News Release, Office the State Fire Marshal

STATEWIDE, August 8, 2019 – State Fire Marshal Brian Geraci would like to remind residents of basic lightning safety tips as Maryland continues to experience thunderstorms with damaging lightning strikes.

“Deputy State Fire Marshals have reported to three fires as a result of lightning strikes this month alone,” said Geraci. “It is important that Marylanders remember these simple safety tips when storms travels across our state.” 

Outdoor Safety:

  • If you can hear thunder, you are in striking distance of lightning. Look for shelter inside a home, large building, or hard-topped vehicle immediately.
  • Wait at least 30 minutes before hearing the last clap of thunder before leaving your shelter.
  • Stay away from windows and doors. Stay off porches. 
  • There is no safe place outside. Places with only a roof on golf courses, sports fields, and picnic areas are not safe during a lightning storm. Small sheds should not be used as a source of shelter.
  • If a person is struck by lightning, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Indoor Safety:

  • Turn off computers.
  • Stay off any devices or appliances that put you in direct contact with plumbing and electricity.
  • You can use cordless and cellular phones.
  • Do not wash you hands, bathe or shower, or wash clothes and dishes. 

Lightning can strike as far as 10 miles from any precipitation. If your home is struck, evacuate to a safe location immediately and call 9-1-1. 

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...