I’ve had several questions over the last few weeks about my comments that I don’t sew during storms and I was a bit surprised because I thought most people avoided using electrical equipment during lightning storms.

Florida ranks as the top state for lightning in the US and Tampa as the top city … we have a LOT of summer storms and they’re violent with lots of thunder and lightning. It impacts what we do outside with our biking, walking, and swimming and it impacts what we do inside.

My longarm is ALWAYS unplugged when I’m not using it and during the summer months, I keep my sewing machines unplugged when not in use too. I’m lazier in the non stormy season about keeping both sewing machines unplugged but I never risk damage to the longarm!!

Lightning safety information


  1. I also live in Florida and leave all my machines unplugged, no matter the season. I’ve even gotten in the habit of unplugging my machine if I plan to be gone just a minute to put clothes in the dryer or check on dinner. I figure it’s better to be safe than sorry.

  2. I had a brand new TV blow from an electrical short during a storm so I unplug too. Once it happens you learn.

  3. I have lived in several states and always unplugged any of my machines that are not totally mechanical. My old Singer or White sewing machines were not. But anything with a computer is always unplugged. I also thought most people do this but asked friends and most don’t unplug.

  4. Lightning is no joke we just lost a 3 year old A/C unit to it. I do leave my machines plugged in, but I have very, very nice surge protectors on all of them and still unplug the embroidery machine if I’m turning off computers due to a storm.

  5. I paid a lot of money for my sewing & quilting machines so I always unplug them when not in use & don’t use them during thunderstorms. Same goes for my computer.

  6. Hmm. I live in the lightning belt of Japan too and we get A LOT of lightning storms. I always make sure to unplug my computer but I’ve failed to think about my sewing machine… Only one machine and it’s pretty old… If the lightning got it it would be a good excuse to buy a new one!

  7. I avoid taking a shower when there is lightning and thunder. I think I heard that lightning can follow the path of the plumbing. Maybe it’s an old wives’ tale, but I’m not taking any chances!

  8. I tend to keep my sewing machines and long arm unplugged when I’m not using it. They are more expensive then what I’d be happy to replace them all at once. Although maybe insurance would cover some of it. Enjoy your new long arm. I’ve heard wonderful things about Innova.

  9. We lived in a very remote rural area and I was taught to always unplug during a storm. We had lightening rods on our home even, but we still unplugged everything. I do not sew in storms and always have my machines unplugged unless I am using them. It’s a good habit to have.

  10. I live in Southwest Florida. We have surge protection for our entire home from our electric company, and additional surge protection plugs. BUT, my sewing machine dealer also advises unplug the machines and sergers, when not in use and during a storm. These machines are thousands of dollars and no matter what things can still happen. With all this equipment we still had two pool pumps, and the washing machine be injured, if you will, from lightening strikes and power surges. It’s just not worth it. So I do my hand sewing on bindings or needlepoint, knit etc… anything else that doesn’t require electricity.

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