Lightning deaths continue to decline

The number of people killed by lightning this year in the United States may reach a record low . The number has been steadily decreasing since the 1940s.

The number of people killed by lightning this year in the United States may reach a record low . The number has been steadily decreasing since the 1940s.

So far this year, 13 people have been killed by lightning. Two of those people were in, or from, Colorado. 

In 1940, 340 people were killed by lightning. According to the National Lightning Safety Institute, the decline may be attributed to three different things: the shift to a more urban and less rural population, the fact that lightning strikes are random, and possibly, because of increased lightning safety awareness. 

It is not safe to be outdoors when a thunderstorm is moving through. In fact, if you are caught outside during a thunderstorm you should move inside as quickly as possible. It is not safe to lay on the ground. "When thunder roars, go indoors."

People who are outdoors in urban areas may be more able to quickly move into a building as a storm approaches. Many people love to enjoy the outdoors in Colorado. When you do, be aware of the forecast. Know when storms may hit your area, and have a getaway plan ready for when a storm moves in. 

If you are inside, stay away from your front porch, back patio, windows and doors. Avoid taking showers, using your sinks or operating electrical equipment during a thunderstorm, as these things conduct electricity. Concrete also conducts electricity, so stay away from concrete walls and floors during a thunderstorm as well.

If you are in your car, roll the windows up and don't touch the metal. 

Colorado sees a lot of lightning and thunderstorms happen, but we all can still enjoy our great outdoors by planning ahead and respecting the weather.  

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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