What would the risk be of electrocution caused by a lightning strike of a metal home elevated by wooden piles? The entire home's structure is metal (galvanized steel roof, aluminum subroof, aluminum walls, galvanized steel floor. The wooden piles are approximately 8 feet above ground, over 15 feet below ground, the diameter of each pile is around 12". There are wooden beams between the floor and the piles, the beams are attached to the piles with galvanized steel brackets.

My main concern was the safety of someone standing on the metal floor, let's say barefooted, during the event of a lightning strike.

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    $\begingroup$ The building may serve as a Faraday Cage. Check out the following: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday_cage $\endgroup$
    – Bob D
    Jul 30, 2019 at 19:24
  • $\begingroup$ Bob, I encourage you to post your reply as an answer. $\endgroup$ Jul 30, 2019 at 19:26
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidWhite Thanks David. But I think you have already covered it (thumbs up). $\endgroup$
    – Bob D
    Jul 30, 2019 at 19:27
  • $\begingroup$ @BobD, No, I haven't. I posted before I saw your comment, so I deleted my answer. $\endgroup$ Jul 30, 2019 at 19:28
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    $\begingroup$ @DavidWhite I encourage you to undelete your post. The example of the airplane is a good one. I tried to upvote it but you deleted it. The only thing that the OP may have doubts about is that the building may be grounded (wet poles) and think that is an issue (of course it's not, but would need to be explained why). Regards. $\endgroup$
    – Bob D
    Jul 30, 2019 at 19:31

1 Answer 1


Such a home is known as a Faraday cage. For that home, all of the electric charge would stay on the outside of the building, and no one inside the building would be exposed to any risk of electrocution from a lightning strike. This is exactly why passenger aircraft with aluminum skins don't suffer any passenger fatalities when they are struck by lightning while in flight.

  • $\begingroup$ i had though about the airplane example, but wasn't sure how much insulation was between a passenger's feet and the aluminum skin. $\endgroup$
    – dugas
    Jul 30, 2019 at 19:41

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