SCIENCE

Why you should not take a shower during a thunderstorm

According to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, when there is a thunderstorm with lightning and thunder you should avoid showering, washing in the bathtub and doing the dishes (source cnn.com).

The reason, according to CNN, is that lightning would be able to travel through pipes and that is why you should avoid contact with plumbing and running water, to avoid the risk of being struck.

The danger with lightning, therefore, is not only present when you are outside but potentially also inside.

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What not to do at home during a thunderstorm
According to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, when there is a thunderstorm with lightning and thunder, you should avoid showering, washing in the tub and doing the dishes (source cnn.com).
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Why you should not take a shower if there is a thunderstorm
The reason, according to the news reported by CNN, is that lightning would be able to travel through pipes and that is why one should avoid contact with plumbing and running water, to avoid the risk of being struck. The danger with lightning, therefore, is not only present when you are outside but potentially also inside.
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Other risks in the home
Obviously, the risk of being struck by lightning during a thunderstorm decreases if the plumbing pipes are made of plastic. When in doubt, however, it is always better to avoid. By the way, plumbing is not the only possible risk in the home, as porches, balconies and proximity to windows should also be avoided.
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How to calculate the distance of lightning
To calculate how far away the lightning is, simply count the number of seconds between the flash of lightning and the sound of thunder and divide by five seconds: if you get 5 seconds, the distance is equal to one mile (about 1.6 km); 15 seconds the distance is equal to 3 miles (about 4.8 km) while zero seconds means the lightning is very close.
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Casualties in the U.S. each year
According to US data, at least 180 people a year are struck by lightning when outside and 10 per cent of these lose their lives. Most deaths due to lightning are recorded in the states of Texas and Florida.
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12/06/2024
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