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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.

Is Lightning Protection really that important?

No structure is 100 percent safe from lightning strikes. Lightning can strike typically anywhere on earth- including the south and north poles. Depending on the geographical location in question, lightning storms happen as many as 100 times and five times on the minimum each year. Undoubtedly, some areas that are notorious for lightning strikes in the country. This is attributed to the high earth resistivity of the area.

High earth resistivity is defined as the resistance of the earth to conduct current. If you live in such areas, you should know that there are high chances of lightning striking. If it happens, structures in such areas are prone to sustaining more damage – especially in the absence of a lightning protection system. As such, irrespective of one’s geographical location, a lightning protection system should be installed.

Is it lightning protection vital? The statistics never lie. Thousands of homes and properties are destroyed by lightning every year and these accounts for billions of pounds in terms of property damage. Apparently, lightning strikes are responsible for more property loss and deaths compared to hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes altogether. The good news is that, among these violent natural events, lightning is the only one that people can economically afford to protect themselves against.

It all starts with assessing the risk of lightning damage. Evidently, some properties have relatively higher chances of suffering from lightning damage. Risk assessment should take into consideration various factors namely the type of construction, where it’s located, occupancy, topography as well as contents and frequency of lightning.

Operations of a lightning protection system

The simplest way to describe lightning is the noticeable discharge of static electricity between clouds, within clouds or even between earth and a cloud. The causes of lightning are yet to be fully unmasked by the scientists. However, the majority of experts believe that it is as a result of the interaction of different types of ice in the cloud. Apparently, charges are separated by the updrafts in the cloud which causes positive charges to move towards the top of the clouds and the negative ones flow to the bottom.

Lightning strikes the highest object on property upon which the discharge current is transported through the return stroke flowing along an ionised path. This is where the lightning protection system comes in handy. It provides a means through which the discharge current enters or leaves the earth without passing through and consequently damaging the non-conductive components of a structure such as the ones made of brick, tiles or wood. Property owners should, however, understand that lightning protection doesn’t prevent lightning from striking. Instead, it offers a technique of managing it so as to prevent damage. Technically, lightning systems help by availing a low resistance path for the discharge of the lightning current.