LIGHTNING DEFENSE by John Sherlock
Serving the majority of the eastern United States: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana,
Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina and Tennessee

Frequently Asked Questions about Lightning

For three generations we have been working in the lightning defense and lightning rod installation industry and have heard a lot of questions. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about lightning we have heard over the years.

Q - DO LIGHTNING RODS ATTRACT LIGHTNING? Lightning rods do not attract or repel lightning. In event of a strike, a protection system simply creates a predetermined path of low resistance.

Q - HOW OFTEN DOES LIGHTNING STRIKE? The International Meteorological Survey Association estimates that lightning strikes the earth approximately 100 times per second.

Q - HOW FREQUENTLY DOES LIGHTNING STRIKE IN THE UNITED STATES? Every year lightning strikes approximately ten times for each square mile. With approximately 9,000,000 strikes annually throughout the continental area of the United States.

Q - WHAT IS THE LIGHTNING FLASH IN THE SKY? The path of burning air through which the invisible bolt passes.

Q - WHAT CAUSES THE THUNDER THAT FOLLOWS LIGHTNING? Thunder is the sound caused by the rapid expansion and closing of the heated air channel of the lightning strike.

Q - ARE LOW OR SMALL BUILDINGS SUBJECT TO LIGHTNING STRIKES? As much as any other size buildings. Lightning generally strikes where the stored electrical charge is the greatest.

Q - DO HIGH TREES NEAR A BUILDING OFFER ANY PROTECTION FROM LIGHTNING STRIKES? Trees are non-conductors of electricity ... There have been many instances where lightning has struck trees near a building, run out through a limb of the trees into the house to find a better ground within the building ... through the plumbing system or the grounding of the electrical power system, thereby damaging or destroying the building.

Q - IS A BUILDING THAT IS PROVIDED WITH A METAL ROOF AND SIDING SAFE FROM LIGHTNING STRIKES? Why should it be? When METAL ARC WELDING is done with only a few hundred volts of electricity ... then why, or how could an ordinary metal roof or metal sided building be immune from damage when struck by millions of volts and thousands of amps? Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. state that lightning protection to such structures can be obtained only through the use of modern lightning rod equipment.

 Q - ARE CONCRETE, BRICK AND OTHER SIMILAR STRUCTURES SAFE FROM LIGHTNING STRIKES? Lightning has been known to strike and destroy concrete bridges over rives, it strikes concrete and brick smokestacks ... it strikes concrete mausoleums, monuments and other like structures with devastating effects.

Q - WHY ARE SHARP POINTS USED ON LIGHTNING ROD INSTALLATIONS? The simplest explanation would be that they would be the highest point above your building to be struck by lightning. However, they have many functions ... sharp points act to receive and discharge electrical energy ... they prevent the lightning from striking by dissipating the electrical charge from the earth ... One of Benjamin Franklin's very earliest discoveries was the power of the point to dispel or attract the electrical charges.

Q - MANY PEOPLE THINK THAT ELECTRICAL WIRES LEADING INTO THE BUILDING IS A SAFETY MEASURE FROM LIGHTNING ... IS THIS A TRUE OR FALSE? Why should they be? Electrical wires are metals of both induction and conduction ... they can induce and conduct an electrical charge into your building. Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. recommend that secondary lightning arrestors be installed on electrical power lines where they enter the buildingnag.

Q - DO INSURANCE AGENTS RECOMMEND LIGHTNING ROD INSTALLATION? Those that are informed and educated do. Lightning rods are endorsed by the American Institute of Architects and the American Institute of Electrical Engineers.

Q - IN WHAT WAY ARE MODERN LIGHTNING RODS IMPROVED? In every way ... In the designing of materials, fixtures and accessories. According to rigid requirements of the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. Bureau of Standards and Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. ... as well as installation methods. All installations are to conform to the architecture of the building upon which they are installed.

Q - WHEN IS THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO INSTALL LIGHTNING ROD AND LIGHTNING PROTECTION? The best time is NOW ... There is no closed seasons on lightning and electrical storms ... just how would you be able to determine the exact time to have lightning rods installed to avert or prevent a disaster from a lightning strike.

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Lightning Defense, LLC
Headquarters - Zephyrhils, FL
888-670-0781 / 407-522-2283
Lightning Defense, LLC
Branch - Indianapolis, IN
888-670-0781 / 317-478-3286
Lightning Defense, LLC
Branch - Mischawaka, IN
888-670-0781

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