DALLAS, TX--(Marketwire - Feb 28, 2013) - In Texas, two lightning fires resulted in the death of two people recently.
Investigators suspect lightning as a cause for the fire that killed Deputy Richard Fields and his wife, Rebecca, of 38 years, at their rural Fannin County home in early February.
A historic church in nearby Honey Grove burned to the ground as well. Church officials believe lightning is to blame for that fire as well.
These tragedies involving lightning happen more than one may think, but fortunately due to an increase in awareness, the number of fatalities are decreasing. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an average of 54 people are reported killed each year by lightning. Hundreds more survive strikes but suffer from a variety of symptoms, including memory loss, dizziness and other ailments.
Although lightning can happen during anytime of the year, most lightning strikes and lightning fires occur most often in the summer. Michael Pruitt, fire safety expert, presents the following safety tips:
- Look for shelter inside a home or large building.
- Stay away from windows or doors.
- Do not hide under tall trees for shelter.
- Unplug appliances and other electrical items, like computers and electronic equipment.
- Avoid washing your hands, doing laundry or washing dishes.
- If a person is hit by lightning, call 9-1-1 and get medical care immediately.
As we know, no safety tip is 100% safety proof, but being aware can help increase your safety during severe weather come summer.
Michael Pruitt, a veteran firefighter, has served as a Deputy Chief and Fire Chief in Texas. He is one of a handful of executives worldwide who holds the distinguished Chief Fire Officer (CFO) designation. He is CEO of Michael Pruitt and Associates, a firm specializing in fire safety.