What Is A Lightning Protection System?
Lightning is a natural, high-voltage electrical discharge between a cloud and the ground or within a cloud, typically accompanied by a bright flash and loud thunder. Lightning strikes the United States about 25 million times each year, causing an estimated five billion dollars in damage, hundreds of injuries, and many tragic deaths.
(Credit: Joseph Randolph)
(Credit: Ruth Epstein, Republican-American)
(Credit: News-Journal/Lola Gomez)
(Credit: Mr. Lightning)
It takes a system to protect a building against lightning. (Copyright East Coast Lightning Equipment, Inc.)
What is a Lightning Protection System?
Fortunately, lightning protection systems complying with nationally-accepted standards are a proven and cost-effective way to protect buildings and their contents and occupants.
A lightning protection system does not attract, repel, or prevent a lightning strike. Rather, it provides specified pathways on which lightning can travel, carrying the destructive power of the lightning strike safely into the ground.
A lightning protection system consists of numerous components that are constructed from highly-conductive copper or aluminum alloys, and that is where East Coast Lightning Equipment, Inc. comes in. We develop and manufacture UL-listed lightning protection components so installation specialists can effectively protect businesses and homes.
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Elements of a Lightning Protection System
We have answered, what is lightning protection? Now it's time to take a look into the elements that make up a lightning protection system. A lightning protection system consists of five elements that work together to protect a structure from lightning damage. They are:
- Strike termination devices such as air terminals (lightning rods),
- Conductors (usually special braided metal cables),
- Bonding connections (to connect metallic bodies within the structure)
- Ground terminations
- Surge protection devices.
To accomplish this, ECLE produces a variety of bases, connectors, fittings, and accessories to suit the full range of building conditions. It is imperative that each of these lightning protection system elements is properly designed and installed to ensure effective protection.
It is essential that lightning protection systems are installed by trained, qualified lightning protection specialists. All materials and methods should comply with nationally recognized safety standards for lightning protection as established by National Fire Protection Association, UL, and the Lightning Protection Institute. Lightning protection systems should also be designed with the aesthetics of a structure in mind, so components blend with the style of the building and are practically undetectable from the ground.
Lightning protection systems consist of a wide range of fittings, connectors and mounting hardware to accommodate the variety of construction materials used in today's buildings.