Most people and animals are terrified of thunderstorms and the lightning that follows them. A famous phrase says, “When thunder roars, go indoors!”. Unfortunately, sometimes seeking shelter inside is insufficient to shield you from lightning. Let’s discuss if lightning can strike a window and, if so, how to avoid it.

Lightning cannot come through a window as glass is not a conductor of electricity. However, even though lightning isn’t electrically conductive through windows, it can still strike them and cause them to explode. 

Besides, your window may have a metal grill attached to it. Metals are good conductors of electricity, which can hurt you. Therefore, no matter how enticing a thunderstorm looks through your window, you should always stay away.

Lightning And Windows

Lightning might not strike directly through a window but beware of the metal components in the window frame that could be like lightning rods. If lightning hits nearby, shards from broken glass can fly around and cause serious injury to anyone or anything in their path.  

Even ground-level lightning strikes can heat windows enough for them to explore, so it’s a good idea to stay at least a few feet away from your windows during a lightning storm.

So, how does lightning enter a building if lightning cannot directly come through a window? Let’s find out.

How Does Lightning Enter A Building?

There are three ways for lightning to enter your home or business during thunderstorms.

Direct Strike

A lightning strike can be terrifying, especially if it’s a direct strike. Most people worry about direct strikes because that is when a bolt actually hits the building. When lightning directly hits a structure or cable, the energy within travels through it and into the ground, putting anyone near at risk of injury. 

Even though windows may seem like they’re helping keep you safe, lightning has the power to jump through them and cause serious harm. So if there’s a lightning storm outside, stay away from the windows. Avoiding windows and other openings can mitigate the risk of shattered glass when lightning hits nearby. 

Conductive Materials

Materials that conduct electricity allow Lightning to find its way into your home. These materials may include exposed wires or metal parts. If lightning strikes the pole outside your home, it can readily travel through the wires right into your home. 

As long as you aren’t holding any electrical items or standing too close to them, you should be safe. 

However, even minor lightning storms can destroy electronics plugged into the wall snacks with worse consequences. Remember to plug them into a surge protector for added protection to prevent irreparable damage to valuable items like TVs, computers, and other sensitive electronics.

Ground Below The House

A cloud-to-ground lightning strike begins when the negative charges of the stepped leader travel toward the ground. It strides in steps of 50 to 100 meters, sometimes branching out from its path. 

As an equal and opposite reaction, positive currents emerge from the ground as upward leaders in greeting. When their paths collide around 30 to 100 meters above the ground, the lightning bolt flashes brightly as negative charges travel to the cloud.

Learn more about the formation of lightning by watching this video:

How does lightning work?

Safety Tips

When lightning strikes, you can’t hide in the ground and expect to stay safe. 

The odds of lightning strikes are minimized if we take appropriate safety measures, such as unplugging all appliances like TVs and computers, keeping away from concrete or soil, closing windows tightly, and drawing curtains or blinds to avoid shattered glass flying around. Also, remember to stay inside until the storm passes.

Supplies And Emergency Kit

When lightning strikes, having a first aid kit ready can be the difference between life and death. It is better to stock essentials like band-aids in various shapes and sizes, bandages, safety pins, scissors, cleansing wipes, antiseptic cream, sticky tape, a thermometer, tweezers, painkillers, gloves, and more beforehand. 

Your first aid kit can help dramatically reduce potential injury from lightning storms. 

Right beside this vital kit should also lie non-perishable food and bottled water for easy meal prep in case of emergency. For added security, keep a radio with battery power, plus flashlights and candles to light your way in case lightning knocks out power. 

Lightning Protection System

Lightning protection systems are essential to ensure safety for your home and family. While paying a hefty premium insurance policy can seem more superficial, lightning protection systems offer long-term assurance against lightning storms. 

Additionally, the system offers fire protection and structural damage coverage as well. Rather than attempting to draw lightning strikes or deter them, lightning protection systems create a safe path for electrical discharges. Therefore, investing in lightning protection can be your best decision this storm season.

Lightning Survival

Lightning strikes can have devastating effects. Unfortunately, dozens of people die from this natural disaster each year. These deaths are often due to the lack of timely medical intervention and a misguided belief that lightning victims must not be moved or touched. 

However, knowing lightning does not remain in the body is crucial. Therefore, prompt medical help is vital for survival because an electrical discharge can cause a heart attack. When lightning strikes, always call the medical emergency service immediately. 

The injured person needs CPR as soon as possible. Check for a pulse and regular breathing.


While glass is not a conductor of heat, which means that lightning cannot come through a window, it is still unsafe to be close to a window under such circumstances. This is because there are high chances of windows getting broken and the glass hitting your eyes. 

Besides, your windows may have a metal grill attached to them, which is a good conductor of electricity. Thus, avoid windows in a light storm and stay protected.