is it safe to watch tv during a thunderstorm

Is it safe to watch TV during a thunderstorm? It is natural to feel scared and intimidated during a thunderstorm.

And many people look for ways to distract themselves from all the horrors associated with a storm.

One comforting distraction could be watching TV. The problem is that so many people raise safety concerns related to the idea of watching TV during a thunderstorm.

So, should you watch TV during a thunderstorm?

It is generally not safe to watch TV during a thunderstorm due to the risks of lightning strikes, power surges, and distractions from potential threats. 

Understanding Thunderstorms

understanding thunderstorms

Lightning and thunder are breathtaking exhibitions of nature’s might.

They begin to take shape when rising warm, moist air causes atmospheric instability.

The most striking aspect of a thunderstorm, lightning, is a huge electrical discharge between the ground and the charged particles in the atmosphere.

When lightning strikes, it usually travels down the tallest, most conductive item it can find.

Wiring and plumbing can conduct electricity, which poses a risk if your home or a nearby utility pole is impacted.

And perhaps that is the reason why many people think you should not watch TV during a storm.

Fact: A typical thunderstorm has a diameter of roughly 15 miles and lasts between 30 minutes and an hour. 

Is It Safe to Watch TV During a Thunderstorm?

tv safety during thunderstorm

There is no clear answer to this question because of the many variables involved.

However, when it comes to staying safe when watching TV during a rainstorm, there are two options:

  • Using an antenna or cable connection
  • Going cordless

There is a potential threat to older models of televisions that rely on a broadcast signal from a cable or antenna.

It is possible for a lightning surge to enter your TV set if it is located near your home or the cable wire.

In addition to potentially causing damage to your TV, this could also put whoever is operating the set in harm’s way.

However, it is generally accepted that viewing TV on a cordless device that is not plugged into an electrical outlet is safe.

If you unplug your equipment, you will not have to worry about a power surge destroying it or hurting you. 

What are the Risks of Watching TV During a Thunderstorm?

tv risks during thunderstorm

Due to the electrical nature of televisions and the possibility of lightning strikes, it is not without risk to watch TV during a thunderstorm.

Electronic equipment is vulnerable to lightning strikes because the bolts follow whatever metal they find and can therefore travel down power lines and cable connections.

Although the odds of being struck by lightning are low, there are still important considerations to keep in mind. 

Power Surges

Lightning strikes can generate dangerous power surges that can damage electronics like televisions.

When lightning strikes the electrical grid or a nearby power line, it can cause a rush of energy to travel through the lines and into neighboring homes and businesses.

power surges

Overloading the fragile circuitry of televisions is possible due to these quick surges.

It could be expensive to fix the TV, or it could be necessary to buy a new one.

This highlights the significance of using surge protectors and lightning rods to prevent expensive electronics from damage during storms.

Fact: The rapid expansion and contraction of air molecules cause the thunder that is associated with lightning, which may reach temperatures of up to 30,000C. 

Electrical Fires

electrical fires

Lightning strikes pose a significant threat to televisions and other electrical devices because they can cause electrical fires.

Overloading the TV’s cables and circuit with too much electricity, as can happen during a lightning strike, can cause the device to overheat and perhaps catch fire.

There is also an increased risk of fire due to faulty or broken electrical components inside the TV.

Rapid repair of power surge damage is essential, as is the installation of surge suppressors and correct grounding of all electrical equipment, including televisions, to prevent electrical fires. 

Personal Safety

personal safety

When the thunder roars, it is best to unplug the TV and hunker down!

Keeping your eyes glued to the screen during a storm can be a recipe for disaster, as it may distract you from the looming danger outside.

When the weather’s playing tricks, you better watch out for trouble.

Heavy rain and strong winds can bring down trees and send debris flying your way. And if you are too close to a lightning strike, you might get zapped.

There has been news of people getting struck by lightning while vegging out in front of the tube during a thunderstorm.

Therefore, personal safety should always come first.

Precautions for Watching TV During a Thunderstorm

precautions for watching tv during a thunderstorm

During a thunderstorm, it is recommended to unplug your gadgets and stay safe.

However, if you are dead set on catching up on your favorite show, there are a few tricks up your sleeve to avoid getting hurt.

By playing it safe and following these precautions, you can keep danger at bay and have a TV time that is as safe as houses: 

Use a Surge Protector

The most important thing you can do to protect your TV and other electronics from lightning strikes is to plug them into a surge protector.

Surge protectors serve as a protective barrier, soaking up and redirecting any excess electricity away from your electronics.

Selecting a surge protector with a high energy rating is crucial for protecting against severe surges.

Fact: Protect yourself from potentially dangerous lightning strikes by having your surge protector checked regularly and replaced if necessary. 

Avoid Cable and Satellite Connections

avoid cable and satellite connections

Disconnecting your TV from its cable or satellite connection during storms will protect it from lightning strikes that could otherwise damage your set.

You can reduce the likelihood that lightning will damage your TV by disconnecting the coaxial wires or satellite connections that connect your set-top box to the outside world.

This preventative action lessens the likelihood of expensive repairs or replacements due to lightning damage and helps safeguard your important equipment. 

Use Battery-Powered Options

use battery-powered options

A thunderstorm is a good time to try out some new, non-electric ways to pass the time.

There are risks involved with using televisions or other electronic devices during lightning activity, but battery-powered items like portable radios or e-readers provide a safe and entertaining alternative.

These gadgets offer entertainment choices while reducing the risk of electrical fires, surges, and other disruptions that could occur from utilizing larger electronic appliances in bad weather. 

Find a Safe Place to Watch

You should choose a safe viewing area within your home if you really want to watch TV during a thunderstorm.

A lightning strike or flying debris could be disastrous if you are seated near a window or door.

find a safe place to watch

Choose instead a room or location well insulated from the outer world.

The goal is to establish a safety zone around yourself that reduces your contact with dangerous elements.

Moreover, avoiding windows helps lessen disruptions from the outside weather, letting you concentrate on the TV show while yet being alert to any rapid changes in the storm outside. 

Stay Informed

It is vital to keep an eye on local news and weather reports and heed any cautions issued by authorities during a thunderstorm.

Keeping yourself well-informed is the best way to ensure your own personal safety.

stay informed

If the weather continues to become worse, you should probably turn off the TV and go to a safe room or basement.

This could be a storm shelter, a basement, or any enclosed, windowless space.

Taking these measures will reduce your risk of injury from lightning strikes, falling objects, and other risks that may occur during a storm.

Fact: At any given time, there are almost 1,800 thunderstorms happening in different parts of the planet, translating to 16,000,000 each year.  


Is it safe to watch TV during a thunderstorm? There are potential dangers associated with watching television during a thunderstorm.

Damage to electrical goods, such as televisions, from power surges produced by lightning strikes can be expensive to repair or replace.

Furthermore, the TV can be a distraction that prevents you from paying attention to potentially hazardous situations, such as suddenly changing weather.

When determining whether or not to watch TV during a thunderstorm, it is best to err on the side of caution by taking shelter and shutting off electrical equipment until the storm has passed.