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Fires started by lightning peak in the summer months and in the late afternoon and early evening.

Lightning by the numbers

  • During 2007-2011, U.S. local fire departments responded to an estimated average of 22,600 fires per year that were started by lightning. These fires caused an average of nine civilian deaths, 53 civilian injuries, and $451 million in direct property damage per year.
  • Only 19% of reported lightning fires occurred in homes, but these accounted for 86% of the associated lightning fire civilian deaths, 76% of the associated injuries and 68% of the direct property damage.
  • Almost two-thirds of the lightning fires reported to local fire departments were outside vegetation fires.  
Source: NFPA's "Lightning Fires and Lightning Strikes" report

NFPA's Lisa Braxton says following some simple safety tips can greatly reduce the risk of being struck by lightning.