My best friend, Lee, who was struck and killed by lightning in July 2006, had a tendency to wear a thick silver chain around his neck at all times. The night of Lee’s passing he was wearing his silver chain while playing soccer when the lightning storm began.
Did Lee’s silver chain add to his chances of getting struck by lightning?
According to The Storm Highway Weather Library, small metal objects do not attract lightning.
It is a myth that wearing jewelry, metal cleats, and carrying metal objects, such as umbrellas, iPods, and golf clubs makes a person more susceptible to lightning strikes.
However, if a person is struck via a direct hit or a hit via a lightning jump, the metal in electronic devices (iPods, cameras, cellphones, etc), jewelry, or even change in his/her pocket allows the lightning to flow through the body causing contact burns and strengthens the damage to the individual.
Bottom Line: No, it’s not safe to be outside with metal objects during a lightning storm; however, the metal objects are the least of your worries… it’s the lightning you have to fear.