Lightning Rod Information 2016-11-27T18:20:06+00:00

Lightning & Lightning Rod Information

DOES LIGHTNING PROTECTION REALLY WORK?

Absolutely! The National Fire Protection Association has maintained a standard for Lightning Protection for over 100 years. This standard is updated every three years or so to incorporate new findings. NASA, The FAA, Department of Defense and the Department of Energy typically install Lightning Protection on any new structure they build. There was even a federal report issued in 2004 that reviewed the technical validity of Lightning Protection Systems and concluded they were critical to protecting our national infrastructure. The American Meteorological Society issued a similar report in 2003.

LIGHTNING FACTS

  • There was an annual average of $859,000,000 in lightning-related homeowners insurance claims from 2010-2015
  • 1 out of 200 Homes are struck by Lightning every year.
  • Damage from a lightning strike can be as small as an appliance getting damaged or as severe as a fire causing a total loss of a structure.
  • Lightning strikes the Earth 100 times per second.
  • A single bolt of lightning can carry over 30 million volts of electricity.
  • Any building in the Northeast United States can expect around 10-20 strikes per year near their property.
  • Lightning can rip through roofs, explode brick and concrete and ignite fires.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

You know your home or business better than anyone. You may have already suffered damage from lightning. Or perhaps you’ve had some close calls that had you worried. Lightning protection is a peace of mind issue. If you are in an area prone to lightning strikes and you are concerned that your building may be next, installing lightning protection can provide you with that peace of mind.

Definitely not. Lightning rods do not attract or prevent lightning strikes. A lightning protection system simply intercepts a lightning strike and provides a path to the ground to harmlessly discharge the dangerous electricity.

No! Trees are actually very poor conductors of electricity. Lightning striking a nearby tree could side-flash, causing serious damage to your home. Valuable trees can be protected and are often made part of the lightning protection system.

No! These are actually lightning targets that are not adequately grounded to safely handle the dangerous lightning current. Whenever possible, old antennas which serve no useful purpose should be removed from a structure.

No! Surge suppressors are important components of a complete system, but can do nothing to protect a structure against direct lightning strikes. These devices must be installed in conjunction with a lightning protection system (air terminals, bonding and grounding) to provide whole house protection. On their own, they do not protect the structure at all. They only protect the electrical system.

While this is generally true for an initial occurrence with lightning, many insurance companies will deny second or third lightning claims and many will not renew a policy after a lightning claim is entered. Of course there is also the heartache of losing sentimentally valuable items that may be lost in a fire caused by lightning that cannot be covered by insurance.

No! Lightning frequently strikes in low areas as well as in higher elevations.

Definitely not! Modern lightning protection systems are inconspicuous and virtually undetectable. An experienced lightning protection contractor will design your system to blend with your architecture – aesthetics are never compromised.

No! Lightning protection systems are constructed of durable materials that are likely to outlast most other fixtures on your home. No maintenance is required unless major changes are made to your structure such as a re-roof or new siding installed.

No! Lightning protection is one of the least expensive improvements you can purchase for your home and it offers the best type of insurance-peace of mind and proven protection for your family, home and valuables. It’s a big return on a small investment.
Absolutely. We have had many past clients tell us that they were certain their house had been struck because they had heard a very loud noise and have even felt the house tremble. But because they had protected their home properly, there was no damage!

DO’S AND DON’TS FOR LIGHTNING SAFETY

Courtesy of the Lightning Protection Association.

Seek shelter in a protected home or building.

Avoid open fields or high terrain. If you are caught in the middle of a field and you feel your hair standing on end, squat down, put your hands on your knees and tuck your head down between your knees. Do not lie down or put your hands to the ground.

You should avoid areas such as lakes, beaches, boats, machinery, golf carts, motorcycles or bicycles. If at all possible, you should take shelter in a low-lying area or an automobile.

To avoid dangerous side flashes, you should stay away from trees, fences and power lines.

At home, you should avoid the telephone and other electronic appliances. Also, stay away from open doors or windows and all metal objects.