Secure Tech Electric, together with our strategic partner Certified Lighting Protection, Inc. can design and install a complete U.L. certified system for your home or office building.
When Lightning Strikes
Packing up to 100 million volts of electricity, a bolt of lightning has the power to rip through roofs, explode walls of brick and concrete, and ignite deadly fires. Most tragically, lightning kills.
The cost of lightning strikes to businesses is staggering. Millions of dollars are spent by corporations every year as a result of lightning damage to commercial properties. Insurance claims, destruction of equipment, fire damage, production and inventory loss can all result from a single lightning strike.
Most buildings, particularly those of contemporary design, are vulnerable to lightning damage due to increases in utilities, the use of isolated metal building components and the costly hi-tech equipment housed within. In addition to actual property loss, lightning damage to robotics, communication lines and computer equipment can result in extended downtime for your corporation. Protecting people and property is what lightning protection systems are all about.
Because every building's architecture is unique, a tailored lightning protection system is designed to meet a structure's specific needs. Commonly specified during the construction phase of a building, a lightning protection system can be easily installed on an existing building as well.
Who Needs Protection?
Thunderstorms occur virtually everywhere and that puts any building at risk. State-of-the-art certified lightning protection systems are a part of the structural design of thousands of commercial and public facilities worldwide and are designed to maximize protection to both life and property. Risk factors including your location, frequency of thunderstorms, soil composition and building occupancy determine the need for a lightning protection system.
How the System Works
Lightning protection systems are designed to shield a structure and provide as direct a path as possible for the super-charged current of the bolt to flow. The system neither attracts or repels a strike, but receives the stroke and discharges it harmlessly to conducting earth.
Investment in a lightning protection system will protect your organization's investment in its property and equipment. In addition to structural protection, surge suppressers (also referred to as surge arresters) are devices designed to protect a building's wiring system and electronic equipment from damage.
A direct hit to a building, nearby strike to a power line or even a voltage surge originating from your utility company can cause a fire in electrical service panel boxes or seriously damage equipment by frying insulation and sensitive microprocessor components. The combined technology of structural protection (lightning rods) and surge protection minimize damage, while providing the highest level of protection for properties.
When it comes to the incredible power of lightning the bottom line is: Certified lightning protection systems saves lives and money!
Lightning is perhaps the most spectacular display of the awesome force and raw power of nature.
According to the National Severe Storm Laboratory, lightning causes more destruction than all other environmental elements combined including floods, hurricanes and tornados.
Since 1955, the Lightning Protection Institute has been promoting public awareness on safety issues concerning lightning and has endorsed official programs of certification for lightning protection systems.
Systems of Protection
More and more home owners are becoming aware of the need to protect their homes from a lightning strike. Increases in the number of lightning protection systems can be attributed to several factors including; the increase in underground utilities and the location of homes, the increase in high cost electronic equipment in the home and the increased concern for health and safety among homeowners and their families.
Educated consumer demands are being met by highly skilled and trained lightning protection professionals designing, installing and certifying state-of-the art lightning protection systems for the home.
Lightning Protection is designed for two objectives. A lightning protection system shields a home and provides a direct path to the ground for electrical current flow. It must also prevent damage to the home as the current flows through the system. Lightning protection systems keep people in their homes safe from lightning.
Thunderstorms result form 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 lightning 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 of 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.
Each year thousands of homes and other properties are destroyed or damaged by lightning strikes. Unprotected home risk the possibility of damage by fire, explosions or electrical surges. Personal injury frequently occurs in an unprotected house which has been struck. The effects of such strike may be both physically and emotionally devastating.
Protecting Your Home
Protecting your home is simply a matter of contacting a professional who is qualified to design and install a certified lightning protection system. A protection system is typically made up of the following components:
- Air Terminals - Also referred to as lightning rods, these inconspicuous copper and metal are vertically mounted on the roof at various points on a house. Positioned to project above roof line, the rods are designed to intercept a lightning strike.
Main Conductors - Made of copper or aluminum, these cables connect air terminal grounds.
- Grounds - Main conductors are attached with metal grounding rods which are set at least 8 feet deep in the earth. Special ground requirements are sometimes necessary in sand or rocky soil. As current flows through the rod the energy is directed into the ground where chance for injury or damage is effectively eliminated.
- Bonds - The bonding connects groups of metal objects to the main conductor cable and prevents sideflashes (lightning jumping between two objects).
- Lightning Arrestors - Arrestors protect wiring and appliances from lightning strikes and power surges. A surge is an increase in electric current due to lightning strike on or near a power line. Kitchen appliances, computers, televisions and sump pumps are all vulnerable to unexpected surges.