A Lightning Protection system when properly installed accomplishes two objectives:
- It shields a home and provides a direct path to the ground for electrical current to flow.
- It prevents damage to the home as the current flows through the system.
Thunderstorms result from the powerful clash between cold and warm weather air masses. As varying charges of positive and negative energy build up preceding and during a storm, the result is a discharge of negative energy sent rushing to the ground.
The flash, which occurs as a closed circuit, is formed from earth to sky. As downward forces or strokes rush toward the earth, positive strokes from edges of buildings, chimneys, and trees strain up to meet them.
A lighting protection system is designed to control or force the discharge on a specified path, thereby eliminating the chance of fire or explosion within non-conductive parts to the house such as those made of wood, brick, tile, etc. A lightning protection system does not prevent a strike, but provides a safe path on which the current can safely be directed to the ground. Most importantly, a lightning protection system will NOT attract a bolt of lightning.
Little Known Facts
- You can determine the distance of lightning: When you see the flash of lightning start counting off the seconds until you hear the thunder and divide that by 5. That will give you the approximate distance (miles) of how far away the lightning is from where you are.
- More than eight-million lightning flashes occur every day worldwide! Fortunately, a large percentage of these jump from cloud to cloud. Thousands, however, make their way to the ground, destroying anything or anyone in their erratic paths.
- A bolt of lightning may carry as much as 100 million volts of electricity and thousands of amperes of current! A direct strike to a facility can rip through roofs, explode walls of brick and concrete, and ignite deadly fires. In fact, a lightning strike to or near an unprotected building can lead to a serious breach in security, as the need for uninterrupted power is critical to the continuous operation of a security system. According to the National Severe Storm Laboratory, lightning causes more destruction than all other environmental elements combined including floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes!