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IS IT TRUE THAT LIGHTNING NEVER STRIKES THE SAME PLACE TWICE?

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It’s not true!

A single bolt of lightning…

  • can strike multiple times in the same location.
  • can reach 30-100 million volts 
  • can reach 90,000 degrees
  • can travel 40 miles 
  • strikes the highest point on a structure
  • is an inch in diameter

But it’s not all bad. Lightning strikes the surface of the earth about 100 times every second and is important to the environment because it repairs the ozone layer and releases nitrate—a source of nutrients for trees and plants—into the atmosphere.

It’s not all good, either. Lightning causes more than $2 billion worth in property damage every year, more than hurricanes, tornadoes and fires combined.

And Arizona has more lightning strikes each year than any state except Florida.

Here’s what happens when it touches your home:

Lightning follows the path of least resistance to the ground. It doesn’t select its target until it’s less than 150 feet from the ground.

Lightning will form an arc as it searches for a place to ground. After it strikes, the arc is twice as hot as the sun. That’s how lightning starts fires.

Protect your property by installing lightning rods—known in the industry as “air terminals” on your roof. They’re 12 inches tall and are connected to the ground by thin wires. They become the tallest point on your home, so they take the hit that might otherwise damage your rooftop air conditioning unit or evaporative cooler, your home or your electrical system.

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