National Lightning Safety Awareness Week | June 20 – 26, 2021

June 22, 2021
National Lightning Safety Awareness Week | June 20 – 26, 2021

National Lightning Safety Awareness week was started in 2001 to call attention to lightning and the dangers that it presents. The National Lightning Safety Council encourages everyone to learn more about lightning and lightning safety.

Summer is the most dangerous season for lightning — most lightning fatalities occur in June, July, and August.

When thunderstorms are in the area, no place outside is safe. “When thunder roars, go indoors!”

The best way to protect yourself from lightning is to avoid the threat. Have a lightning safety plan, and cancel or postpone activities early if thunderstorms are expected. Monitor weather conditions and get to a safe place before the weather becomes threatening.

Picnic shelters with open sides, small sheds, and open vehicles are not safe during a thunderstorm. Substantial buildings and hard-topped vehicles are safer options. When inside:

  • Do not touch anything that is plugged into an electrical outlet
  • Avoid plumbing. Do not bath or wash dishes during a storm — metal plumbing and the water inside the plumbing are good conductors of electricity
  • Do not use corded phones. Cell phones and cordless phones are safe as long as they are not being charged
  • Keep away from outside doors and windows
  • Do not touch concrete surfaces such as garage floors — lightning can travel through the metal wires/bars in the concrete

Lightning is often overlooked as an occupational hazard, but employers also need awareness about lightning hazards in order to ensure their workers’ safety. Workers whose jobs involve working outdoors in open spaces, on or near tall objects, or near explosives or conductive materials (e.g., metal) have significant exposure to lightning risks. Proper planning and safe practices can easily increase lightning safety when working outdoors.

For more lightning safety tips and resources, visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/National Weather Service website:

To view the OSHA FactSheet on Lightning Safety When Working Outdoors, go to:

Credit to: National Lightning Safety Council, NOAA/National Weather Service, and OSHA