A lightning strike can result in damages ranging from power surges, fire, to loss of life. Along with annual visual inspections of your system, we recommend having your system inspected and ground conductivity tested every five years, at a minimum. Understanding the risks lightning poses and following some proactive steps can help you improve safety measures, reduce costly repairs, and protect your property. In Ontario, PEI, and NB, systems must be installed by a licensed professional. In other provinces, a qualified electrician should be hired, since portions of lightning protection regulations fall under electrical and building codes.
- For wood framed buildings, a purpose built lightning protection, or faraday cage system may be needed
- For masonry structures, focus on bonding and grounding, especially if your building has towers or metal domes. Heritage buildings, churches, and mosques often have objects prone to lightning strikes
- In modern buildings the structural steel is usually part of the grounding system, review the design with your architect to ensure you’re protected
Grounds — should be made by driving ground rods at least 18-millimeters in diameter and 3.5-meters long and into the earth. If multiple ground rods are tied together to forming a ring around the building, a low resistance path to the ground will prevent damage. In some areas, specific ground plates are used. On bedrock, a horizontal radial system may be the best way to create a ground.
Grounding systems — are tied to electrical grounds to form a single unified system. This reduces the potential for damage due to high differential voltages which can develop if the systems are not connected.
Copper cable or ribbon — should always be used as a conductor for grounding systems. Copper has the best conductivity, corrosion resistance, thermal, and mechanical stability. Secure copper wiring to keep thieves from leaving you unprotected.
Radio, Television, and Telephone Network Protection
Cables — connect any that enter your building to a surge arrestor specifically designed for the service the cable provides. Arrestors should be solidly grounded and bonded together to the service ground.
Internal wiring — should be shielded. Telephone or CAT cable should have an outer metal jacket that’s grounded or placed inside a metal conduit that’s grounded.
Companies for Lightning Protection Installation
Burchell Lightning Protection
Dominion Lightning Rod
Simpson Lightning Rods
Western Lightning Protection
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