More than one thousand people get struck by lightning annually, showing how common it is. While being inside the house offer protection, lightning can affect homes too. So, what happens if lightning strikes a mobile home?
Does lightning affect mobile?
Lightning can damage mobile homes with wooden or fiberglass roofs, but it can’t affect those metal roofs and frames. However, lightning could damage electrical appliances and connections inside mobile homes. With risks of death and injuries, it’s important to adopt safety measures like grounding.
However, note that living in a mobile home doesn’t increase your chance of lightning striking your home or suffering more damage than someone living in a regular home. Here, we discuss what happens when lightning strikes a mobile home.
How Lightning Works?
Lightning is the discharge of static electricity. It happens when negatively charged cloud particles interact with positively charged air from the ground. This occurrence creates a lot of heat as a lightning strike is around 20,000 degrees Celsius.
When lightning strikes, it travels straight into the earth. It’ll connect with anything that conducts electricity in a bid to get to earth. Once it connects to one conductor, it can connect to other conductors as it goes into the ground.
Effects of Lightning on Mobile Homes
Just as it’ll do with any other object, lightning will find the easiest way to reach the ground after striking a mobile home. Lightning shouldn’t seriously affect your mobile home with a metal roof and frame. However, lightning could enter the mobile home if the frame and the roof aren’t metal. It also matters whether the strike is a direct hit.
You can tell that it’s a direct hit if you hear a loud boom that shakes your home and leaves the lights flickering or even shut down power.
A direct hit could affect your mobile home more significantly. When your mobile home gets struck by lightning, you should first make sure there’s no fire, and you may need to fix some electrical faults after that.
Even in mobile homes made of metal, lightning can damage electronics. But it shouldn’t affect the people inside a mobile home. If you’re inside a mobile home and notice a thunderstorm, it’s advisable to stay inside and disconnect all the electronic hookups in the home. you should also switch off all electronic devices to avoid them getting damaged
Preparation for Thunderstorms
If you live in a mobile home, it’s important to prepare your home against lightning. It doesn’t even have to hit the mobile home directly. It could damage its electrical systems simply because it struck someplace close by.
As for your mobile home, you should be fine as long as the roof and frame are aluminum or steel. But if your mobile home is wooden, it won’t protect you from lightning. So, you need to find other safety options.
It’s also important to stay indoors when there’s a thunderstorm. Most of those struck by lightning were usually outdoor. Being inside a tent or a popup camper won’t protect you from a lightning strike too.
While lightning may not directly affect your motorhome, it’s important to park far away from trees. Lightning could strike the tree, causing it to fall on your mobile home. You should also avoid metal structures as they represent potential hazards.
Grounding Your Mobile Home
Another way to ensure protection for your mobile home is by grounding it. Grounding ensures that lightning strikes and the voltages go into the earth harmlessly.
So, it won’t affect your home or appliances as it has a straight path into the ground. Without grounding, the side flashes from lightning could destroy your mobile home’s electric connection or appliances.
You can ground your house by connecting a ground wire directly to your mobile home chassis from the shore power plug. Make sure you isolate the neutral line of the mobile home from the ground and the chassis. It’s important to ground your mobile properly. So, you can call an electrician or technician who has expertise in this kind of thing.
Why Lightning Doesn’t Affect Cars and Mobile Homes?
The Faraday Cage effect explains why lightning won’t affect cars and mobile homes made of metals. In its simplest terms, the principle state that a car is a big metal cage causing the lightning to go around it instead of coming inside it. Similarly, your mobile home is a metal cage.
This is why the roof of your mobile home matters a lot. Steel and aluminum roofs offer complete protection. If you have a fiberglass roof with an aluminum frame, you shouldn’t have any problem.
Safety Measures During a Thunderstorm
If you should be caught in a lightning storm while in a mobile home, there are safety measures to adopt. These include:
- Stay inside throughout the whole experience.
- Move away from the doors and windows
- Turn off any generator you might have
- Unplug all power source
- Don’t touch metal or use electronics and water during a thunderstorm.
- Lower any flag pole and antenna you might have, as they can draw the lightning to your mobile home
Dangers of Lightening
Unlike most natural disasters, many people underestimate thunderstorms. This is understandable given the low chance of being struck by lightning. But the risks are real. Here are some of the risks
Lightning kills over 100 people annually, more than the number that dies from tornados and hurricanes. The reason for this number of deaths is that most people don’t get inside on time. Surprisingly, the fatality rate is only 10% of those hit by lightning.
2. Injuries and Neurological Effects
With about 90% of people struck by lightning usually surviving, your chance of survival is high. But even those who survive aren’t safe. They’re also at risk of lifelong memory deficits, chronic pain, dizziness, and sleep disturbance. It could also lead to ruptured eardrums, and survivors are prone to cataracts. So, you don’t want to be struck by lightning.
Even with all protective measures, it is still possible for your mobile home to be affected, especially if your RV should get a direct hit from lightning. But the protective measures ensure that you and those inside the mobile home will be safer.