LINDEN, N.J. (CBS 2) — A lightning strike can pack millions of volts of electricity.
One powerful bolt is blamed for sparking a fire that destroyed a building in New Jersey. So what steps can you take to protect your home?
CBS 2′s Christine Sloan has the tops.
Roman Fasman’s apartment caught on fire when lightning struck a three-story building in Linden, N.J. He was lucky to get out on time with his two children.
“All of a sudden I heard a big boom,” Fasman said. “The whole building shook.”
Your home is supposed to be the safest place for you during the safest place during rough weather. In fact, the National Weather Service warns residents to seek shelter indoors during thunderstorms and to stay away from windows.
“They say you have a better chance of winning the lottery than being struck by lightning,” Fasman said. “Yeah, well I wish I had won the lottery.”
But is it so rare?
Not only was Fasman’s building hit by lightning, another Linden home was struck Sunday morning – and another one last month in Middletown.
Companies that specialize in protecting your home against lightning say strikes are becoming more common because of the increase in underground utilities, and the location of homes and the number of high-cost electronics.
Lightning rods on rooftops provide a pathway for the current to be safely directed to the ground.
While these companies mostly deal with commercial buildings, just to install a system in a house like this could cost almost $3000.
As for Fasman, he’s just thanksful it wasn’t worse.
“My kids are okay and everybody’s safe,” he said. “Nobody got hurt.”
He plans on rebuilding, hoping – quite literally – that lightning doesn’t strike twice.