Pool Safety During Thunderstorms and Lightning

pool safety during a stormIn many parts of the US, ‘tis the season for stormy weather. Whether you’re experiencing a deluge of rain or dealing with that white stuff you have to shovel, stormy weather can really affect pool safety.

Swimming pool safety is of utmost importance during stormy weather that includes lightning. If you live in a warm climate that allows you to keep your pool open all year, there’s one scenario where it’s best to stay out of the water.

Here are some of the most important things to know about stormy weather and pool safety

Many people assume that it is safer to swim in their swimming pools than in the ocean during stormy weather. However, it is NOT safe to swim whenever lightning is expected, in any body of water. Even if the storm is several miles from your location, lightning can travel quickly. It can hit in areas unaffected by the rest of the storm.

Lightning typically strikes the highest object in its path. Anyone in the pool is the highest or tallest object in the water and is, therefore, the most likely target of the lightning strike.

What Happens When Lightning Hits Water?

lightning on waterWater is an excellent electrical conductor making it dangerous during episodes of lightning. Since water conducts electricity so well, there is no safe place in the water, or even near the water, during an electrical storm. Watch this dramatic video of lightning hitting the water.

An electrical charge doesn’t penetrate far into the water. Otherwise, there would be dead fish popping up after every storm. Instead, the charge spreads across the surface, discharging horizontally.

As for how far it can spread, estimates vary. The power of the bolt itself has an impact on the distance the current can travel, so it’s difficult to determine.

When to Get Out of the Pool

The very moment you hear a thunder roll during a storm, you should get out of the pool. The same applies when you see lightning, even if it appears far in the distance. Move the party indoors and wait out the storm.

When you see lightning at night, in the right conditions it could be as far as 100 miles from your location. During the daytime, lightning is typically visible within 25 miles.

You also need to be aware of the sound of thunder. If thunder is heard, it typically means lightning is less than 25 miles away. There have been many instances of lightning strikes 25 miles from the edge of a storm. If you cannot hear thunder, that doesn’t mean lightning can’t reach you. If you know a storm is in the area, get out of the water even if you don’t hear thunder.

Usually, lightning threats last around an hour or so it’s best to not only get out of the water but to stay away from it and seek a safer, indoor locale.

Keep Pool Safety at the Forefront

pool safety lightning hits waterIf you live in Florida or Texas, you know how dangerous it is to stay indoors during a thunderstorm.

However, some people can be difficult to persuade to go inside, especially in hot weather. When friends and family gather for a fun day at the pool, you will benefit from having an alternative plan, if stormy weather arrives. Enjoying cocktails in the kitchen (Dark and Stormy, anyone?) or playing games with the kids can keep guests engaged until the storm passes.

At Premier, pool safety is our top priority. Whether you need help keeping your pool algae-free or are looking for additional safety features like pool covers or fencing, we are here to help. Contact a local Premier service provider today. We offer free quotes and peace of mind.

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