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Lightning safety tips

Maryland --  Already in August, Maryland firefighters have responded to three fires started by lightning strikes. With volatile summer weather still in full swing, Maryland State Fire Marshall, Brian Geraci, is reminding residents to follow some basic precautions to stay safe when storms strike.

Keep in mind that lightning can strike as far away from where rain is falling as ten miles, so if you hear thunder, get inside. Go inside a building or get into a hard-topped vehicle as soon as possible. If you can hear the thunder, you could get hit by lightning.

Shelters with only a roof aren't going to offer any protection from lightning. Neither will a porch. Go inside and stay away from doors and windows.

Wait at least 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder to go outside again.

While you're inside, turn off your computer and avoid any device or appliance that puts you in contact with with plumbing and electricity. It's okay to use cellular and cordless phones.

Water conducts electricity. Don't bathe, do laundry, do the dishes, or even wash your hands. 

If someone is struck by lightning, immediately call 9-1-1. If your home is struck by lighting, leave immediately and call 9-1-1. Just because you don't see a fire, doesn't mean there isn't one. 

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