Is It Safe To Sit On The Porch During A Thunderstorm?

Thunderstorms are an incredible force of nature that can bring both beauty and destruction. With that said, is it safe to sit on a porch during a thunderstorm? Let's take a look at the facts.

When it comes to thunderstorms, lightning is the biggest danger, and sitting on a porch can be particularly dangerous. Lightning is attracted to metal objects, so if the porch has any exposed metal parts, like a railing or support beam, it's best to avoid sitting on it during a thunderstorm. Instead, stay inside and away from windows, doors, and wiring.

Understanding where it is safe and not safe to be is an important part of staying safe during a thunderstorm. In this article, we will explain why it can be dangerous to be sitting on a porch during a thunderstorm. In addition, we will answer other frequently asked questions about thunderstorms, so read on!

Stately waterfront home in pacific northwest with ocean views expansive decks hot tub front porch and long paved driveway, Is It Safe To Sit On The Porch During A Thunderstorm

Can I Sit On The Porch During A Thunderstorm?

Thunderstorms are caused by electrical activity that occurs when powerful updrafts are created in the atmosphere. Lightning is an integral part of a thunderstorm, and it is the main danger associated with being outdoors during one.

While sitting on a porch may be scenic on a sunny day, during a thunderstorm, it can be incredibly dangerous due to the risk of lightning strikes.

When you are sitting on a porch, you are exposed to the elements and can become a target for lightning. In addition, if your porch has any exposed metal parts, like a railing or support beam, it makes you even more susceptible to lightning strikes.

Therefore, sitting on the porch during a thunderstorm can be incredibly dangerous and should be avoided.

When inside, avoid leaning or laying on concrete walls or floors, as these can conduct electricity and increase your risk of being struck by lightning.

Instead, stay in the normal living area of your home. Make sure to keep all electronics unplugged during a thunderstorm, as lightning can surge through them and cause a power outage.

However, if the thunderstorm is already in full swing and you are unable to unplug your electronics in time, it's best to stay away from them. This means avoiding using your TV or any other plugged-in electronics or home appliances.

The best way to stay safe during a thunderstorm is to stay indoors and away from windows, doors, wiring, and any other metal objects.

If you must go outside, stay away from anything that could be struck by lightning, and avoid open fields or areas with tall trees. Additionally, make sure to pay attention to weather warnings and advisories in your area when thunderstorms are expected.

Mother with son sitting on porch and looking at water

What Places Should You Avoid During A Thunderstorm?

A covered porch or balcony isn't the only dangerous place to be during a thunderstorm. Let's take a look at them below:

Open Areas

As mentioned earlier, open areas such as parks, golf courses, and beaches can be particularly dangerous during a thunderstorm, as you are completely exposed to the elements. If you find yourself in an open area during a thunderstorm, seek shelter immediately.

This also includes other open structures such as baseball dugouts, carports, and even some buildings. If there is a roof over you, it doesn't necessarily mean you are safe from lightning strikes.


Trees are often struck by lightning and provide no protection from it. If you find yourself in the woods or under trees during a thunderstorm, make sure to stay away from them.

In this case, going to your car for shelter is a better option. Roll the windows up and sit in the center of your car, away from any metal parts. If you do this, don't turn the car on or touch the ignition or other metal objects.

If you can't get to your vehicle, then go to the lower ground. When you make it to the lower ground, crouch into a ball with your feet together and cover your head with your arms until the storm passes.

In The Water

Most know that swimming in any body of water during a thunderstorm is incredibly dangerous. However, even standing in the water can be incredibly dangerous as well. If you see a storm coming, exit the water immediately and seek shelter.

Open Vehicles

Open vehicles such as ATVs, motorcycles, convertibles, and golf carts can be easily struck by lightning. In addition, they provide no protection from the storm. If you find yourself in one of these vehicles during a thunderstorm, pull into the nearest shelter, such as a store or a building.

Mountain Peaks

Thunderstorms are common when hiking in high mountains, as lightning is attracted to the higher altitudes. If you find yourself on or near a mountain peak during a thunderstorm, move away from it and seek shelter in the lower ground.

When doing this, avoid using a rocky overhang or caves, as these can be dangerous. If you are hiking with a group, spread out to avoid being all struck by the same strike of lightning.

Lightning thunderstorm flash and sun lights in the mountains. Concept on topic weather, cataclysms (hurricane, Typhoon, tornado, storm)

What's The Safest Place To Be In A Thunderstorm?

While there is no perfect way to stay safe during a thunderstorm, some places are safer than others. The best thing you can do is to seek shelter in an enclosed area with a lot of wiring and plumbing. This includes offices, retail stores, and other buildings.

The reason being is that these buildings are better insulated against lightning strikes and have wiring that can help dissipate the energy throughout the building. If lightning does strike, you will be safer in these buildings than outside.

What Happens If Lightning Strikes A House?

Stately waterfront home in pacific northwest with ocean views expansive decks hot tub front porch and long paved driveway

If lightning does strike a house, it can cause a fire and damage to the electrical wiring in the home. Additionally, lightning strikes that occur near an area of your home can cause power surges which could result in further damage if left unchecked.

In order to protect against these types of damage, make sure you have proper surge protectors installed throughout your home. This can help protect your electronics and appliances from any damage caused by lightning strikes.

Additionally, it is always important to call an electrician if you notice any signs of electrical damage after a thunderstorm. They will be able to inspect the wiring in your home and make sure that everything is working properly.

If your home is struck by lightning, call the local fire department or emergency services. This will help to ensure that everyone is safe and that the damage to your home can be minimized.

What Protects A House From Lightning?

If you live in an area where thunderstorms are common, there are steps you can take to protect your home from lightning strikes. One of the best is lighting rods, which are designed to intercept a lightning strike and direct its energy away from your home.

While this isn't a guarantee that your home won't be struck by lightning, it can help reduce the risk.

In addition, installing air terminals in or around your home can help to spread out any electrical charge and dissipate it before it enters the building. This includes putting air terminals near chimneys and the roof.

A grounding system will also help protect your home from lightning strikes. A grounding system is a network of wires and connections that will direct any electrical charge away from the building. As a result, it disperses into the ground and protects the structure from damage.

Finally, surge protectors are also important for protecting your home from lightning. They work by limiting the voltage of any electrical current that enters the building, preventing it from damaging any electronics or appliances.

If you are moving to an area with frequent thunderstorms, it's important to take steps to protect your home from lightning. Taking these precautions will give you peace of mind knowing that you and your home are protected.

Ventilating window on a rooftop with lightning rod

Why Should You Not Lie Flat During A Thunderstorm?

When a thunderstorm occurs, it is important to avoid lying flat on the ground. This will increase your risk of the electrical current from a lightning strike. The best alternative is to keep moving towards shelter.

If this isn't an option and you are caught outside in a thunderstorm, the safest position is to crouch low with your feet close together and your head tucked into your knees. This will help reduce the surface area of contact that lightning has with you, decreasing the chances of any harm.

Final Thoughts

Avoiding these areas during thunderstorms can drastically reduce your risk of being struck by lightning. Make sure to pay attention to thunderstorm warnings in your area so you can take the necessary precautions to stay safe.

Made it to the end? Here are other articles you might find helpful:

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