PARKER, Colo., June 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Colorado Governor, John Hickenlooper is declaring June 23-29, 2013 Lightning Safety Awareness Week, noting that education is key to understanding lightning's dangers. Lightning safety advocates from the Lightning Protection Institute (LPI), the Lightning Safety Alliance (LSA), the National Weather Service (NWS) and other partnering organizations, joined Emergency Preparedness Director, Dana Reynolds and South Metro Fire Rescue Chief, Dan Qualman for a press conference and community event at Fire Station #45 at 10:00 a.m. today to kick-off Lightning Safety Awareness Week and share educational resources.
Lightning strikes Colorado almost 500,000 times a year and has been responsible for sparking devastating wildfires. Lightning has killed 91 people and injured over 400 in Colorado since 1980. Lightning kills an average of 54 people and injures hundreds more in the U.S. each year. Lightning deaths have steadily decreased since the National Weather Service launched the campaign in 2001.
"Lightning is an underrated weather hazard, yet it is a leading storm-related killer which is responsible for more than one billion dollars in property damage each year in the U.S.," said Mark Morgan, spokesman for the Lightning Safety Alliance. "A single bolt of lightning can reach over five miles in length and carry a hundred million volts of electricity." The Lightning Safety Alliance held a continuing education seminar about lightning protection and national safety standards in conjunction with the kick-off event.
"Each year we see lightning-related injuries, deaths and property loss that might have been prevented with awareness and education," said Chief Qualman. "Our first line of protection is educating the community and lightning awareness week provides a perfect occasion to remind the public about the dangers of lightning, an often forgotten, yet deadly and destructive weather hazard."
In addition to supporting lightning awareness, LPI is sponsoring a "Building Lightning Safe Communities" campaign to provide complimentary lightning protection systems for designated fire stations in high risk lightning regions of the U.S., including Parker, CO. LPI organized the donations when outreach with fire safety communities revealed that many stations across the country were lacking lightning protection systems to protect their personnel, structures and equipment. LPI member firms, Mr. Lightning and ECLE facilitated a lightning protection system donation for South Metro Fire Rescue Station #45 which helped sponsor the Lightning Safety Awareness kick-off event.
LPI is a not-for-profit nationwide group founded in 1955 to promote lightning safety awareness and protection education. Visit the LPI website at www.lightning.org for more information. The LSA is a non-profit, national league of lightning protection professionals and supporters dedicated to the promotion of lightning protection in compliance with national safety standards. Visit www.lightningsafetyalliance.org for more information.
More information about the Lightning Safety Awareness Campaign can be found at: www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov.
SOURCE Lightning Safety Alliance