Gazebo Disasters - The Risk of Lightning and Other Dangers
Even though it may sound hard to believe but there are instances in which gazebos can be very dangerous and even deadly. The chance of getting seriously injured or killed in a gazebo is extremely small but it is of utmost importance to know when a gazebo can be potentially dangerous and how to avoid finding yourself in danger.
Gazebos Vulnerable to Lightning
Gazebos and similar structures such as garden pavilions don't provide adequate protection against lightning. You are therefore recommended not to seek shelter from thunderstorms within a gazebo. To reduce the risk of getting struck by a lightning in a gazebo, you are also recommended to:
1. Know when the risk of lightning is the highest. The risk of lightning strike is there whenever there is a thunderstorm. However, the statistics show that the incidence of lightning strikes is the highest during the summer. This is also the time when people are more likely to be outdoors. Thus it isn't a surprise that most lightning injuries and fatalities occur during the summer months.
2. Watch the weather forecast. If you are planning an outdoor party, be sure to pay attention to the weather forecast. If the likelihood of thunderstorm is high, consider either postponing the party or holding it inside your home.
3. Leave the gazebo immediately as soon as you hear thunder. Whenever there is thunder, there is a high likelihood of lightning. So when you hear thunder, don't take any chances. Leave the gazebo immediately and take shelter in the nearest enclosed building.
What are the Chances of Getting Struck by a Lightning?
You would really have to be unlucky to be struck by lightning, however, the statistics show that lightning is responsible for injuring about 30 and killing 2 people in the UK each year. And according to relevant sources, the number of fatalities is relatively low due to prompt and proper medical treatment. Likewise, the number of injuries due to lightning strike is thought to be much higher as those not sustaining serious injuries usually don't seek medical help. Lastly, the number of injuries and fatalities doesn't include indirect injuries and deaths, for example by a falling tree which was struck by lightning. For that reason it is extremely important not to underestimate the danger of lightning, especially if you are inside an open structure such as gazebo.
Poorly Built and Designed Gazebos Dangerous As Well
They don't only look unappealing but they are potentially dangerous. Very dangerous! For example, roof collapse can cause very serious injuries and even death. So choose a quality gazebo that is made from quality materials and have it erected by professionals. Also, ensure that it is properly and regularly maintained.