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I need "educated" reasons whether it is safe to use any wireless device during a lightning storm.

Most people said don't use it but they cannot explain why.

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Indoors or outdoors? – kennytm Dec 17 '10 at 18:18
IR remote controllers are perfectly safe. – mbq Dec 17 '10 at 18:22
@Kenny, both indoors and outdoors. – xport Dec 17 '10 at 18:46

Most probably yes; wireless devices are not grounded, so they are not lighting rods of any kind as it is frequently assumed. There are some theories that cell phones somehow attracts lightnings by the field they produce, but the theory behind is weak. Experimental evaluation is very hard, since lightning hits are quite rare, such events are guided by numerous parameters and there are lots of other, hard to evaluate factors.

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I agree, the change of being electricuted isn't materially changed. Of course the mobile device might pick up a large transiencr EMF from a local strike, so the device might be at increased risk of damage. Perhaps your ear might be affected by an unusually large sound spike? – Omega Centauri Dec 18 '10 at 2:43

A modern wireless electrical device should be perfectly safe, all it is is putting a metal piece near your ear, basically giving you the same chance of being hit by lightning as any other time. Older (Or more accurately, larger) technologies with larger antennas might work as a lightning rod, and thus give you a somewhat higher chance of being hit.

Basically lightning is a low frequency electric signal, very broad band, while most cell phones are exactly the opposite.

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Why would it be any more dangerous than, say, wearing a metal wristwatch, a ring, or metal body piercing? The answer is not at all, in fact less, since most devices with a wireless device in them are surrounded by plastic, which is an insulator.

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protected by Qmechanic Oct 14 '14 at 7:57

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