East Tennessee

What is lightning protection system?


The highly conductive copper and aluminum materials used in a lightning protection system provide a low resistance path to safely ground lightning’s dangerous electricity. These materials and components are UL-listed and specially manufactured for lightning protection. When a lightning protection grounding network is in place, the strike is intercepted and directed to ground without impact to the structure, occupants or contents. A lightning protection system that meets national safety Standards of NFPA 780 and UL 96, UL96A includes strike termination devices, down conductors, bonding, and surge protection. Failure to follow the Standards or use of non-listed materials or methods can result in inadequate protection.


Components of a lightning protection system


A lightning protection system is composed of three main components:


Lightning Rods - The lightning rods are designed to act as a terminal for the lightning to discharge its energy through. Rods can be found in different shapes, sizes and designs. Most of them are topped with a tall needle like point or have a smooth polished sphere on them.


Conductor Cables - Heavy duty cables that carry the lightning current from the rods down into the ground. The cables are run along the tops and edges of roofs, then down one or more corners of a building to the grounding rod(s).


Grounding Rods - Long, thick, heavy rods buried deep into the earth around a protected structure. The conductor cables are connected to these rods to complete a safe path for a lightning discharge around a structure.



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