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Topic Title: Corded Telephones and..............
Created On: 16 August 2014 02:19 PM
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 16 August 2014 02:19 PM
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From The Times today. During 1988 and 2012, 722 reports of people being struck by lightning have been made. There may be many additional unreported strikes. Each year on average two people are killed by lightning. August is the likeliest month in which to be struck. The data is from the Tornado and Research Organisation. Lightning can penetrate homes. Lightning can surge through metal wires and pipes. Using landline telephones during a thunder storm is especially risky. There have been approximately as many people struck by lightning indoors as outdoors. Around a quarter of indoor incidents have occurred when somebody was using, touching or holding a corded telephone whether in the home,office or telephone exchange. Being sweaty can cause greater harm, and having sweaty feet can cause shoes to explode.
 16 August 2014 02:56 PM
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Had ball lightning come through our house once when I was 19. No huge bang, damage or sign of scorching, no-one injured.

5 of us sitting in a room. At the moment it happened we all saw it at slightly different positions on the outside wall.

After the fact we realised it had tracked along one wall of the room along the surface mounted heating pipes and radiator.

It was over in a flash, as it were. A football-ish sized globe of light.

S George
 16 August 2014 04:17 PM
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One of my school teachers suffered bad burns to the side of her face from a corded phone struck during a storm.

I've also seen BT dropwire which has been struck, quite an impressive site as all the copper springs out and it looks a bit like a christmas tree.

 16 August 2014 06:32 PM
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Having lived in South Africa for 25 years until it became too dangerous after apartheid, and for all races. I can vouch for this article in their Sunday Times. 250 people killed per annum does not seem to be unreasonable, not to mention the livestock also sheltering under trees; I remember 1 photo, where about 20 cows were dead, after they had all huddled together under a single tree, sheltering from the rain. I was always fascinated by nature's free pyrotechnic show though; it was marvellous to sit on the stoep sipping a Castle in the darkness with the lights out, only punctuated by the intense sheet and ground flashes. Ah such bliss ... "dit is lekker man"

The donner and blitzen lasts for hours, almost all afternoons in the summer time there, sometimes with heavy downpours of rain, and hail the size of golf balls at times on the Highveldt where the elevation ASL was 1600m. Trees were natural conductors and it was not unusual to see one in a group standing stark naked with the bark stripped off completely. Any adjacent reinforced concrete slabs on walls would explode with the magnetic field.

Overhead telephone lines are particularly vulnerable, and I replace few BT master sockets out in remote areas, every year in the North of Scotland, the most recent being 4 weeks ago; there were trees at the back of the property and taller than the house, they were about 10 metres away; the bark exploded and stuck to the walls and windows of the house.

The telephone system throughout the house appears to have suffered the worst effects, since the master socket was frazzled, a £3,550 TV, a SKY box and the LNB; it was an insurance claim so the guy wanted a report. Oddly enough, the only reported electrical problem was that the main switch tripped (PME), this incident was only found out when the guy returned from abroad.
 18 August 2014 02:04 PM
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Hello Jaymack,
I would normally have sent this by PM but you do not seem to have a facility for PMs. A good friend left S.A. in the 60s. He now lives in the U.K. His son and wife visited S.A on holiday. Both were murdered whilst there. Horrific. Regards, Z.

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