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Delmarva Power Offers Lightning Safety Tips

Monday, July 20, 2009

Power Company Reminds Customers that Lightning is Dangerous

SALISBURY , Md. – Delmarva Power wants to remind you that lightning safety should be practiced every day of the year. With summer time being the peak season for this deadly weather phenomenon, now is the time to be especially safety-conscious around lightning.

The National Weather Service reports that lightning strikes more than 400 people in the United States each year. About 60 of those die and many more are left with permanent disabilities. More than 70 percent of lightning fatalities occur between June and August. This year, 23 deaths have already been attributed to lightning.

“We need to educate more people of the dangers posed from lightning” said Robert Gregory, Safety Coordinator for Delmarva Power. “Although our system is designed to handle lightning strikes, people should stay clear of poles, wires, metal fences and trees when lightning is in the area. Lightning is unpredictable and can strike at any time, so immediate action at the first sign of an approaching storm is crucial.”

To avoid being struck by lightning, Delmarva Power recommends the following safety tips:

  • Go to a safe shelter immediately, preferably indoors. Avoid metal structures, picnic pavilions and small canopies. As a last resort, locate a hardtop vehicle and keep the windows closed; 
  •  Never go under a tree or any other tall structure during a thunderstorm;
  • Avoid using a land-line telephone or electrical appliances during a thunderstorm unless it’s an emergency;
  • Monitor the weather forecast when you’re planning to be outdoors;
  • Have a plan for getting to a safe place when a thunderstorm approaches.

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Delmarva Power, a public utility owned by Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), provides safe and reliable energy to nearly 500,000 electric delivery customers in Delaware and Maryland and over 121,000 natural gas delivery customers in northern Delaware .