We all think of lightning as being a mainstay of the Summer months. Hot humid days followed by stormy nights. In Autumn storms are still prevalent and can damage buildings and endanger lives. It is vital that you protect your property.

What are the effects of lightning strikes?power and lightning

Lightning strikes can cause serious damage to buildings and pose a threat to life. A bolt of lightning is “the width of a thumb and hotter than the sun”. ^ Although they can look huge across the sky, they are only about 2-3 cm wide but 2 -3 miles long.

The electrical charge carried down a lightning bolt is so intense that lightning can reach temperatures of 30,000 degrees centigrade. That is five times hotter than the surface of the Sun!^

Imagine the effect of this hitting your building! Lightning can cause significant damage, with older buildings likely to be severely affected.

Each storm contains a large number of lightning strikes. On the 11th August 2020 storms that followed a spell of hot weather resulted in the country recording 50,000 lightning strikes!

Lightning strikes are only a problem in the Summer, aren’t they?

The short answer is no! Autumn sees a large number of storms around the country. This time of year, sees lots of sudden weather changes and unpredictable weather. Our position in the UK, within the jet stream, means we have cold air above us and warm below and this causes storms.

In fact, we actually sit on 5 different air masses. This leads to UK weather patterns that can mimic both tropical and polar climates. Lightning strikes can happen anywhere at any time of the year.

What is lightning protection?

Lightning strikesWe have seen that lightning is a powerful force that can damage your building and the people inside it. Having the right protection against it is vital. Building owners and landlords need to meet certain legal requirements to ensure safety. Lightning protection systems prevent or lessen the damage lightning can do to a building. Lightning conductors intercept a lightning strike and carry it to the ground without causing damage. You can read more here about how a lightning protection system works.

Don’t assume that lightning will not affect your building or it won’t affect you more than once. You need to remember that lightning really can strike twice! The Empire State Building in New York has been struck by lightning as many as 48 times in one day! ^ They have an effective lightning protection system in place however. Lightning conductors carry the electricity harmlessly to the ground. Effective protection helps buildings deal with this natural phenomenon.

How can Equiptest help me?

We can design and install an effective lightning protection system for you. After installation we undertake regular testing and maintenance to keep the system in good working order.

Get in touch to find out more.

^source: The Met Office