Protecting New Buildings From Lightning

Lightning damage is responsible for $1 billion in losses to buildings each year in the USA. Downtime and liability are the two major issues. Shutdowns are common, causing loss to business, and reputations can even be harmed from these losses. That is why it is so important to consider protection from lightning strikes before they happen. The best time to think about it is before the building is constructed. That way lightning protection can be built into the structure.

How Much Protection is Needed?

The first question that most people ask when considering lightning protection before construction begins, is how much money it will cost to add that protection. Only a technical engineer can offer that information accurately. Once that information is calculated, then a decision can be made about how much you want to spend on the construction costs.

Far too many people are hurt each year because they fail to get adequate protection against these lightning strikes. When they are constructed properly, new buildings will withstand the strikes and everyone will be safe.

How Does it Work?

Countless facilities have survived direct lightning strikes but suffered damage. That damage could have been avoided if they had a protection system in place, such as the Dissipation Array Systems. Like the name sounds, it dissipates the lightning to safely protect the structure, and any and all occupants. The system accomplishes this by dissipating the electric field to a way that is far below the lightning collection level which would be dangerous.

This provides safety and reduces downtime. It also eliminates the liability of lightning strikes potentially harming the people in the building. It offers a success rate that is set at 99%. This has been an effective way to protect against lightning since 1971. The choice for which company that you would like to use is your choice.

How Do These Lightning Protection Services Work?

Engineers devised these arrays back in the seventies through scientific evaluation. When you choose one of these devices, you will have an engineer that takes the information gathered about your structure, after which a custom design for your structure will be created. No matter which company you use, the majority follow this process or similar. If they do not, then your building will not be as safe. So it is very important to make sure that you check on that when deciding who to use. Here is some history of how it all came to be designed.

  • An initial examination of lighting strikes was made.
  • Careful analysis was done to see how alternate designs would better protect building structures.
  • Ground testing was done to evaluate how certain aspects of any location could adversely affect the structure’s safety and integrity during such a strike.
  • Erosion was considered, along with the topography of the area that was studied.
  • Adjustments were made to the systems and a general recommendation was established.

Thanks to the studies of the engineers back then, today we can buy systems that protect us against lightning strikes and have them installed prior to construction for better safety.

For more information on construction site safety, contact T. F. Harper & Associates LP in Austin, TX.

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