Fire Hazards During Summer Storms

  • May 27, 2024
electrical fire

Many home or business owners assume that most structural fire threats occur in the winter due to heating hazards. While winter has serious electrical fire concerns, summer can also prove dangerous, particularly in seasonal weather extremes. Here’s what to know about storm-related electrical fire risks and how to take adequate precautions.

How Do Summer Storms Raise the Risk of an Electrical Fire?

A summer storm can affect your home or business in several different ways. Heavy winds, lightning strikes, and torrential rain can lead to various electrical malfunctions. When creating a fire safety plan, consider the following threats.

Power Outages

If severe weather damages the electrical lines in your building, you can lose power. Extreme winds or lightning can disrupt those lines, while heavy rain can soften the soil enough to uproot a nearby tree. In either situation, a loose electrical cable can ignite an electrical fire.

Lightning Strikes

While lightning strikes are rare, they can occur during a summer storm. If lightning strikes your home or business, it can produce an electrical surge, which increases the risk of fried wiring or short circuitry. If the surge is powerful and forceful enough, a fire could ensue.

Rainwater Exposure

Heavy rainfall is also a significant threat, even without high wind velocity or lightning strikes. Water can pool on a structure’s roof, causing water to leak inside. If this building leak occurs near an electrical panel or circuit, it could pose a severe fire hazard.

Safety Tips: How to Prepare for a Summer Storm Fire

The best way to protect you and your property from damage is to be prepared. Here are five fire safety measures to protect your home or business from an electrical fire emergency—both in the summer and year-round.

1. Install a Surge Protector

Even if the weather is calm, an interior surge can still affect your electrical devices. Install a building-wide surge protector to safely discharge any potential surges as they occur. This will extend the lifetime of electrical machinery while minimizing fire threats.

2. Prioritize Exterior Maintenance

Schedule consistent roof inspections to protect against water leaks. In addition to an annual inspection, post-storm roof checks will identify problems caused by rain, forceful winds, or lightning strikes. Repair roof leaks immediately to eliminate water damage, electrical fire risks, and other structural hazards.

3. Don’t Overlook Landscaping

A fallen tree or broken tree limb can destroy the structure of your home and business. These landscaping issues can also break power lines or cause hazardous electrical shorts. To avoid this potential danger, trim and prune the landscape regularly, and consider removing trees within 10 feet of the building’s exterior.

4. Get a Back-Up Generator

Even after minimizing the threat of a fallen tree or other heavy storm damage, an electrical cable issue or power outage can still occur. Outages can abruptly short out electrical devices or machinery. Still, a backup generator will restore power in your home or business, which reduces the overall risk of short circuitry and electrical arcs.

5. Update to a Fire Sprinkler System

If severe weather ignites an electrical fire, it’s vital to extinguish the flames quickly. While fire extinguishers work for small, isolated blazes, a more extensive system is needed to protect an entire building. Install fire sprinklers to maximize safety and reinforce structural integrity.

Protect Your Property With the Right Fire Safety Equipment

A&A Fire Protection offers fire sprinkler installation, inspection, and repair services for residential and commercial buildings. A fire sprinkler system will protect each corner of your home or business, so whether you need to install a new system or schedule an annual inspection, contact us for exceptional service you can trust.