Why You Should Never Do The Dishes During a Thunderstorm
Sure, you may already know it’s a good idea to steer clear of holding metal objects like an umbrella during a thunderstorm, but did you also know it’s a good idea to stay away from doing some common household chores, too?
According to the experts at Accuweather, attempting to do your dishes during a thunderstorm can be very dangerous indeed. Lightning, the weather team noted, can strike down near your house causing an electrical current to travel through your home’s pipes and water system. In turn, this can shock you too, according to John Jensenius, lightning safety specialist for the National Weather Service (NWS). Of course, this same rule applies to showering or bathing as well.
"You just want to stay away from things that conduct electricity within the home," Jensenius said in a post on Accuweather. "That would include both the wires and the plumbing, so in that particular case certainly showers would be dangerous, it would be dangerous to be washing your hands or washing dishes. Just avoid those any time you can hear thunder."
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And don’t think you’re safe just because you have plastic pipes either.
“Water can conduct electricity as well,” he said. “We see that on the outside where lightning strikes something and if there are puddles around, it can easily electrocute somebody nearby the puddle."
Even putting clothing in the washing machine can turn dangerous in a storm.
"If you're at all connected to ... anything that plugs into the wall, which could be, for example, a dishwasher or a washing machine that's plugged into the wall or also has connections to plumbing, that becomes dangerous," Jensenius said.
According to Jensenius, lightning can strike up to 10 miles away from the epicenter of a thunderstorm. So, if you hear thunder that means you’re well within striking distance.
As to where to go to seek refuge in a storm, Accuweather explained you should seek out any place indoors away from metal, plumbing, plugged in appliances, concrete, windows, and doors.
So, next time it thunders stay away from those dirty dishes. And, you know, if you’re feeling particularly lazy one day you could always tell your spouse you can’t do the dishes because it’s cloudy outside and it could thunder, which would really put your safety at risk.