Scott and Billys West Highland Way Walk
Two of our members of staff from our Scaffolding Department recently went on a 100 mile walk in aid for Help the Heroes. Scott and Bill aimed to walk from Glasgow to Fort William along the West Highland Way.
The walk also coincided with the 100 year anniversary of the end of World war II and was therefore a good
The West Highland Way stretches 96 miles from Milngavie to Fort William. The trail is beautiful and really highlights the Scottish Highlands has to offer from large parks to the loch's, open moorlands and steep mountains.
After 6 days they had found themselves in Fort William and completed their 100 mile walk. (Averages 16.67 Miles a day!!)
They managed to raise over £4,000 from the help of other staff and some of our suppliers.
Let’s face it, nature is a force to be reckoned with. Whether it’s tornadoes tearing up the countryside or hurricanes barrelling along the coastline, it’s never a good idea to underestimate the sheer power of the natural world.
Here in the UK, we’re relatively lucky when it comes to inclement weather. Although we can chat for hours about our infamously gloomy and rainy forecast, we rarely have to deal with what could be deemed truly extreme weather. However, that isn’t to say we don’t get our fair share of storms. Whether it’s Typhoon Brian or Hurricane Michael, the British Isles gets its fair share of thunderstorms causing havoc.
Of course, whenever there’s thunder, there’s lightning and here in the UK, it’s not uncommon to see flashes of bright electronic light streak across the sky. Yet, although beautiful and awe-inspiring to witness, lightning is a powerful force. Striking the earth at 270,000 mph and at a temperature five times hotter than the surface of the sun, lightning can cause a significant amount of damage to whatever or whoever it hits.
Indeed, with our buildings getting taller, the likelihood for a structure to be hit is becoming increasingly likely, causing a host of problems to unprotected buildings. Luckily, there are ways you can safeguard your premises from the awesome power of a lightning strike - installing a lightning conductor.
The damaging effects of lightning
It really cannot be understated how powerful even a single lightning strike can be to both the point of impact and the surrounding area. As friction builds within the clouds caused by rising and falling currents of air, the subsequent massive negative electrical charge it creates targets the positive ground below. This charge forms into a lightning strike, which will usually then hit a taller building due to it acting as a great conductor to the ground.
This can cause a variety of problems to buildings without adequate lightning protection installed. Obviously, the main concern is the hazard it can potentially cause to humans. Even if you’re inside a building, a structure that is not adequately protected does carry an inherent risk of electrocution.
However, the more likely issue that a building may face is to its electrical systems. A bolt of lightning can easily overload a building's electronics through a process known as transient overvoltage, which can cause a host of problems, from damaged equipment to a full shutdown of your operation, potentially costing you thousands in lost income.
With this in mind, it makes sense to have comprehensive lightning protection in place to ensure your personnel and your premises are safeguarded from the elements.
The science behind lightning conduction
One of the most efficient ways of minimising the devastating effects of lightning is to install a conductor. Originally discovered by Benjamin Franklin during his iconic kite in a thunderstorm experiment, a lightning conductor consists of a pointed metal rod fixed to the top of a building.
This rod is then connected to an extremely long piece of copper or aluminium wire which runs to a conductive grid buried underground in a safe spot nearby. Contrary to popular belief, a lightning rod doesn’t necessarily attract a thunderbolt, rather, it creates a path to the ground which offers the lowest resistance.
As the rod and the connected wire are excellent conductors, the energy contained within a lightning bolt is more easily diverted safely towards the ground, minimising the potential damage caused by the strike.
The lightning conduction installation process
Although a simple idea, a lightning rod needs to be installed properly in order for it to carry out its job effectively. A company that deals with lightning protection will have the skills, knowledge and resources to efficiently install a lightning rod for maximum protection, however, it can be useful to have an understanding of the process.
To begin with, a risk assessment will be taken to figure out which parts of the building are at particular risk of a lightning strike, such as electronic equipment and systems.
Next, the premises’ groundings will need to be ascertained before the installation can begin. Groundings are an essential part of lightning rod installation as it is what discharges the energy. For larger buildings, you’ll likely need multiple groundings in order to discharge the electricity effectively and they will need to be placed at opposing ends of the structure.
The lightning rods are then installed at regular intervals along the top of the building close to the roof edges. These are then connected to grounding points via a ground rod, completing the process.
Understanding the benefits lightning protectionAs a business owner, you may be wondering whether investing in comprehensive lightning protection is worth your time and money. However, with between 200,000 - 300,000 lightning strikes across the UK every year with the potential to cause havoc to your building, it’s definitely in your best interest.
First and foremost, every business should put the health and safety of their employees first. It’s likely that you have fire alarms and other safety protocols in place so it’s important to consider lightning safety as well.
A lightning strike can affect people in a variety of ways, not just through electrocution from the initial strike. Due to their extreme heat and power, it isn’t uncommon for buildings without necessary lightning protections in place to catch fire or to become damaged by a strike.
By investing in comprehensive lightning protection for buildings, however, you can drastically minimise the chance of injury to you and your employees. Specialists can undertake full risk assessments to discover any risk points on your premises and a quality lightning rod can also protect pedestrians in the surrounding area by discharging the electricity underground rather than across the floor.
Protect your electronics
Transient overvoltage is a genuine problem when it comes to your buildings electronics. Although lasting mere microseconds, a lightning bolt can send tens of kilovolts throughout your system, effectively frying anything it touches. Because of this, a well-placed lightning strike could end up costing you thousands in repairs and replacements, crippling your operation.
By installing a conductor, your electronic equipment remains safe from this costly effect, saving you a huge amount of money on repairs and minimising the chance of chaotic downtime.
Keep your premises protected from the elements with Rodells Ltd
A lightning storm can not only bring your business to a grinding halt but also poses a significant risk to you and your employees, so why take the risk? A quality lightning protection company can turn your premises from a hotspot for lighting-related accidents into a space completely protected from this awesome force of nature.
Here at Rodells Ltd, we understand and respect the power of lightning and its potentially devastating effects, which is why we offer our customers bespoke lightning protection services for ultimate peace of mind.
Whether you’re in need of quality lightning conduction installations, in-depth risk assessments or repair work to keep your building safe, our team of qualified professionals are on hand to ensure your needs are met.
However, our work doesn’t stop there. Since opening our doors in 1898 as a humble steeple-jacking company in Hertfordshire, we have expanded to offer a range of services, from lightning protection to scaffolding, and have a wealth of knowledge and experience to ensure the job gets done first time, every time.
If you would like to learn more about how your building could be better protected from the elements, visit our website or get in touch with our team on 01727 841855 to further discuss your requirements.
Flashes of lightning are stunning to look at, and many incredible photos of lightning strikes have been captured over the years. The Ancient Greeks believed that lightning was a sign from the king of the gods, Zeus, but of course there is a scientific explanation behind this natural phenomenon.
There are around 6,000 flashes of lightning happening every minute across the world, so if you want to know more about the science behind this weather, read on.
There are around 1,000 thunderstorms occurring at any given minute on earth, so the chances of spotting lightning are high depending on your location!
Thunderstorms are caused by the rapid rise and fall of currents of air, and the friction from this then leads to electrical charges building up within a cloud. Drops of water and ice carrying negative electrons then fall to a lower part of the cloud, which causes a build up of negative charge.
At the same time, a positive charge is building up near the top of the cloud, and these positive and negative charges seek to create pathways in order to reach each other and neutralise. Once contact is made, a spark forms which neutralises the charge, and these many sparks build to form lightning, as it hops between the positive and negatively charged areas.
The air around the negative charge rapidly heats up as it moves down, with sparks reaching a temperature of around 20,000 degrees Celsius. This extreme temperature heats up the surrounding air to create a shockwave, aka lightning.
Once the cloud’s negative charge has built up enough energy, it looks for a pathway to the positively charged ground below. The current will be drawn towards a good conductor of electricity, such as a tall building or tree.
The negative charge sends out a feeler known as a ‘stepped leader’ which is made up of lots of invisible negative charges. As it nears the ground, a positive stream of charges reaches up to meet it, creating a channel which causes the lightning to become visible. A lightning bolt looks like one continuous line to the untrained eye, but it’s actually made up of a series of short bursts. A lightning charge is very powerful, and contains a whopping 30 million volts!
Lightning is fascinating, but it can be dangerous, so it’s important to have the right protection for your buildings. Rodells Ltd in St Albans have decades of experience installing and maintaining professional lightning protection for UK businesses, including lightning conduction installations, risk assessments and earthing repairs. For more information about how we can protect your buildings, give us a call today or visit our website.
There are many iconic landmarks throughout history that simply wouldn’t have been built if it weren’t for scaffolding; from the pyramids of Egypt to the Statue of Liberty. We often marvel at large buildings without realising quite how much work went into their construction, and scaffolding plays an essential role in the building process. Every building, from large department stores to a block of flats, is built using scaffolding, but of course some projects are much bigger than others. See our brief guide below to some of the largest, most awe inspiring scaffolding projects around the world.
The Statue of Liberty
One of the most recognisable landmarks in the world, the Statue of Liberty underwent mass renovation in 1984, with scaffolding erected all around the statue from the base to the very top of the crown. Experts from all fields of the construction industry were consulted on the project, and at the time it was built, this was the largest free standing scaffold in the world. Built entirely of aluminium, it cost approximately $2 million!
Victoria train station in London is one of the busiest terminals in the world, so when it needed refurbishments there was no question about whether it would remain open. Around 80 million passengers pass through the station each year, so it was essential for the scaffolding to cause as little disruption as possible. In 2011, custom scaffolding was built to hang above the trains and allow the roof to be cleaned and refurbished. This allowed the station to remain operating as usual; essential when you consider that the project took three years to complete.
Since its opening in 2010, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai remains the tallest building in the world. Construction took a total of six years, and scaffolding was added as the floors were built in order to keep the final height a secret. The finished building stands at an impressive 829 metres high, with 163 floors.
Construction for the Eden Project in Cornwall began in 1998, and a whopping 230 miles of scaffolding was used while it was being built. The structure is formed of two domes, standing at 55 metres and 35 metres high, and the site became a popular tourist attraction even before it was officially open. The unusual shape of the design meant that extra reinforced scaffolding was needed in order to build a safe and secure structure.
You may not be building anything as large as the landmarks mentioned above, but if you need professional and reliable scaffolding services for your next project, get in touch with Rodells Ltd. We can provide scaffolding for the industrial, commercial and domestic sectors, and our friendly and experienced team of trained scaffolders are on hand to help; whatever your needs. For more information or to discuss your next project, give us a call or visit our website.
Rope access is a way of enabling workers to conduct jobs and repairs in hard to reach places such as work platforms or scaffolding. Technicians are trained to ensure they are fit to climb whilst learning how to implement important safety measures when working in commercial, industrial and environmental settings. But when do you need to hire a trained rope access technician? Carry on reading to learn about four of the most common times rope access is needed.
Window cleaningHigh office blocks or commercial buildings require rope access to perform window cleaning; this requires a high level of skill and can only be executed by professionals. Dirty and smeared windows can have a negative effect on your employees and clients, whereas a clean and well-kept environment is best for ensuring positivity and motivation, not to mention prospective clients may build a bad impression of your company based on the cleanliness of the building.
Roof repairsAs one of the biggest structural features of your home, keeping your roof in good condition is essential for protecting other parts of the house. Whether its a leak, missing tiles or any other type of repair it’s a bad idea to get up on the roof and attempt to fix it yourself. It’s particularly important that you get on top of any repairs before winter, as the change in weather means rain and snow will make existing problems a whole lot worse.
Churches and weather vanesWeathervanes are attached to the highest point of a building or house and function by signalling which direction the wind is coming from. Although they are not as common as they used to be, they can still be found on older building or on top of church steeples; they are also used by air traffic controllers and pilots to ensure flights can take off and land safely. To make sure they don’t become loose over the years, or to initially install one, a rope access specialist is needed as it’s a dangerous job.
Unblocking gutteringAfter autumn and winter you may find that your guttering has become blocked with debris and leaves, but hiring a professional tradesman will return them to working order. Don’t ignore the problem, blocked gutters will not be able to function as they should, meaning that rainwater will fall elsewhere causing mould and rot. Guttering on tall and hi-rise buildings will need rope access to get the job done safely and efficiently.
For a team of rope access specialists, Rodells is the professional team you need. Despite being based in Hertfordshire, we have a history of providing specialist works all across the UK with a positive and affordable service aimed at achieving high-quality work. For more information contact us today and find out what we can do for you.
Here at Rodells, we’ve been around since 1898, so we know the Hertfordshire area well. With that in mind, we thought we would put that to good use. So, we’ve utilised this knowledge to put together a quick guide of some of our favourite places, that like us, are steeped in history.
Natural History Museum at Tring
If you’re on a tight budget, but you still fancy a day out, visiting The Walter Rothschild Building in Tring is perfect. It’s free to visit all year round. The museum is filled with Walter Rothschild’s personal zoological collections.
Their museum has been open since 1892, where Rothschild himself employed many collectors from around the world to help him bring together one of the largest zoological collections ever assembled. So, why not go and have a look for yourself?
You’ve almost definitely seen Knebworth House before. With a recent history of hosting huge concerts and providing a backdrop to many Hollywood films, this country house is iconic. If the sun’s out and you’re stuck for somewhere to go, the stunning grounds are a beautiful place to spend a summer's day.
You could wander through the historic deer park which covers more than 250 acres, with herds of grazing deer who have called the park home for longer than any of its residents. Or, there’s a dinosaur trail and adventure park if you need to keep the kids amused.
Paradise Wildlife Park
If you would prefer a day outside of interactive and engaging fun, Paradise Wildlife Park is the place. There’s truly something for the whole family at this beautiful wildlife park.
There’s a whole host of experiences to get your teeth into. You could feed red pandas, feed meerkats, or take a tour of the Reptile Temple. It’s not just all about the animals though. If in your party there’s a few who aren’t so keen on getting up close and personal with the animals, there’s no need to worry. The wildlife park has a mini-golf course, adventure playgrounds, and even a national speedway museum, too!
Founded in 1898, Rodells is a well-respected specialist works and access company based in Hertfordshire. We predominantly offer scaffolding services as well as lightning protection to both industrial and commercial customers across the country.
If you would like to make an enquiry about any of the services that we offer, please do give us a call. For our main office it’s 01727 841855, or if you would like to speak with our scaffolding team specifically, it’s 01727 821011.
For centuries, lightning has been shrouded in mystery and has been the source of much fascination by humans. In modern times, we are beginning to understand it as nature’s way of balancing irregularities between the clouds and the ground. Combined of both a natural wonder and scientific power that isn’t yet able to be harnessed, it’s no wonder that lightning features heavily across time and history.
Gods and Goddesses
In many cultures or ancient mythology, the god or goddess of thunder and lightning was often a high god, considered the king or close to it. In Ancient Greece, the King of the gods was Zeus, who was often depicted with lightning bolts as a weapon. Twins Astrape and Bronte were also Greek goddesses of thunder and lightning, which is where the Greek word for lightning (astrapí) comes from and the terms for if you have a fear of thunder and lightning, astraphobia/astrapophobia and brontophobia, respectively.
In Norse mythology, the son of god King Odin was Thor, the god of thunder and was known to summon lightning from his hammer weapon Mjolnir. In Hinduism, Indra was king of the gods as well as lightning too.
As well as depicted in ancient cultures as being weapons harnessed by the Gods and causing mass devastation, lightning has caused upset in many modern wars too.
During the Napoleonic wars, more than 220 British tall ships were damaged by lightning. As well as ships, many soldiers have also been killed by lightning over the years due to their metal weapons and equipment acting as magnets for lightning, such as muskets, swords, helmets and bayonets. Wars such as the Second Boer War and the American Civil War have seen such fatalities.
Science vs Religion
In the 1700s, American Benjamin Franklin was known to chase thunder and lightning storms on horseback and loved to study them. Subsequently, Franklin knew that lightning was a form of electricity and thus began to think about protecting people and buildings from it, which led to the invention of the lightning rod in 1752.
However, for centuries, religions such as Christianity taught that lightning was God’s punishment and God’s creation and shouldn’t be avoided: “When he uttereth his voice (...) he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.” (Jeremiah 51:16). Franklin’s invention was rejected by almost everyone, including the military and the navy and particularly churches that needed it most on their spires. Quickly, his invention became known as the “heretical rod” and it was blacklisted by many. This was until the 1900s though, when people finally admitted that the invention was much needed.
Like Franklin, Rodells Ltd. aims to protect people and buildings from lightning by installing earth rods. This includes churches, schools, homes and more. If you’re in need of lightning protection or conductor testing in St. Albans, contact our team of experts today.
Lightning truly is something to marvel at. As a child, you may have been told that thunder and lightning is caused by an argument between the clouds - and this actually isn’t too far off the truth either. Lightning is caused by imbalances between storm clouds and the ground, or within the clouds themselves, and this creates an electrical discharge that seeks to remedy this imbalance.
As one of nature’s phenomenons, it is one of the most beautiful displays on our Earth, but also one of the most dangerous. As experts in lightning protection and earthing, we understand how utterly brilliant lightning can be - here are some interesting facts about lightning.
A single bolt
A single bolt of lightning reaches around 27,000 degrees Celsius - this is hotter than the sun’s surface, which is only 5,600 degrees Celsius. Each bolt has over 100 million volts of electricity and travels at 270,000 mph before hitting the surface.
The fear of thunder and lightning has a few different names but is most commonly known as astraphobia. The phobia is also known as astrapophobia, brontophobia or keraunophobia (all derived from Greek words or from the names of gods of thunder and lightning). This phobia can develop in humans and animals alike.
The odds of you being struck is 1 in 3,000 throughout your entire life but the odds increase or decrease based on where you live. For example, Antarctica, Greenland and Patagonia are pretty safe options, whereas the Americas and Northern Australia are more likely places to get struck. Wherever you are, it’s pretty unlikely you’ll get struck by lightning but, for those who have, 90% live to see another day.
The most lightning-struck location
Perhaps not something to boast about, but Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela experiences the most lightning strikes on Earth. Thunderstorms occur 140-160 nights throughout the year. During a 10 hour night, lightning can strike 28 times per minute on average. That’s roughly 40,000 strikes in a whole night!
Helicopters cause lightning
As helicopters can acquire a negative charge whilst flying, they can trigger a lightning strike if they fly too close to an area that is positively charged (hail, for example).
Lightning is one of the biggest causes of weather-related deaths each year, but did you know it can also damage buildings, ruin your electrics and start fires? Electrical equipment damage is usually caused by insufficient grounding or poor earth rod installation. History has seen it’s fair share of lightning damage too - did you know, in 217 A.D., lightning struck the Colosseum in Rome and incinerated the entire structure?
At Rodells Ltd., we specialise in protecting your homes and businesses from lightning. “Weather” you’d like to know it or not (see what we did there?), lightning could severely damage your property and affect your business operations. For professional lightning protection in St Albans and surrounding areas, contact us today.