Lightning Safety and Large Stadiums

Lightning Safety and Large Stadiums When lightning threatens an outdoor activity, it is usually postponed so that people may seek a safe location. When lightning threatens a large outdoor stadium, the game or event itself is usually postponed, but it is often difficult to ensure the safety of tens of thousands of spectators. Although stadiums may employ a general evacuation plan, complete evacuation is often counterproductive for efficient lightning safety. Outdoor events, which fill stadiums to capacity, are at the highest risk because there is little room for people to move and crowd panic becomes a real possibility. Lightning safety recommendations exist for both players and spectators during outdoor activities, however, most venues do not have a lightning action plan. This study recommends that stadiums and other outdoor venues develop a lightning action plan, which should include continuous education for stadium personnel, players, and spectators about the proper actions to take should lightning threaten a venue. The action plan should also distinguish safe locations within the venue that could provide shelter for players and spectators and delineate responsibility to stadium personnel for crowd management. Further, stadiums should consider the use of additional air terminals and caternaries (lightning rods and shield wires) to protect not just the stadium infrastructure from a lightning strike, but the entire spectator area as well. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society American Meteorological Society

Lightning Safety and Large Stadiums

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Publisher
American Meteorological Society
Copyright
Copyright © American Meteorological Society
ISSN
1520-0477
D.O.I.
10.1175/BAMS-87-9-1187
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

When lightning threatens an outdoor activity, it is usually postponed so that people may seek a safe location. When lightning threatens a large outdoor stadium, the game or event itself is usually postponed, but it is often difficult to ensure the safety of tens of thousands of spectators. Although stadiums may employ a general evacuation plan, complete evacuation is often counterproductive for efficient lightning safety. Outdoor events, which fill stadiums to capacity, are at the highest risk because there is little room for people to move and crowd panic becomes a real possibility. Lightning safety recommendations exist for both players and spectators during outdoor activities, however, most venues do not have a lightning action plan. This study recommends that stadiums and other outdoor venues develop a lightning action plan, which should include continuous education for stadium personnel, players, and spectators about the proper actions to take should lightning threaten a venue. The action plan should also distinguish safe locations within the venue that could provide shelter for players and spectators and delineate responsibility to stadium personnel for crowd management. Further, stadiums should consider the use of additional air terminals and caternaries (lightning rods and shield wires) to protect not just the stadium infrastructure from a lightning strike, but the entire spectator area as well.

Journal

Bulletin of the American Meteorological SocietyAmerican Meteorological Society

Published: Sep 20, 2006

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