RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Tuesday is International Lightning Safety Day and with summer now in full swing and so many of us getting outside, CBS17 wants to remind you of some lightning safety tips.

First, there is no safe place outside during a thunderstorm. If you can hear thunder the storm is close enough for you to be struck by lightning, since lightning can strike more than 10 miles outside of the storm!

Summer means baseball games, soccer leagues, and so many other outdoor sports for our kids and family, but the rule you need to remember is that if you see lightning or hear thunder you must wait 30 minutes before going back outside and resuming play.

When seeking shelter from the storm look for an enclosed structure like a house, bathroom, or even your car. A dugout is not a safe place to wait out a thunderstorm, and never take shelter under a tree.
Last year, the United States had 11 deaths due to lightning strikes, and so far this year we’ve only had one. And that number will likely go up.

Of course the reason for that is because it’s summer! It’s time for beach vacations, pool parties and camping trips, and most lightning related deaths in the U.S. occur in June and July.

So how does North Carolina compare to the rest of the country?

From 2011-2020, North Carolina has had 12 deaths due to lightning with the most recent occurring in 2020. This may not seem like a large number, but we are tied for 4th for lightning deaths across the country, only behind Florida, Texas and Alabama.

Lightning can be a scary thing, but just remember: when thunder roars, go indoors. It’s annoying to wait for a storm to pass, but it’s better than taking the risk of being struck by lightning.

For more lightning safety tips you can click here and for more lightning statistics as well as safety, click here.