Stetson University

Lightning Alarm System

Every thunderstorm produces a unique “electrical footprint” at the surface where lightning is most likely to occur. The extent or shape of this electrical footprint depends on many factors, including: season, pressure, wind speed, temperature and elevation. Given that all of these factors can change in just seconds, the electrical footprint also changes to reflect the favorable locations for lightning to strike.

In the summer of 2013 the university installed a lightning detection system throughout the DeLand campus. This system, manufactured by Thor Guard, detects electrical footprints with a 98 percent probability for a lightning strike within 2.5 miles of the university's DeLand campus and, if one is detected, emits a 15-second audible alert through sirens installed at the following locations:

  • The Public Safety office
  • The scoreboard at the Athletic Training Center
  • The pool at the Hollis Center
  • The cupola over Elizabeth Hall

This alert is the same one that can be heard at many golf courses when bad weather is approaching. Should you be outdoors when the alert sounds, you should move indoors immediately. When conditions return to a safe level, the system will automatically emit an all-clear signal: three five-second alert blasts.

As always, continue to use good judgment and seek shelter if storm conditions appear to be close to the university, whether or not you hear the alert.

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