The damage caused by lightning each year in the United States alone is estimated to be $5 billion. More than 25 million lightning strikes occur in North America every year. Lightning often strikes far away from a thunderstorm, with a bolt of lightning traveling as far as 40 miles. Below are some general questions regarding how having a lightning protection system can help prevent any damage to your home, building, or barn.
What is a lightning protection system?
This system protects your home by providing a safe path for the destructive energy (up to 30 million volts) of a lightning bolt to the earth. When installed to meet US Safety Standards (UL and NFPA), this system serves to protect your expensive electronic equipment as well as occupants of buildings with metal components.</
What are lightning rods?
These are a component of the protection system. The entire system consists of the rods (or air terminals), the cable (or conductor), the bonding and finally the grounding.
Do the rods attract lightning?
No, they neither attract nor prevent strikes by lightning. They only intercept the strikes and provide a safe path to the ground, therefore allowing for the safe discharge of the millions of volts in the lighting bolt.
Are the rods unsightly?
No. Modern systems are designed to be inconspicuous and are often undetectable. With an experienced contractor designing your system, you can ensure that the aesthetic value of your property is not compromised.
What are lightning arresters?
These are devices that work like filters. They prevent the lightning from destroying electronics by defraying the surge in incoming voltage through the electric service panel where they are installed.
What are surge suppressors?
Electrical appliances and equipment that have sensitive components may require individual protection from power surges caused by lightning. Surge suppressors installed between the devices and the electrical outlet provide this individualized protection. They are not a required component of a lightning protection system, however, they are recommended.
Can the trees on my property protect me from lightning?
No. Trees that are too near your home can actually be a danger as they are poor conductors of electricity. A tree can deflect lighting resulting in a side flash that can damage your home. Trees can be protected and incorporated into the lightning protection.
Can my TV antenna or satellite dish protect my property from lightning?
No. These structures can instead attract lightning strikes. If not grounded properly, they can result in serious damage to your home. Old antennas and dishes should be removed if they are not serving any purpose.
I have installed arrestors, whole house protectors and surge suppressors. Is this adequate protection for my house?
Arrestors, surge suppressors and whole house protectors are only a part of the whole protection system. They should be installed in conjunction with lightning rods, grounding and bonding in order to provide adequate protection for your home.
Does home insurance cover damage?
Many insurance companies will compensate damage for the initial occurrence. However, most companies will deny claims for subsequent occurrences.