Man Struck While Washing Dishes

According to The New Zealand Herald, a 37-year-old man was struck by lightning while washing dishes at a YMCA camp in Yarramundi, situated in Sydney, Australia‘s far west, on Jan. 28. The man, who suffered injuries to his neck and shoulder, was treated by paramedics and was expected to be taken to hospital.

When I was in elementary school, one of the first things told to my eager-to-learn class was the danger of showering or using faucets during a lightning storm. Apparently, the 37-year-old man wasn’t warned about the dangers of his actions or he ignored the already known knowledge.

Let’s review…

When lightning strikes, the electrical current follows the path of least resistance down to the ground. Metal is a fantastic conductor.  Therefore, if lightning strikes an unprotected house,  the current will travel through any metal pipes including the tap water pipes (such as those going to your shower and kitchen sink). These pipes contain impurities that help the water conduct electrical current.

In an episode of MythBusters, a reality TV show featured on Discovery that either confirms or busts myths, held a show entitled “Son of a Gun.” This episode featured confirming or busting myths related to lightning including: showering during a thunderstorm and using the phone during a thunderstorm. Below is their finding, according to an annotated account provided by kwc.org.

You can get electrocuted from a phone or in the shower from a lighting strike to your house: confirmed

For a full listing and explanation, visit http://kwc.org/mythbusters/2005/03/mythbusters_son_of_a_gun_showe.html… and be smart, stay away from your pipes during storms, your dirty dishes (or body) can wait.

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