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Experts Warn People Not To Wash Their Hands During A Thunderstorm

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Experts Warn People Not To Wash Their Hands During A Thunderstorm

Quick, strip the aerial out of the TV, put that golf club down, and for God's sake don't hide under that tree.

The classic warnings when it comes to a thunderstorm, but the one that's not often told is not to wash your hands.

After the bout of hot weather in the UK (those on the equator would call it a 'spell' of sun, Brits call it summer), and now the slightly cooler temperatures, thunderstorms are predicted.

Weirdly, turning the tap on and washing your hands, in between counting 'one elephant, two elephants' to see how far away the thunderstorm is, runs the risk of you electrocuting yourself.

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The Met Office advise against using the taps in times of thunder and lightning.

Credit: PA

This is because, when lightning strikes, it tries to find materials, such as metal, that can act as a conductor, as it travels into the ground.

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It doesn't take a genius to work out that the pipes of some homes are metal, meaning that lightning is attracted towards them.

But that's not all, our water is not 100 percent natural and there are various impurities which can also help to conduct electricity - further increasing the risk of shock.

This means that turning on your tap, where the water has been charged with electricity, could see you killed.

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Credit: PA

Of course, the chances of being struck by lightning are around one in 300,000. Author David Hand explained in his book, The Improbability Principle, that around 24,000 people are killed each year by lightning.

Although that just one in 300,000 is an average worldwide, it's more prominent in less developed countries where there are fewer taller buildings and more flammable ones.

On average, in the UK, three people are killed by lightning each year, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

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But never count of probability being on your side. Yes, they are long odds, but remember, in 2009, the same numbers came up in two consecutive weeks on the Bulgarian lottery.

Stay safe out there people, and may the odds be ever in your favour.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Lightning

Michael Minay
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