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Certification & Inspection Of A Lightning Protection System

Inspection of lightning protection systems often falls outside the jurisdiction of local building code enforcement officials. To ensure that a lightning protection system is designed and installed in accordance with recognized safety standards, an established third-party inspection authority such as the Lightning Protection Institute Inspection Program should be used.


Lightning protection components and installed systems should meet or exceed the requirements for lightning protection established by:

Underwriters Laboratories

UL 96 - Standard for Lightning Protection Components

UL 96A - Standard for Lightning Protection System Installation

National Fire Protection Association

NFPA 780 - Standard for Lightning Protection System Installation

Lightning Protection Institute

LPI 175 - Standard of Practice.

ECLE recommends that project planners base lightning protection system designs on the requirements contained in these standards. Lightning protection system specifications should call for adherence to the latest editions of these recognized US consensus standards. 


Underwriters Laboratory (UL) representatives visit the ECLE factory on a regular basis to inspect and test our products for compliance with UL’s materials standard for lightning protection: UL 96. ECLE's UL-listed products are intended for installation by lightning protection specialists who are members of the Lightning Protection Institute and participants in UL’s lightning protection program. It is important to note that products listed for use in building electrical systems are not acceptable for lightning protection use.


It is essential that trained, qualified lightning protection specialists perform the lightning protection system installation. Lightning protection specifications should call for the contractors performing lightning protection work to be Dealer/Contractor Members of the Lightning Protection Institute and should ensure that the firm employs an LPI Certified Master Installer.

The Lightning Protection Institute - Inspection Program

ECLE encourages all of its installation representatives to participate in the Lightning Protection Institute - Inspection Program (LPI-IP).  This third-party program provides on-site lightning protection system inspection services, follow-up inspection reports and issues certifications for installed systems for compliance with standards LPI 175, NFPA 780 and/or UL96A. 

The LPI-IP Master Installation Certified System carries a three-year expiration date. Primarily lightning protection design and installation firms that are regular members of the LPI can provide this inspection service.

In order to receive LPI-IP Master Installation Certification for a specific installation, a series of steps must be followed:

First - The LPI requires third party verification from the job site at two phases of the construction process. Both the grounding system installation and the roof-top network installation must be signed off on.

Second - These sign-offs along with as-built drawings and a completed application are submitted to the LPI-IP office for review. The LPI-IP office determines whether the installation should be inspected on-site or if the system can be certified from the paper records. Contactors and building owners can also require on-site inspection if so desired. The on-site inspections are performed by employees of Intertek. 

Third – Any deviations identified by the LPI-IP's inspection must be corrected within two weeks. Once the system is demonstrated complete, the LPI-IP issues the certification to the installer who delivers it to the owner.

The Lightning Protection Institute also maintains a lightning protection design and installation training program for its members. To participate in the LPI Inspection Program, a firm must have at least one employee who has achieved the level of LPI Master Installer in its training program. The LPI-IP program is currently going through the process to get ANSI accreditation for its program. The LPI-IP program was created in 2011 and addresses a need for a lower-cost alternative to the lightning protection inspection services offered by Underwriters Laboratories. 

There are three types of certifications available that address the needs of complete systems, reconditioned systems and systems for partial structures.

A general certificate for inspections of lightning protection systems that protect an entire independent structure.

This includes all the features of the Master Installation Certificate Inspection plus ground electrode resistance testing and continuity testing.

A general certificate for inspections of lightning protection systems that have expired certifications. (If the square footage or footprint of a structure has changed, a new LPI-IP Master Installation Certificate or LPI-IP Limited Scope Inspection is required instead.)

An inspection for a portion of a lightning protection system specifically to review a limited scope of work. The report does not constitute certification that the entire system or structure has been inspected.

Since its founding in 2010, the Lightning Protection Institute - Inspection Program (LPI-IP) has become the most comprehensive and respected provider of lightning protection professional certifications.  Visit LPI-IP to learn more.

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