The UK, Ireland and the surrounding seas experience between 200,000 and 300,000 lightning strikes every year. While these displays might look impressive from a distance, they can cause devastating damage to buildings and the surrounding areas. Lightning strikes can cause structural damage to a building itself, as well as injuries to employees, damaged equipment and system failures.
Lightning protection is essential for many commercial and historical buildings and it gives peace of mind that your structure will be protected. If you want to know more about lightning protection and how it works, read on for our handy guide.
Types of lightning protection
The most common type of lightning protection is a lightning conductor, usually in the form of a metal rod. These are mounted onto the outside of a building to help protect it from lightning strikes and are made from a highly conductive material like copper or aluminium.
As well as the external lightning rod, a lightning protection system also requires a connection to the earth. This comes in the form of a ground rod, with a wire connecting it to the external lighting rod. Some types of lightning protection systems include numerous conductors connected by a mesh cage. These systems are usually used for highly exposed buildings or those housing sensitive equipment, such as computer rooms.
How do they work?
Lightning conductors protect a building by intercepting the lightning strike. This means that if lightning hits a building, it will hit the highly conductive metal rod first. The strike is then conducted through a wire into the ground rod, where it can be safely discharged into the earth.
The presence of a lightning rod can also prevent a charged cloud from releasing a bolt of lightning in the first place, or if it does, the impact will be much less severe.
If you’re in need of high quality lightning protection systems, get in touch with the experts at Rodells. With over 120 years in the business, we’ve got a wealth of experience when it comes to designing, installing and maintaining lightning protection systems. We work with buildings of all shapes and sizes, as well as historical and ecclasiastical buildings, so give us a call today or contact us via our website.