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What is lightning protection and how does it work?The highly conductive copper and aluminum materials used in a lightning protection system provide a low resistance path to safely ground lightning’s dangerous electricity. These materials and components are UL-listed and specially manufactured for lightning protection. When a lightning protection grounding network is in place, the strike is intercepted and directed to ground without impact to the structure, occupants or contents. A lightning protection system that meets national safety Standards of NFPA 780 and UL 96, UL96A includes strike termination devices, down conductors, bonding, and surge protection. Failure to follow the Standards or use of non-listed materials or methods can result in inadequate protection.
Will lightning protection attract lightning to my building/home?No. This is a common misconception about lightning protection. Lightning protections systems and strike termination devices (rods) simply intercept a lightning strike and provide a safe and effective path that takes lightning's harmful electricity to ground.
Can I install my own lightning protection?Lightning protection is not a do-it-yourself project. Only experienced and reputable LPI-certified lightning protection contractors should install lightning protection systems. Qualified specialists use UL-listed materials and ensure that methods of installation comply with nationally recognized Safety Standards of LPI, NFPA and UL. Design and installation is typically not within the scope of expertise held by homeowners, electricians, general contractors or roofers. Only trained experts, like LPI-certified contractors that specialize in lightning protection, should install these systems.
What does a lightning protection system look like?Entrusting your lightning protection system design and installation to an LPI-certified professional ensures a safe and effective system that won’t compromise aesthetics. In most situations, lightning protection systems are neat and inconspicuous. When properly installed, components such as strike termination devices, conductors and grounding are barely visible to the untrained eye. There are a number of design and installation measures that can be employed to make lightning protection even less noticeable.
Do lightning protection systems require maintenance?LPI 175, NFPA 780 and UL 96A safety standards recommend periodic inspection of lightning protection systems to ensure safety, system continuity and proper maintenance. A maintenance inspection is especially important if modifications to your structure have occurred, including: renovations to roof, electrical system updates, satellite dish installations or HVAC alterations. Maintenance may also be needed if cable T.V. or telephone systems have been serviced in recent years. LPI-certified specialists can advise regarding maintenance plans and industry requirements to ensure the continued performance of your lightning protection system.
Where can I learn more?We are actively involved in the Lightning Protection Institute, our industry's trade organization, and the Lightning Safety Alliance, a non‐profit, non‐stock national corporation that provides comprehensive and focused evaluation and response to legislative, administrative and regulatory issues facing the lightning protection industry. We recommend visiting their websites to learn more about lightning protection systems.
Larson Lightning Protection, Inc.
153 S. Enola Road
Enola, PA 17025
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