There is widespread belief in my culture that we should not stay near door or windows during lightning. So people advise others to stay inside house with doors and windows closed to be safe from lightning. Is there any scientific basis for that idea of being hit by lightning when staying close to doors or windows?
It's not just your culture. Advice from the US National Weather Service includes:
Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.
- Metal frame windows and doors are good electrical conductors, but even glass can conduct lightning.
- Lightning strikes on the building or debris from nearby strikes can shatter glass in windows and doors causing flying glass.
- Lightning is often accompanied by other extreme weather including high winds and hail which can damage windows and doors.
Rather old quote:
This is obviously some strange usage of the word "safe" that I hadn't previously been aware of.
Arguments about lightning vs. glass notwithstanding, storms are violent things and glass is both the most fragile thing in your house and the most dangerous when it breaks. Sofas, for example, do not turn into meter-long knives falling off the wall if they get hit with something.
Modern double-pane windows are also rather thin ( heavy glass costs more and tints / distorts the view ) and thus will break easier if hit by flying debris or a falling tree branch. This may not apply if you live in the gulf states (or a high crime area) and have laminated windows - like a car windshield they don't shatter easily.