The system protects your household items against damage when lightning strikes. The surge protector works by redirecting the extra current to the ground, ensuring your items are safe. 

If you’re away from home when a storm hits, this surge protector will be there to guard your electronics if there’s a storm. It also reduces the risk of a lightning strike causing an electrical fire.

Other Don’ts During a Thunderstorm

Other measures to take during a thunderstorm include avoiding the following activities: 

  • Taking a shower or bath
  • Using corded phones
  • Sitting on concrete or touching concrete walls
  • Standing out in an open ground
  • Standing near your windows
  • Sitting or standing under a tree
  • Washing your dishes or clothes
A woman watching a thunderstorm in a city from her window


The best way of protecting your home and everything in it, including your family, is by having an expert install a whole-house surge protector. This way, you can provide the best protection from lightning strike dangers. 

For installation of a whole-house surge protector in Richmond, call U.S. Electric. Our reputation speaks for itself. We have been one of the most trusted electrical service providers in the area for over 30 years.

Our team of electricians provides quick, guaranteed services. For more details, contact us now!