As founder and producer of the AEC – Science and Technology conferences, George Borkovich helped a generation of designers and builders learn about computers and other electronic tools. Yet there was one lesson he had to learn the hard way: All those gadgets upon which we depend are vulnerable to lightning. His security system, phones,… Read more »


The Theme Park University website suggests, “Next time you are at an Orlando theme park, look at the roofs of nearly every building. Lightning rods dot the rooftops of nearly every single building in Orlando theme parks. Many of the air terminals are cleverly disguised as part of the building’s theme. For example, atop the Crossroads… Read more »

Lightning Science Enters Space Age

While East Coast Lightning Equipment brings lightning down to earth, our sister company, Scientific Lightning Solutions, reaches into space. SLS uses rockets, for example, to trigger actual lightning strikes for research and testing. The firm is active in the aerospace industry and its team members have extensive experience designing lightning protection systems for mission-critical applications… Read more »

Lightning and Urban Planning

A new scientific study comparing urban areas to non-urban areas finds that “demographic and land-use changes feed back to local atmospheric processes that promote thunderstorm formation and persistence… Results demonstrate positive urban amplification of thunderstorm frequency and intensity for major cities… the degree of urban thunderstorm augmentation corresponds to the geometry of the urban footprint.”… Read more »

Seagulls and Lightning Protection

Here’s a tip from an architect on Cape Cod, MA. He stretches monofilament fishing line or fine wire between air terminals (lightning rods) to prevent seagulls from perching on the ridges, parapets, and other high places on his buildings. The birds don’t like flying into the almost invisible filament or wire, so go elsewhere. This… Read more »

Lightning May Increase Due to Climate Change

Researchers at Stanford and Purdue Universities report, “Severe thunderstorms are one of the primary causes of catastrophic loss in the United States… We use an ensemble of global climate model experiments to probe the severe thunderstorm response. We find that this ensemble exhibits robust increases in the occurrence of severe thunderstorm environments over the eastern… Read more »

Yes! This is a “Lightning Rod”

Air terminals, the technical term for “lightning rods”, are usually slender metal rods just 10 or more inches tall. Yet other metal items can be used instead of air terminals if they meet the requirements of NFPA 780 – Standard for the Installation of Lightning Protection Systems. For example, this monumental bronze sculpture of a… Read more »

Hurricane Matthew = Lightning Storm Mathew

Amidst the destruction caused by Hurricane Matthew, damage caused by lightning accompanying the Category 4 winds pales in significance. After all, how much can lightning damage buildings that are destroyed by wind and ocean surge? Yet focusing on the destruction caused by wind and water distracts us from the havoc caused by electrical strikes. Consider:… Read more »

Lightning Causes Most Wind Generator Fires

Lightning is the primary cause of fire in wind generators, according to research at Imperial College, London. Once ignited, “Wind turbines catch fire because highly flammable materials such as hydraulic oil and plastics are in close proximity to machinery and electrical wires… Lots of oxygen, in the form of high winds, can quickly fan a… Read more »

CSST Gas Tubing and Lightning-Related Fires

The Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) is joining forces with the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) to improve safety measures connected with corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST). The product has been widely used for residential gas lines due to its ease of installation, but its corrugated design and thin walls make CSST susceptible to… Read more »