Lightning Surge Protection Devices for Commercial Buildings
Lightning current can travel, even from miles away, on electrical or communication lines before entering a building. When this happens, a powerful electrical surge can damage or destroy electronic and digital equipment. This is increasingly hazardous because our buildings, businesses, and homes depend on the reliability of electronic devices.
Protection from lightning traveling on lines entering the structure is achieved by installing surge suppression devices (SPDs) or lightning surge protector for home at the electrical service entrance and on all other incoming lines such as data, telephone, alarm, signals, antennas, and security cameras.
SPDs for the main electrical panel must be hardwired and comply with UL 1449 - Standard for Surge Protective Devices.
SPDs for data and communication lines entering the structure is governed by:
- UL 452, Standard for Antenna-Discharge Units
- UL 497 Standard for Protectors for Pair-Conductor Communications Circuits (telephones)
- UL 497C Standard for Protectors for Coaxial Communications Circuits
In many applications, additional surge protection may have to be tailored to the specific pieces of electronic equipment within a structure. Solutions may include a combination of point of use plug-in type surge protectors, lightning arrestors, and/or transient voltage surge suppressors (TVSS) on secondary panels.
In a building with complex or mission-critical electronic devices, it may be necessary to bring in an expert on a lightning surge protection device for commercial buildings to engineer a complete surge suppression system for the structure. Moreover, the lightning protection installer does not always have access to, or qualifications, to work with the building power and low voltage systems and will need to coordinate with the electrical contractor in order for this work to be completed. SPDs are sometimes put into their own specification section, such as MasterFormat Section 26 41 23 -- Lightning Protection Surge Protection Devices, to facilitate coordination.