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Friday the 13th evokes terrifying images of danger and fear in a surprising number of people all over the world. The fear stems from a wide range of sources, from the Old Testament to a cult-classic slasher film franchise from the 1980s, and it results in extreme changes in behavior from refusing to step foot on an airplane to refusing to step foot out of bed.

In fact, the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in North Carolina estimates that losses of nearly $800 million in business revenue occur on Fridays that fall on the 13th – losses that can be attributed to superstition and fear.

In response to this surprising phenomenon, one insurance company in Sweden, Trygg Hansa, set out to prove that Friday the 13th is no different than any other day when it comes to accidents and claims. What the research actually proved is that this often-dreaded date is actually one of the safest days on the calendar.

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Almost everyone knows that you’re not safe outside in a thunderstorm. Due to lightning safety efforts, most schoolchildren have this National Weather Service motto drilled into them: “When thunder roars, go indoors.” What safety efforts haven’t been so clear about are the dangers that persist inside during a storm.

Many of us love to relax and unwind during a thunderstorm. We might catch up on some TV, chat with friends on the computer or phone, kick back in the bathtub, or read a book by the window. All these activities, however, further our risk of being harmed by a lightning strike. They increase our risk of sustaining either personal injury or property damage, or both. Lightning can travel through electrical cords, metal plumbing, and even through windows and doorways to injure us and damage our property.

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