Posts

How to Protect Your Business Structure from Lightning

If you live or work in an area where a lot of storms happen, enough so that lightning strikes are something to worry about, you may want to look into a few different ways to protect your business structure or your house from a lightning strike.

The problem with lightning is that it can come very quickly, and you never really know where it is going to hit.

Having something in place to keep anything from happening will ensure that your structure stays standing for years to come.

One of the most common implementations that you can make to protect your building is to get a lightning protection system, better known as a lightning rod.

These are usually set up near the building in order to attract the lightning strike and then neutralize it before it travels back into the ground.

By having it travel into the ground, essentially it will dissipate and not be of any danger to the building or surrounding trees at all.

You can get an older style lightning rod put in place, or something that is a bit more modern instead.

The more modern models are basically made up of a series of small copper and aluminium spikes which are now called air terminals.

These air terminals are mounted on the highest points of a house or a business building, usually at the top of the roof, a chimney if it exists, and other high points on dormers.

One building can have as many as ten or more, depending on its size and the shape of it.

Not to mention, if there are many high points, you can fit many on the roof.

By setting up a lightning protection system at your building you can save yourself from a lot of damage later on.

When lightning strikes a building or a tree, sometimes a fire can easily break out due to the sparks created.

If you have something to protect the building in place, you can actually send the current into the ground safely, and out of the way of everything that could possibly catch fire.

It will end up saving you a lot of time and money down the line.

Many places of business should actually have some sort of protection system in place, that way they can continuously protect their structures in the case of a major storm breaking out.

It is better to be well prepared than have something happen.

How To Protect Your Business From A Force As Powerful As Lightning

Lightning packs a powerful punch. A single bolt carries up to 100 million volts of electricity and has the power to rip through roofs, explode walls of brick and concrete, wreak havoc with circuitry and ignite deadly fires. It is no wonder experts have dubbed lightning as “the most dangerous and frequently encountered weather hazard experienced by most people each year.”

While lightning poses significant safety and economic concerns, there is good news for design/construction professionals and property owners. A lightning protection system that meets all applicable safety standards from the onset will ensure system reliability for the future.

Lightning systems must include the following elements:

– Strike termination network (i.e. air terminals or lightning rods);
– Down-conductor network;
– Grounding electrode network;
– Equipotential bonding network; and
– Surge protection devices (for all incoming power, data, and communication lines).

Harcon Services provide a complete solution, including a full audit, inspection, and testing service. All of our installations are designed to your specification, yet still able to comply with BSEN 62305 and BS7430. Our experienced technicians can do everything from risk assessment, installation, and commissioning of the grounding and lightning protection.

Call us on 0161 777 4230 to discuss your requirements.

Lightning Protection for the Safe Storage of Chemical Tanks

Utmost caution must be taken when working with hazardous materials. It isn’t something that should be taken lightly. This explains why there are tons of regulations governing plants and handling of toxic materials. Safety is given first priority. Surprisingly, these regulations do not define how these materials should be protected from lightning. Unfortunately, lightning is a natural event capable of causing a lot of damage such as lose of property, extended downtime as well as loss of life. For example, a fire caused by lightning has resulted in lose of life and property because it takes longer to control.

Organisations and individuals have a reason to be concerned about lightning protection. Recent research studies focusing on climate change reveal that strikes of lightning will become more and more prevalent. Going by the increasing number of lightning incidents witnessed over the past few years, storage terminal operators should take it upon themselves to make sure that their storage tanks are down to earth.

According to the President and Chief Executive Officer of LEC (Lightning Eliminators and Consultants), Avram Saunders, lightning isn’t something that should be taken for granted. A 6% increase in the lightning strikes is predicted by the climate change researchers for every degree of change in the global temperature. A separate study indicated that these attacks are expected to double in the next 20 to 40 years.

In 2006, research performed by Liverpool John Moores University blamed 61% of all accidents in the storage and processing industry on lightning. Fast forward in 2011, a report done by Lloyds & Insurance Information Institute showed a 15% rise in losses associated with lightning – between 2009 and 2010.

Benefits of lightning protection

An evaluation of the cost of recovering from losses caused by lightning strikes shows why it is imperative to take precautionary measures. Tank fires resulting from lightning strikes can cost operators millions of pounds in terms of terminal downtime, product loss, regulatory penalties, and fines, liability as well as equipment damage and loss. Lives can even be lost in extreme cases. Of course, no amount of money can restore lives of humans. On the other hand, if efforts are made to protect the facility, the company wouldn’t have to spend as much money as the one needed to recover losses. Most importantly, lives would be saved.

What is the way forward? The electrical potential of the structure of the tank should be kept the same as the earth it sits on. The management should focus its efforts on the installation of a system that can deliver on this basic premise. Professionals in lightning protection must be involved to secure the facility altogether.