Lightning is an incredible supernatural-looking natural phenomenon which has a certain air of mystery about it. Although recordings of the longest, strongest and biggest strikes have been taken over the years, the World Meteorological Organisation believes that there must be more extreme examples that have happened or are happening in nature, but we just haven’t recorded them.
Whilst we could speculate for hours about the most impressive lightning strikes in history, those that have been recorded are still pretty extraordinary. Here are some amazing lightning strike records in history.
The longest lightning boltThe longest lightning bolt in history- i.e. the furthest reported distance from end to end of a bolt- was a bolt that hit Oklahoma in June 2007, covering a remarkable horizontal distance of 321km (200 miles). This means that the bolt reached from almost one side of the state to the other and must’ve been quite the spectacle to see! Prior to this, the highest recording was only 32km long, so this mega-bolt in Oklahoma really has changed the way scientists and meteorologists understood lightning storms.
The longest lightning strikeNot long after Oklahoma, the record books were broken once again, but this time, for the longest lightning strike of all time. During a dramatic storm in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur in southern France in 2012, a single strike lasted for an impressive 7.74 seconds, making it the longest reported duration of a continual lightning strike ever. Before this strike, it was believed that lightning couldn’t last longer than one second, so this storm truly shook meteorologists the world over.
The highest-current lightning strikeAll lightning strikes are dangerous and carry an extremely high current, however, the highest-current lightning bolt recorded was at a whopping 300,000 amps, and the highest estimated voltage was one billion volts. These monster-bolts tend to occur during positive cloud-to-ground lightning, yet, if you want to see some truly powerful lightning strikes, you’d have to go up into space. In 2009, the Cassini Spacecraft recorded super bolts on Saturn and Jupiter, which were 100 times brighter and up to 10,000 times more powerful than lightning on Earth.
The most lightning-struck locationIf you want to see an epic display of Mother Nature, you should visit Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela. This bay location on the Caribbean experiences an incredible 232.52 lightning flashes per square kilometre every year and storms happen almost nightly. The warm air off the lake meets with cool winds from the Andes, setting off an endless storm which is known as Catatumbo Lightning. Storms have been used by ships for navigation for centuries, and nowadays, tourists can even see the storms on local tour boats.
The most lightning strikes survivedWhen you think about being struck by lightning, you probably think that that’s it for you. Well, in most cases that is true, however, Roy Cleveland Sullivan, a park ranger in Virginia, defied the odds. He was struck by lightning an extraordinary seven times and survived every single strike. He earned the nickname ‘Human Lightning Rod’ and still holds the record to this day.
Here at Rodells, although we marvel at the incredible phenomenon that is lightning, we also understand its powerful and unforgiving nature. For this reason, we’re passionate about protecting our local community here in St Albans, as well as the wider nation, by using our quality lightning protection services. To find out more, get in touch with us today.
Lightning damage is a concern for landlords and facility managers all across the world. Every minute, there are more than a thousand thunderstorms around the Earth causing some 6,000 flashes of lightning. Generally, the UK experiences a low level of lightning activity in comparison to other countries across the globe, however, it does still pose a risk to lives and properties in Britain. This is why it is important that the legal requirements for lightning protection are met by all facility managers and landlords.
For centuries, lightning has interested, excited and yet terrified mankind. Bright flashes of light coupled with the roaring sounds of thunder were once believed to be a supernatural phenomenon in the realm of the gods, but today, we understand that lighting is an electric current, or a large-scale natural spark discharge.
There are different types of lightning: cloud to ground, cloud to cloud and within a single cloud, as well as rare variations such as ball and ribbon lightning. One lightning strike can exceed 100 million Volt-Amps, and can cause damage to the structure of a building as well as any electric and electronic equipment inside it. With our use and reliance on electronic equipment and gadgets increasing constantly, damage to electronic items caused by lightning has risen over the years.
In this article we discuss the buildings that rely on lightning protection and why they require such protection.
How does lightning protection work?Firstly, let’s take a brief look at how lightning protection works. The main function of a lightning protection system (LPS) is to protect a structure from damage caused by a lightning strike. Of course, there are no devices able to change natural weather phenomena, but there are some precautions people can take in order to reduce the damage caused by a lightning strike.
An LPS intercepts a lightning strike by providing a low-resistance path to ground for the lightning to follow and disperse. Without this path of low impedance to earth that allows the discharge to travel to the ground, lightning would follow paths of high resistance through a building’s structure, causing extensive damage.
Buildings that require lightning protectionBuildings most at risk of being struck by lightning are those on hilltops or hillsides, in isolated positions or at high altitudes, as well as tall towers and chimneys. While lightning protection is not a legal requirement for all buildings and structures, the requirements of the Electricity at Work Regulations (1989) will apply to most businesses.
Below we take a look at the buildings that need lightning protection.Historic BuildingsMany historic buildings were not constructed with lightning protection in mind. Historic buildings, including churches, museums, lighthouses, schools and factories, may be at unnecessary risk of damage or even loss as a result of a lightning strike, which is why it is important that they are protected.
Historic buildings need to be preserved and protected from lightning damage for a number of reasons. Not only do they have intrinsic value, but they are also reminders of a city’s culture and past, reflecting our history and helping us to understand people who lived in different eras with different traditions and habits.
The provision of an LPS depends on the type of historic building that needs to be protected. Whether or not a building needs to be protected is assessed against a series of factors, including the use, construction and location of the structure. Of course, the appearance of an LPS on a historic building can appear out of place and intrusive, which is why the choice of material used is important.
Tall BuildingsEvery year, our buildings in the UK get taller. As we build upwards, the risk of tall structures being struck by lightning increases and, of course, it is important that we safeguard these buildings against the deadly power of a lightning strike. Lightning will always take the path with the least electrical resistance; the tallest buildings have the shortest distance from the thundercloud to the ground, which is why they are more commonly struck.
In addition, many tall buildings are made from metal which conducts electricity very well. While lightning is unpredictable and can strike anywhere and at any time, it is common knowledge that taller buildings are more at risk.
So, how do we protect them? Protection for tall buildings against lightning strikes is often provided by the installation of a lightning rod. Instead of the top of the structure making contact with a lightning strike, the rod will instead become the point of initiation and intercept the lightning strike.SchoolsIn schools, hundreds of people, both teachers and students, congregate. There is also usually a large number of electrical equipment in schools - such as computers, printers, electronic whiteboards, power sockets, laboratory equipment and more. For the safety of lives, electronic items and the building, lightning protection is important in schools.
The largest number of lightning casualties occur in open spaces and therefore students on sports fields or in the playground may be at risk during a thunderstorm. Education authorities have the responsibility for the wellbeing of students and therefore lightning protection risk assessments are usually carried out by the local education authorities. Protection against lightning strikes in schools is subject to safety standard BS EN/IEC 63205.
In addition, there are some other considerations and situations in which lightning protection may be required. These include:
Other buildings that may require lightning protection include:
Does my business need to get in touch with lightning protection contractors?When it comes to the safety and protection of your business, you never want to compromise. While you may assume that the chances of your building being hit by lightning are zero, each year, hundreds of injuries are caused across the UK by lightning. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety of your employees, as well as the building and electronic equipment housed inside. It is recommended that your business has a risk assessment carried out to determine whether or not you require lightning protection. In addition, if you think that you require an earthing system for your home, you should get in touch with an expert to discuss this.
Rodells: Your go-to for high-quality lightning arrestersSince 1898, Rodells have been installing and maintaining lightning protection systems on commercial, historic and ecclesiastical buildings, boasting a wealth of experience in designing and installing lightning protection for buildings of all sizes and shapes. All of our engineers are fully qualified and highly trained, as well as CITB registered, with a vast amount of experience in all lightning protection works.
Not only do we design and implement earthing and lightning protection systems, but we also specialise in the testing and inspection, as well as repair works and new installs. If you require a risk assessment for your building, you can rest assured that we are always compliant with BS EN 62305, and our installations are always completed to this standard.
To learn more about us and what we do, simply visit our website or get in touch today. We are able to contract works throughout the UK - Scotland, North of England and Wales by request.
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.