Fireplace Season: Time to Consider Lightning Protection

Now that the cooler air of autumn is here, it is time to have your chimney inspected so it is ready for those dark winter evening of sitting around the hearth with your loved ones.  A good place to find a certified chimney inspector is at Fireplace Investigation, Research & Education Service or Chimney Safety Institute of America.

Attic fire started by lightning strike to chimney.

Attic fire started by lightning strike to chimney.

And while you are thinking about the chimney and winterizing your home, this is also a good time to consider a lightning protection system (LPS). Lightning strikes are one of the major causes of damage to chimneys and can cause attic fires and damage to the structure (see inset photo). More, the lightning can surge through the chimney to ignite or damage the entire building and pose an electrocution hazard to you and your family.

If you already have a LPS, it should be inspected every five years by a certified lightning professional to make sure it’s in good condition. If you do not have a LPS yet, ask the lightning professional to conduct a lightning risk assessment for you. A good place to find a certified lightning system designer or installer is at Lightning Protection Institute.

Don’t wait until spring. Lightning occurs year round. Read here to learn about “thundersnow.”

Image: M J Richardson via Creative Commons License.